When you first wake up in the morning, does your growling stomach send you dashing to the kitchen cupboard or do you cruise through your morning without a bite until lunch time? And what about that evening hour when you’re easing back after a long day and getting ready to shut your eyes, but your hunger pangs are just annoying enough that you could use one more quick bite before retiring for the night?
More importantly, how do you handle your body’s clear signals to your brain that it needs nourishment? Do you listen to them and allow yourself to quiet the rumbling, even if it’s your sixth meal of the day or do you ignore them and await your next scheduled feast?
Everyone has their own unique relationship with food and this very relationship can have the most impact on your health. Sure, romantic relationships, work relationships, friendships, and family ties are all critical to the health of your mind and body, but your relationship with food can solely determine how you function on a day-to-day basis.
For those of you with tumultuous, trying and somewhat dramatic relationships with food, the thought of your next meal may always be on your mind. You probably even find yourself scheduling everything else in your life around your next bite. If you make a commitment with a friend late morning, do you make sure you’re able to get home by noon so you don’t run late for your date with that chopped salad? Or do you get anxious when you know that your last meeting of the day will run late, setting off your whole evening schedule of meal prep, cook time and clean-up?
The very sustenance grown from this earth to keep you nourished and strong can also tear you apart – both physically and psychologically – if you don’t maintain a healthy relationship with it. On top of that, depriving your body of certain food groups can wreak havoc on your systems, causing your brain to slow down, your body to weaken and your emotions to spiral out of control.
Too many of us try to restrict our diet by limiting the amount of carbohydrates or fat we consume. While this may seem like a superficially effective way to keep your body slim and healthy, overdoing this can throw your whole metabolism out of whack, which will ultimately cause more harm than good.
So, what’s the solution? Sit down with the most important person in your life – yourself – and map out a balanced, healthy regimen that will not only work for your lifestyle, but will provide you with balance. Because at the end of the day, loving yourself and giving your body what it needs will keep you moving along the path of physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health.