How do you see yourself? If someone asked you to describe yourself, what words come to mind? Our thought perception is indomitably tied to our actions, it’s true. We may not register this on a regular basis, or ever at all, but what we think affects how we act.
Consider nutrition. What does nutrition mean to you? For most, the images conjured include a bounty of “healthful” foods, regardless of our personal perspective of those foods. Some hear the word nutrition and cringe, thinking of all the foods they should eat, but don’t. Others hear the word nutrition and smile, imagining all the foods that nourish and replenish their body. Where are you?
For a moment set aside the thoughts of what you were taught to be “nutritious.” We have so many predetermined ideas of this concept, and where do you think we got them? Media, family, friends, doctors, random people offering opinions at the grocery store… All these people have slowly but steadily formed your perspective on health and nutrition, and now you have adopted it as your own. But is it?
One thing I teach my clients is that no two people are alike. You are not me, I am not you, nor are we the next person. So why would your definition of nutrition be based on some other person? Sure, the general concepts will all look similar, because ultimately we want to be and feel our best. But when you look at the minute details, this is where it gets interesting and where we all need to pay attention.
Take your general framework, or bone structure if you will, of nutrition. Eat real food, foods that grow in nature, foods that contain natural vitamins and minerals. Drink water, exercise, breathe. Right? But what next? Next we need to cover our foundation with the materials that will provide security. Plaster the walls? Close the gaps? Seal the leaks? This is where we get individual. Because what you choose to secure your foundation with can and probably should be different than the next person. And this is simply because we are different.
You get to decide what (natural) foods work for you, and the how and the when and all those little details. I find that when you listen to your body, it talks. It tells you exactly what it needs. Foods we gravitate to often are just what we need, and those we are repelled by may just not be what we need. (Note, I am not referring to those cookies calling our name or that batch of highly processed french fries… sorry, friends.)
I often ask my students and clients to make one change to their diet and track it for a period of time. One young man chose to increase his water intake to see how he felt. He reported back to me that he did indeed feel better when he drank more water, including having increased energy, more mental clarity, and that he felt less stressed and moody than before. But the best result of all? He noted that just by carrying a water bottle with him throughout the day, he immediately felt better about himself. He felt like that water bottle carried a message to himself and others that he was a person who cared about his health, and because of that, he felt more confident and he identified himself as someone who cared about his health. What’s more, he even started to care more about his health.
So consider that for a moment. What images do you personally identify as healthy? Not what the magazine you read said, but you, personally. Green foods? Smoothies? Quality water intake? Maybe you envisioned a person outdoors, exercising or digging in the garden. Someone who is making a beautiful salad full of fresh vegetables. Maybe, just maybe, this person is smiling and exuding warmth and contentment. Fill your mind with the images of health that bring positivity and encourage growth in your life. Crowd out the ones that don’t. There is no room for them in your mind, nor in your life. Remember, we foster our health through our thought. It is those thoughts that will guide our actions.