Day 48–100 Days To A Healthy Relationship With Food
Sometimes you get those days. When two members of your family become ill at the same time. When the contractor repairing your property tells you it’s not the standard fix but in fact remedial work which will cost tens of thousands.
How do you react?
I usually ate. And drank. A lot.
Not any more. Not yet, anyway.
Adversity tests us. What is adversity for one, is a walk in the park for the other, and vice versa. It’s not for anyone else to judge what pushes your buttons.
But when your buttons get pushed, what do you reach for? And instead of reaching for something, can you stay strong?
We’re inching towards a trendy self-help word, but it’s trendy because people are realising its crucial importance to thriving in the modern world:
According to this article on the Mind (a UK mental health charity) website, resilience can be defined like this:
“Resilience is not just your ability to bounce back, but also your capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. Resilience isn’t a personality trait — it’s something that we can all take steps to achieve.” — ‘How To Manage Stress’, www.mind.org.uk
It’s a complex manoeuvre. Adapt, but maintain stability. Like a tricky yoga pose, where your core stays firm but you stretch, reach and contort. Or patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time.
It’s easy to do one or the other too much.
Mind’s tips for building resilience are these:
- Make lifestyle changes — be assertive, relax, find balance
- Look after physical health — sleep well, be active, eat well
- Give yourself a break — change scenery, reward yourself, forgive yourself
- Build your support network — friends, family, peers, professionals
Wow — there is so much good stuff and common sense in that list. I feel like I want to write it down and carry it with me. A list that concise and on-point could only come from an organisation that knows its stuff.
It occurs to me that it’s only since doing this project — when I have to write a new article every day for 100 days which is linked to my relationship with food — that I have researched some real basics of mental health.
There’s a clue here as to why I so often, unhelpfully, turned to food and drink for comfort. I didn't know any better. But that seems so ridiculous now. If I’d have just picked one thing off that list, I would have done far better.
We’re all different in how we react to adversity. I learned something about myself today. When something challenging happens, I panic initially. When my contractor told me about the huge upcoming costly work to our property, all I could see were the bad sides. How would we find the money? Why did this have to happen now? I needed to rant and stomp for a bit (like a kid).
That’s the point (straight after the ranting and stomping) when I would have started heading for the biscuit tin or the fridge and I would have blocked it all out with a headlong dive into eating and drinking.
Because of this project, I didn't.
And instead, I noticed my thoughts and observed them changing. Slowly but surely I started to see the opportunities (if we do the work properly, it will add value and give us a chance to make some other upgrades) and the positives (I’m glad we found out now, any longer and something could have really gone wrong).
So perhaps I have more resilience than I think? I just never saw it because I was burying it (and everything else) with food and drink.
“May your fears become the pavement to your ultimate self. May all the bits and pieces that you always believed to be broken become the strongest parts of your soul. Because adversity is the backbone to resilience.”
It really spoke to me. That idea that the broken bits can become the strongest bits. In addressing my relationship with food (which has been broken for too long) I’m giving the chance for other parts of my character (like my resilience) to shine through. I’m not sure that’s how she meant it, but that’s the beauty of others reading your words — they can create their own meanings with them. And if that helps, then it’s all good.
On track. As I move towards the half-way point of this project, I can feel the roots of real permanent change beginning to form. It’s a start. A really good start.
47/48/100 (Number of days goals met/ number of days into project/ 100)
Be responsible about food and weight management. Research a healthy weight, and healthy methods of weight management for you physically and mentally. Remember, you are not defined by what you weigh. I am not a nutritionist.