Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday Morning. What Diet Did You Wake Up Next To?

Soooo, I don't think I'm presenting a foreign scenario;

Its Monday morning, and one of the last thoughts of the night before was perhaps, "Okay, tomorrow I start that diet. I've really misbehaved this weekend, but come tomorrow things are gonna change."

Yikes! Why even go there Miss Erin? Monday mornings are enough of a pain to get through!

Last Friday morning I had a delightful and enlightening conversation with a friend of mine who also regularly takes my morning Zumba class that I teach 3 mornings a week.

She had asked me what I eat for breakfast normally. I've actually been asked that question many times, although mostly on mornings that I get a little wild in the energy department. Aside from that, I often think breakfast is sometimes how we set the pace/successes vs. failures of the rest of our day and our relationship with food. Ohhh, there it is. Our relationship with food.

Food, or rather fuel, is necessary. Food is comfort. Food is connections, whether with friends and family or culture, often both.

Food can also be a form of poison or a form of medicine. It can work against one's journey for health and wellness or help to pave the way.

Okay, back to the conversation.

I told my friend what I normally do, the reasons why and blah blah blah.

Our conversation started going in the direction of how choices are made often times by what relationship we are in with our "diets".

Maybe we have a relationship with a diet that is very demanding. You must do exactly this, in this amount at exactly this time.

Or perhaps you're in a crazy whirl wind adventure, where you trick the pounds away before your body realizes that you are majorly screwing with it!

Whatever the name or gimmick it always seems to be the same mess that you wake up to. Sure, it was perhaps new and exciting at first. The smell of optimism intoxicating. But a two week "crash" relationship does not make for a lifetime of security, confidence, trust and enlightenment. Pretty much the opposite.

If you think about a "diet" as someone that you would want to build a life with, the mundane and everyday as well as the glory of shared years, what would you look for?

Restrictions and unrelenting, as well as possibly unrealistic, demands?

False promises? A quick fix (one even quicker to come apart at the seams)?

Or rather;

Loving, nourishing and reasonable.

Realistic, with room for meeting your needs as an individual.

Doesn't take your intelligence for granted, but holds your hand with enthusiasm for the journey of discovery.

Not just for a couple of "shocking" weeks, but for a lifetime.

In my opinion, one's relationship with food should be one that is realistic, nourishing, custom-fitting and flexible, with spaces for both exceptions and hard limits (example; frozen yogurt/ice cream Tuesdays means so much to my kids. I'm having me some fro-yo or ice cream on Tuesdays. Gluten, no, not ever. At least not intentionally. Sorry Grandma. I love you, but I'm not eating a piece of that cake).

Am I perfect in all that I do food and nourishment wise? Um, hell to the no! Do I see my shortcomings as exactly that and not a reason or excuse to, pardon the cliche expression, throw the baby out with the bath water?  I've learned to in the last year and a half.

Oh, and let's rethink cheating. You don't cheat on something you are in a loving relationship with.There are treats. And those treats should not be followed by punishments. You go out with your buddies a number of nights or get tied up with projects, maybe you then focus on setting aside time with your loved ones (spouse, kids, what have you). You partake in foods you normally avoid, just make better choices for a number of days that follow to get yourself back on track. Its a journey! Not a race or competition.

Now comes the hardest part.

Finding the "one". The right "one". I'm talking lifestyle, which includes diet, exercise, stress management and adequate sleep (that one is a real bugger for me personally!).

So far I haven't talked much, if at all really, on this blog about nutrition (okay, maybe a little with links to Mark's Daily Apple, Everyday Paleo and I'll throw on a couple others, PaleoNonPaleo and Wellness Mama). But for the last eighteen months or so, it has been an important part of my family's and my journey of health and wellness.

As far as relationships with food and diet...oh, I've had my bad times.

Perhaps at some point I will post more extensively about that journey (successes and, dare I say it...failures, which should really be read as struggles).

So our conversation basically came to the conclusion that how one views food and nourishment should be held to the same standards as a lifetime commitment type of relationship. Don't settle for less than you deserve! You are worth the time and energy to find what works, and I mean what works for the long term, the everyday, both the good days and the bad.

Oh, and about starting fresh come Monday morning; screw that! Changes can be made any day of the week at any hour. Your sink is dripping Thursday night, you don't wait till Monday morning to fix it. Get on it now. It's not a house fire. You can safely make little steps, anytime.

Favorite breakfast; eggs scrambled in coconut oil served with half an avocado.

Enjoy the dance that is life!

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