It’s National Nutrition Month and if we’re honest, the word nutrition isn’t one most people want to hear about. We associate it with negative things like being told we need to eat less, lose weight, we don’t look right…basically, that we aren’t enough. In reality, nutrition is the opposite! Nutrition is about being abundant in how we nourish our bodies and that in turn has a huge impact on who we are. Perhaps this month we can practice turning our minds away from nutrition being about anything negative and more about all the wonderful positives! National Nutrition Month should be a reminder to us all, that every time we put something in our mouths it’s an opportunity, not a punishment.
What is nutrition? According to https://www.dictionary.com/browse/nutrition one definition says: Nutrition: noun: the act or process of nourishing or of being nourished.
What sticks out to us in the definition is the word, “nourish.” Which the same website defines as a verb meaning: “to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.”
Therefore, we can start to look at nutrition as an opportunity to supply ourselves with the nourishment for the life, health, and growth that we want to sustain. But it takes practice! Magazines, commercials, diet culture, and Hollywood love talking about “diets” and “weight loss” as though it’s a measure of success and self-worth. They want us to measure people by what they look like physically and it’s not working!
Nutrition is not a specific size. Nutrition is not a certain weight. Nutrition is not getting a certain job, partner, car, or anything. Nutrition is how we feed our bodies to sustain them. Yes, the way we look is impacted by what we put in our mouths, but it’s also impacted by what we feed our minds, how we move our bodies, our sleep, stress, and many other factors and health implications. Nutrition however comes from food, and we all need food to stay alive. Not all food is nutritious and there is a lot of food that won’t bring nourishment to our bodies or lives.
Not all food is created equal. For example, some food is literally created in factories and labs and other food is naturally grown and raised in gardens and on farms. When we want to nourish our bodies, we do want to look for foods that are filled with things our bodies “need,” and we know they need water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. We also know our bodies burn calories as energy, and everyone uses different amounts of energy. There is a balanced way of learning to fuel our bodies with the most nourishing foods possible and staying within a healthy amount of food, meaning not too much and not too little.
Take a moment to ask yourself: What are you eating? When you think about the life, health, and growth that we desire to sustain, are the foods you are eating something that will help you achieve, maintain, and sustain this?
Diet cultures want you to jump from one fad diet to the next. They want you to yo-yo in your weight, and mental health and the need to keep dieting, so they can keep profiting, but it’s no way to live! You may find that you truly can eat most foods, but the nourishing foods come more easily, and your health increases in a way that you feel more comfortable with other foods you’ve been told you “can’t have.” If you are struggling with food and nutrition, consider talking with your healthcare provider, registered dietician, or certified/licensed professional.
We must eat to live! That should bring more to our lives than stress, struggle, and despair. Nutrition should bring nourishment not just to your body, but nourishment to your whole life! Nourish yourself well.
Director of The Wellness Center