Wellness — December 23, 2019 at 9:30 am

Fuel Your Fire: Part 2 of a Series on a Life Well Lived

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This is the 2nd installment in a 3-part series by Samantha Morris, VP Digital Marketing

Now that we’ve started this health conversation, and you’ve asked yourself the hard questions and created some attainable goals, how will you maintain your fire along your journey? The answer is with the right foods. If we have one shot at this life, and one body, we must take care of it. And with so many external factors in the world, the only thing we truly have control over is what we put into our bodies.

The problem with food is that it’s often used to emotionally satisfy, and we need to shift our perspective to start seeing it as fuel. It’s about figuring out what to eat to make you feel like your strongest, most clear-headed and energized self. Then you need to create a plan and budget to help access more of those foods or reach out for help if you’re not sure how best to do that. I’ve found this to be the biggest issue throughout health journeys. It’s not that people aren’t committed; they just haven’t taken all things into consideration.

During this planning process many people tell me they don’t want to give up certain things or “deprive themselves” in some way. I ask them to question why, and to really think about the reasoning behind those choices in the first place. Say you like going out with friends occasionally and having a few drinks. Is that a habit derived from something else, could you try an alternative, or do you really enjoy the overall experience? Always remember it’s not what we do every once in a while, but rather what we do on a regular basis. Make accommodations in your plan to offset those occasional times in a way that works for you.

Another common thing I notice is people often equate food and nutrition with body type. It’s a very dangerous thing because the shape of one’s body, or their overall health cannot be determined necessarily by the types of food that they consume. On the outside someone could appear fit, however many terrible things like disease or system break down could be happening on the inside.

Some of the most fit people in the world, eat some of the worst things. I mean have you seen Dwayne Johnson’s cheat days? We need to move beyond the weight aspect and really understand how food affects us. So many studies now show how certain foods, alcohol and other substances can have serious long-term effects on our body, especially sugar, which has been linked to brain development, memory and other cognitive behaviors.

Even I, as fit as I am, struggle with all the same cravings and time constraints that others do. I don’t cook at all, so I swear by a meal service. Not only does it solve the problem of convenience eating, I’m saving money at the grocery store, wasting less, and it makes meal planning super easy and as varied as I want.

Because of my consistent nutrition and fitness lifestyle, I never feel guilty about taking a vacation from life, or five to seven days at an all you can eat, all-inclusive. When I do have down time and I want to indulge in things I wouldn’t normally consume, there’s absolutely no guilt. Although I don’t handle sugar very well, I still feel the addiction to it like so many others do. I have my own vices and treat myself every day by putting myself first and doing something for myself, but even I put on five or ten pounds when I travel. It’s okay, because it’s just weight. It’s like a bad haircut, it’ll go away. It’s not permanent. l know I will fix it. I know I haven’t made a decision that will forever change my life or take something away from me. It’s a moment in time.

Yes, it’s the holiday season of potlucks and parties. Yes, sometimes it’s more difficult to get back to where we want to be, but let’s also realize that yes, the body changes. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself if this where you want to be or where you think you need to be? But whatever the answer is, confidence is comfort in your own skin. Let’s all have a little more love and grace for ourselves.

Read Part 3

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. None of the information presented is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is a personal account and individual experiences may vary. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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