HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
Watching the paint dry won't make it dry any faster
Let's say you painted the walls of your room. Do you agree with me that you can't dry the paint using the power of your mind? I mean although the paint will dry if you sit there and stare at the walls, that won't be because of you. So why not paint the room, open the windows, go do something else and let the paint dry by itself? That's the logical thing to do right?
By now I'm sure you're thinking 'what is she talking about?!?'
Well, the same analogy applies to weight loss. I know you're probably confused so let me explain.
You see, many of the clients with whom I work come to see me because they want to lose weight and they get a bit confused (even disappointed) when they realize that my work does not focus on weight loss. They don't understand why I keep encouraging them to stop tracking every calorie they eat and every single step they take and instead focus on how to build an environment that is conducive to them getting healthier.
Why focus on your environment? That's because if you keep trying, day in and day out, to consciously do something that is at odds with your environment, your ability to make wise choices will slowly decline – that is what we call decision fatigue.
I'm not saying that you cannot change your habits through choice and repetition but that your environment must be at least minimally supportive of your choices. If it is not supportive, then either try to make it supportive or just change your environment.
For instance, let's say that your boss tends to ask too much of you and you find it hard to object to his request. Unfortunately, that really stresses you out (while messing up your hormones, gut flora and digestion) and makes it hard for you to stick to your health goals. Then, the step to take here could be to make a list of how you could benefit your company if you were allowed to focus on X number of projects or tasks at a time. If your boss is not willing to consider your points, then you might benefit from deciding whether or not to look for another job which would be less demanding and more rewarding. Or you could move to another department.
When it comes to health, not being able to stick to goals is often not due to a lack of will power but to an environment that is not conducive to healthy habits. What do you think you can do to change that?
Submitted by: Shari
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