There’s a lot of talk at the moment about diet, wellness, and mental health. Talk is good. Increasing awareness is good. Stirring up guilt and anxiety is not.
It’s a topic I have wanted to write about for a while and after reading this article by previous Great British Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh I felt even more compelled. The article is quite long but stick with it because it is so worthwhile, written well and very informed.
My blog features a lot of cake but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about my health. I don’t smoke, I eat over five fruit and veg a day, I exercise regularly, and eat few processed foods. But I still have the cake, I still have the sticky toffee pudding, the ice cream, pizza, and other delicious things branded an unhealthy.
The key is balance! If I want a piece of cake (which I often do) I’ll just have a small slice. Banning certain foods from your diet, in my opinion, is futile. That piece of cake will become more desirable if you resist it and you’ll drive yourself crazy with longing. So just eat it! Don’t be gluttonous and eat the whole circumference but allow yourself to enjoy your food. You may gain a few calories but you also gain happiness! As long as you get your nutrients from your main meals there’s very little harm in a treat. Healthy food shouldn’t be seen as dull either, it can be equally tasty!
I am very lucky in that I love exercise and I love healthy food. Loving what you do is the best way to do it well. I’ve just finished reading ‘Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen’ by Christopher McDougall. If you are interested in running, or any sport for that matter, then you must read this book! The ending made me genuinely emotional. What comes across most is the correlation between successful runners and the joy they find in running.
If you dread your morning run and spend the whole time thinking of your pain and how much you’d rather be in bed, you’re obviously not going to enjoy it! Take pleasure in the little things around you, the strength of your body, and the freedom that comes from escaping routine for a short period, and maybe you’ll start to love running! The more you do it the easier it becomes too, so embrace your pain, it means you’re improving (unless you’ve pulled something, in which case you should get that checked out).
Life needs balance. Eat your greens and your cake too, in moderation. Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up for pudding and a glass of wine. Don’t deprive yourself. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect but perfect doesn’t exist!
Most importantly, listen to your body! If you’re hungry eat, if you’re full stop, if you’re tired go to bed. Only you can feel what is happening to your body so take responsibility for how you treat it. Love yourself, you deserve it.
Let me know what you think! Have a happy week!
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