Can you think of an event where you had a little too much to eat or drink and felt so uncomfortable that you couldn't even enjoy yourself the rest of the time? Overeating or drinking can absolutely ruin an event. I can think of a number of different occasions when this has happened to me and I just don’t want that for myself anymore. Today I am much more self-aware. I am mindful of what I am eating, when I am eating, how much I am eating and how I feel after. Tuning in to how I feel after I eat is something I never used to take in to account, but has made a huge difference. Planning out what to eat beforehand is so important. Looking up the menu to a restaurant and checking out the options is always something I like to do now. Offering to make a dish to bring to a party is a great idea as well. This way I know what the ingredients are and it’s a healthy option I know I will be able to eat if there isn’t anything else appealing to me.
Holistic health care is an approach that is so important because it treats the person as a whole, mind body and soul. I didn’t always take into consideration all of these aspects of health and how they effected my eating habits, weight and body image. I was most definitely an emotional eater. I would eat because I was bored or stressed. I would mindlessly eat an entire bag of chips and feel terrible about it both physically and mentally. I still catch myself sometimes in the moment and I ask “am I actually hungry or is it something else?”. Checking in with myself and figuring out my patterns and behaviors was so important. Self-awareness is truly the key to long term success.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I have tried a lot of different “diets”. The problem was that I would eventually fall back into the same unhealthy habits. The word diet to so many people is associated with restricting yourself of something, whether it be calories or an entire food group. When in reality diets are part of our lives and how we nourish our body. They don’t start or end on a certain day (the famous line “I’ll start Monday”), or pose limits on us. Diets are every day. I will still have that hot dog at a fourth of July party, bun and all, because I will not completely eliminate anything from my diet that I enjoy. But the difference is I don’t do this all the time and I don’t have 7 of them in one sitting.
Now, when I am bored, I find something else to do. I read, take the dog for a walk, call a friend. Instead of turning to food or alcohol when I am stressed, I will work out, clean, write in my journal, or go for a drive. It is so important to have outlets for when you feel stressed, bored, or anxious. I take the time for selfcare now. I do something just for me each day. Taking the time to journal is very important to me, even if it’s just a few sentences each day. Getting my thoughts and feelings out pen to paper feels good to me and is something I would suggest to help figure out those patterns and behaviors that might trigger you.
Building these new healthy habits takes time. None of this came to me over night. In fact, it has taken years. Each day is a new opportunity to treat myself the way I deserve to be treated, with kindness, patience, peacefulness, nourishing foods, movement, and surrounding myself with the people and places that make me happy. As my own journey continues, I hope to take everything that I have learned so far and teach it to anyone who needs a guiding hand along in their journey.