Back in the 90’s while finishing my degree, I was also busy studying to be a personal trainer and fitness instructor. I was studying anything I could find that related to the human body.
Among all the diets and fads, there are so many things I wish someone had told me about about healthy eating and my body at that point in my life.
Fast forward to 2017 and not a lot’s changed. There is still a media circus around food and eating habits and it’s confusing to try and work out what to do and who to believe.
That’s why I decided to write this article.
There are some irrefutable truths I’ve learned over the years.
Now, as a Health and Wellness Coach, it would be remiss of me not to share these things with you.
4 things I wish someone had told me about healthy eating and my body
1 – You are as unique on the inside as you are on the outside.
I spent many years trying all sorts of diets, trying to find the “best” diet for me. I was busy holding in my stomach, exercising and trying to manage what I ate so I could feel good about myself.
And I tried all kinds of diets.
Most of the heavily-publicized diets (including the good old food pyramid approach) made me flat at best, and sick at worst.
Your heritage and genes play a role in the type of foods that are best for you.
And your body actually gives you a heap of signals about what’s right and what’s wrong for you.
All it takes is for you to listen in and respond accordingly. If you ignore what your body is saying, then you will get no result at best, and sick and miserable at worst.
2 – There is no ‘bad’ food
Ever been in a cycle of strict eating, faltering, punishment, guilt and shame, then binge eating?
Putting food onto a pedestal and labeling it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is a part of that pattern.
Those labels can trigger certain unhealthy responses in you. Being good earns you a reward. Being bad gets you punishment.
And while you are busy flagellating yourself over what you ate, didn’t eat or overindulged in, the sun is still rising and the world is still turning.
Sure, some foods are way healthier than others. But at the end of the day, it’s all just food.
When I removed the label of good or bad, it became easier to make an objective, rational choice without any of that emotional stuff, guilt or shame creeping in.
3 – Your body has a natural, specific size and shape. Accept and nurture it.
Despite eating more, bodybuilding and being super organized and strict, I found it difficult to be the muscular, athletic build I wanted to be.
I pushed too hard and ended up very unwell.
That’s because I had totally unrealistic expectations about healthy eating and my body, and what I could achieve.
My body type and hormonal influences make it very difficult to achieve that shape – and then maintain it. I’m not designed to be a muscular, athletic build.
This is one of my most important lessons. Acceptance, and nurturing.
4 – No amount of body shaming by yourself or others will change your body
I’ve been shamed for most of my life by other people who think they know my body better than me.
People have called me derogatory names to my face. They’ve given me labels.
They’ve assumed things about me that aren’t true..
I’ve been pulled aside and lectured at parties for not eating properly (as if the person had followed me home and knew every detail of my eating habits).
And I’ve shamed and berated myself at times, too.
But at the end of the day, no amount of body shaming, by yourself or others, will change your body.
The only thing that can change your body is your mindset.
Once you have healthy beliefs about food and yourself (see points 1 – 3, for example) then healthy habits will follow.
Mastering your thoughts and mindset is actually the key to healthy eating, a healthy body, and a healthy body image.
If you need help with healthy eating, reach out and book a conversation with me.
It really helps to talk things through and get to the bottom of what’s eating you up, so you can move on with a healthier, more positive outlook.
Chief Inspiration Coach
I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.