This came my way this week and though it sounds a little harsh, it’s a very in-your-face truism that shouldn’t be ignored (hence, I’m sure, why it was phrased this way.)
Everyone is different – nutritional requirements, for example, vary depending on a TON of factors, some of which are not in our control (age is a fine example.) But at the end of the day, we all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves – we have one “vessel” this go around, and while it can take some beating…it isn’t impervious.
Not everyone can fit in a long-winded routine during the day – I’ve been there. At one time it was 12 to 14 hour days, sometimes with only three hours of sleep (with a three-hour commute split in half on each side.) At another, there were weeks of frequent overseas travel with 12 to 14 hour days, and a nonexistent gym (not that I would have had the energy anyway!) And yet another, I was balancing a competitive sport with long days and total exhaustion – work, train, sleep…with a little bit of food in between.
BUT…despite the timeline being against me most of the time, there were things I could do – whether walking to work, taking the stairs at the hotel, doing a quick routine in my room…something…ANYthing…to get a little movement in. It matters. The body is designed to move – not just take in fuel and do nothing with it..
On that latter point, clean eating – a component equally as vital – doesn’t mean you need follow the same diet as a body builder (you’d be amazed how much a body builder’s diet can vary from a figure competitor, or bikini competitor…forget about just a healthy, fit adult!) What it does mean, though, is caring about the fuel you put into your body so you feel – and function – your best. You wouldn’t put low quality fuel into a Ferrari and expect it to hit it’s potential, right? You’re the Ferrari!!!
Keeping in mind that everyone’s needs are unique, sticking to whole, real foods (ones nature produces) and less processed items is your best bet. Your body needs calories, by the way – it needs protein, carbohydrates AND fats to function…not only optimally, but at all!
I see two things happen a lot in society – in the USA, at least, it’s become about convenience, and size. If it’s easy to get, and / or the portions are enormous for the money, people flock to it without internalizing the longer-term effect.
I feel like if more time was spent either making food…or sitting down to savor it…and / or people ate smaller portions and let themselves digest a moment, that health would be less of a national concern. Yes, it can be that simple. (Think I’m crazy? The awareness is out there – example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4…yikes! There are also, obviously, have been a ton of articles on the topic over the last few years.)
Given the time of year, as an aside, it’s helpful to remember that just because the calendar says it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean we have to go overboard – it doesn’t feel good to be overstuffed (I don’t know anyone who thinks so, honestly.) There is truly no need – most supermarkets carry holiday food items for a while before and after…so you don’t have to worry about getting it all in at once. Smaller portions also allow you to enjoy everything, without that horrible, ruined-my-night-feeling-sick aftermath.
There are a lot of factors going into determining our overall health – some, again, are ones we aren’t in charge of (wouldn’t it be nice if we were?!) But there are A LOT of things we *CAN* do to take care of ourselves, to stay healthy, and in shape. Neglecting ourselves is a quick route to sickness (and for you active people, that goes for us too – doing too much might be our trouble spot, landing us in overtraining drudgery.)
We really DON’T get that many chances. And honestly, no one wants to have to be in a precarious situation first to get the message that loving and taking care of our health is up to us, and a huge priority.
If you are new to it, DON’T WORRY! Baby steps are a-okay. 🙂 There are a ton of resources out there to help you (like the snappy food portion visuals below.) One day at a time always seems to be the best advice – for, ohhh, EVERYTHING! Remember that you are in control – YOU get to choose – and that you deserve to feel your best every day. ❤
Hungry Girl also has a few HOLIDAY TIPS…
More on the food front…