Education is an interesting thing. The more we know, the more choice we have to do something with it. I could go down many rabbit holes of my thoughts here, but I’ll stick to one: nutrition.
I have always been mostly good at eating right and being healthy. Ultimately good health and performance are high on my list of values and priorities. As an obese kid, into an overweight teen, body image was always an issue. The cause wasn’t necessarily that I ate badly but that I was very inactive and shy. Then I found exercise and change started to happen. Mainly my relationship with myself and with food.
Through training to be a nutrition coach, I have learnt so much. Biology wasn’t my strength in school, so the basics have fascinated me. Learning about how our body processes different macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and how they are used to fuel physical and mental performance.
I was previously one of those people that was scared to go near carbs because I believed they would make me fat. Meanwhile as a complete contradiction, I wanted to be able to squat at least 1.5 times my body weight. Of course I had heard the expression “mass moves mass” and I understood the concept, but it didn’t change my perspective. Not really.
Through education, I have learnt so much about how my body works. How it stores and uses food. How much more you need to consume for basic function than I had ever been able to appreciate. The fact that you need glucose from carbohydrates to fuel your brain function, that this is the primary and preferred fuel source for mental performance – this is before getting into the major benefit for physical performance.
This has helped me, personally, to a level that I’m not sure how to fully explain.
In times of high stress, I have been able to understand that my goals don’t always marry up. That if I want to perform my best at work or in the gym, then being on a ‘diet’ is not the answer. However, having a ‘good diet’, eating mindfully, healthily and consuming fresh, whole foods will help me immeasurably.
Going back to my earlier point, education teaches us the information and the options. It is up to us to choose the option we want to use, it allows us to have opportunities. It is our values and our priorities that shape the way we use it.
Right now, my priority is to keep myself healthy, to keep my brain happy and to care for my mental health. One way I know I can do that, is to eat well and to cut myself some slack if I choose to have one too many biscuits or pieces of chocolate. That enforcing daily movement – either strength, conditioning or mobility – will help me to feel more calm. That in this time of extreme change and uncertainty, I can make positive decisions to care for myself, using the information I have learnt and setting myself realistic goals.
Ultimately, I have learnt that I can cut myself some slack. I am however still teaching myself how to do that in reality.
I can also work with my clients to inform them and provide a voice of reason and kindness to soften their thoughts, point out the wins and inform their decisions through evidence and effective coaching.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can reach your goals, please do get in touch. I’d be delighted to talk more!