How much of a good thing is too much?
At what point does a concern for healthy eating become a burden on the brain?
How can an enjoyment of delicious food become such a burden on the body?
Is there a place of peace between gluttony and deprivation?
When I think about what I do for a living – what draws me to it- many things come to mind. There is the genuine concern for all people’s well being and health, combined with a curiosity and interest in the science of food and the body, and a desire to teach it in a simplified way. Having clear and simplified understanding of this amazing machine and how to fuel it and use it allows people to make clear and well-informed choices about how they live and eat and move. Without this sound knowledge, decisions about how you live and eat will be made by the self-interested workings of the food and fitness industries, marketing and the media.
When I first began working in this field, straight out of school and with a one-track mind about the right way to eat and the one way to exercise, it soon became apparent that real living somehow had to fit into the equation. I met people who loved dining out, loved to entertain and cook, whose real joy in life came from sharing meals and wine after a hard day or week of work. I met people who loved to walk and be outdoors but had no interest in pumping weights in a gym. This threw me for a loop, as an avid gym trainer and promoter of regimented meals. With each passing year working with people in nutrition and training, I came to embrace and realize that the true quest for most people is to find and continually modify a balance – where both eating and activity can be thoroughly enjoyed and aligned with what fuels the body and satisfies the soul. This can be a challenge for most of us, especially as we find ourselves living in a world of extremes and imbalance, with deprivation being mirrored by gluttony.
While there are many mental, cultural, economical and emotional components associated with how we eat and exercise, the challenge for most people when it comes to healthful living is how to live fully (pleasurably) and how to live healthfully. Is there a place in between enjoyment and excess?
The manipulative tactics of media and marketing poison minds, prey on weaknesses, and feed insecurities. These days, perfect body health means extreme thinness for women and buff and built for men. The unfortunate quest for both of these ideals contradicts the principles of wellness. Obsession with food and exercise is not an enjoyable way to live. I have spoken with many people who feel trapped by this craving of physical perfection; an ideal that can never allow for balance.
How DOES one find a middle ground between activity and laziness, gluttony and deprivation, care and disregard for one’s physical health? I’m curious to hear your input. What doYOU think is the key to keeping the scale evenly weighted between eating well and enjoying excessively ?
I believe it begins with learning about the body. As if you were learning how to operate a machine. Taking interest is the first step. Learn how to fuel your brain and muscles. Work the body hard and it will work hard for you in return. The stronger you make your heart and muscles, the more resilient you will become and the better you will feel. The better you feel and function, the more inspired you will be to pay attention to what you eat and find the time to move. Its like lining up Dominoes. Just tap the genuine interest and curiosity and it will go from there.