I am a holistic health coach. I am also a regular mom. I have my struggles with my body. I have my struggles with feeling guilty over eating food that I have been conditioned to thinking are “bad”. (ie. – not healthy)
Many of you who have talked with me know that I am not extreme. I do not care to focus solely on nutrition when I work with clients. Being healthy is not just about eating healthy food. Sometimes being healthy means eating that piece of dessert that you have been craving.
I didn’t always think this way. I must admit that for a time, I was pretty extreme in my eating and in my thinking. Still, not as extreme as some, yet I was still pretty rigid. I started off my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ready to learn how to become a health coach. I didn’t quite know what that meant, yet I knew that if i could help someone learn to eat healthy, they could feel so much better. They could lose weight without a fad diet, they could possibly reduce chronic pain, and they could prevent sickness and disease. I was on a mission. Meanwhile, as a student, we were taught about 200 different dietary theories, ranging from Raw Food to Macrobiotic, to South Beach to everything in between. In the end, we learned that ” no one diet works for everyone”.
So where am I getting at with this? As I went through training, I became so focused on eating the “right” foods that I had become judgmental of those who were not eating what I deemed was the “correct” way. I started eyeing those who were overweight, wondering what they were eating and how I could help them. They became my targets. I assumed that they were eating junk food.
Friends may have seen me eying them as they gave their kids such “horrible” foods as Goldfish crackers and kool-aid. I wonder if the disapproving look was obvious? I wonder if I made them feel guilty or “less than” as a mom?
Going to the school was like being a happy Newlywed. I was elated with how I felt when I ate healthy. I had found a way to manage my Fibromyalgia symptoms, I had more energy and I just felt better all around. Therefore, I was overly zealous about converting others to a healthy diet.
It’s interesting what can happen over time. If you have followed me ever since I started as a student, you may have noticed a bit of a shift. I started off only talking about food and nutrition, then I talked more about stress and why we have cravings, and the concept of Mindful Eating. I still talk about those things, but I now focus a lot on how we feel about our body, and reducing stress so we can enjoy life. I don’t even make weight loss the most important goal. And my clients are still very happy! I even encourage eating the occasional junk food. I have NOT thrown in the towel in regards to healthy eating…. heck, everyone knows me at my near by Whole Foods Market…. yet, I don’t fret if my kids bring home candy from school, of if they are eating too many gluten filled pretzels. Life is all about balance- listening to our body and enjoying the moments as they come.
I had the ultimate realization about how much my mind set has changed when recently I decided to make “Mummy Dogs” for Halloween. (inspired by an online search for Halloween meals for kids)
I wanted to do something fun for the kids. So I decided instead of taking the time to make gluten free crescent rolls , I bought Pillsbury Crescent rolls to wrap around the hot dogs. Guess what ingredients are in the crescent rolls? F’*#*#ing Hydrogenated Oil, Red 40 and Yellow 6 for damn’s sakes. In that moment, in the grocery store, as I read the label as a good, health conscious person does, I hesitated. Do I put the thing down in the name of all that is healthy and good, or do I keep my promise to my kids, because, after all, it’s just one day?
Obviously, I bought the Pillsbury crap. But… instead of continuing to think of it as crap, I looked at it as “fun food”. Fun, because …well….it puts the “Mummy” in “Mummy Dogs”… I knew that my kids would get a kick out of it.
So I want to conclude this post with an open apology to all those who I may have hurt in the past.
–I apologize for the disapproving looks.
–I apologize for coming on too strong regarding “evil” ingredients.
–I apologize for subconsciously keeping you at arms’ length because you did not fit my world.
When it all boils down to it, yes, eating a lot of crap will possibly make you feel just like that….. like crap. It may make you gain weight. It may contribute to heart disease or cancer.
Yet, stress also does that. Stress plays a HUGE role in how we feel. Heck, some people eat super clean and still cannot lose weight. These super clean eaters even get diseases. Obsessing about healthy eating is also stressful.
This does NOT mean that I encourage anyone to say, “I give up. Who cares about spinach and kale and quinoa?” However, I don’t think many of you are saying that. I feel like many of you DO know what to eat. But, you also know that eating the occasional junk food is not going to kill you.
My kids ate the Mummy Dogs. Maybe eating scary ingredients was fitting for Halloween. They are still here. They survived. And we made some really good memories together.
What did you do for Halloween?
By the way, Happy November!! October seemed to fly by!
Certified Holistic Health and Body Image Coach