As we wrap up National Nutrition Month, let us all reflect on how we each have a part to play in our own health, the health of others and the world. The theme of National Nutrition Month this year was Savor The Flavor of Eating Right. That theme in itself is a balanced statement, isn’t it? Eating right can be enjoyable and yes, we can eat for pleasure! It is not an either / or situation.
Are you healthy? Or better yet – do you live a healthy lifestyle? When presented one or both of those questions, we have to ask ourselves what is the definition of healthy or a healthy lifestyle. For some people it may mean one thing while it may mean something totally different to someone else. The media is famous for putting that tag on someone or something that may not be “healthy” at all and so we are left feeling confused. What does that look like anyway?
In our practice here at Lemond Nutrition, we see a wide spectrum of people seeking a “healthy lifestyle.” But the real goal to me is getting a good handle on what I call “Wellness Balance.” There are people along that balance spectrum from lacking any control over their health decisions to people that – for lack of a better phrase – just need to chill out! I am sure you know people along this spectrum. I would venture to say that a single person can go up and down on this spectrum at different times in their life as well. I’ve seen what starts out as great intentions, suddenly goes extreme. Or, someone that had wellness balance at one time in their life now is feeling out of control in so many areas that they are desperate to get back to the health they once had.
Here is a graphic I created to provide more of a visual of this topic.
IMBALANCE AREAS: Lacking Control and Over Control
Lacking Control. These types of people really feel overwhelmed by their weight, health or they could even be in denial or indifferent. When you are lacking control then you will be more lead by your emotions, impulses and fad diets. A person more on this side of the spectrum may be “on” their healthy plan and then “off” at various times in their life desiring for a specific number on the scale, but never really in a consistent place. Sleep is inconsistent; either you cannot seem to get to bed at a decent time or you suffer from insomnia. You may find your self-care (eating regular meals, exercising consistently) always getting pushed off by other people’s needs or your overly demanding calendar. You just can’t seem to take the time. If you are on the far left of this spectrum, you could suffer from binge eating disorder, anorexia bulimia, morbid obesity and/or diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Over Control. Ironically, many of these traits are often an acceptable version of "healthy," but are in fact, imbalanced.These types of people are often lead by fear. They read a ton about nutrition and health – and form a mindset based on the things they read. They are very militant about their thoughts and carry them through in a rigid manner. They are so rigid that they do things like exercise even when sick or not eat if they do not have access to what they believe is a healthy choice. This type may be a very hard core exerciser that likes to do extreme races or competitions. Unfortunately, the part of the spectrum is vulnerable to things such as anorexia nervosa, orthorexia or bodily injury due to extreme eating and exercising behaviors.
OPTIMAL AREA: Wellness Balance
Know Your Control. A person that has wellness balance knows what they can control and what they cannot. Our bodies are miraculous machines and if treated right, have the capacity to run very well into a very ripe old age. They know that this requires consistent behaviors to make this happen. A consistent emphasis on eating nutrient rich, plant-based foods with strategic protein and healthy fats is the key to their eating pattern. A well-balanced individual sees exercise and movement as a critical part of feeling good on an everyday basis and does it not to maintain a certain weight, but to continue feeling and sleeping well. They take in food, nutrition and wellness information and scrutinize it through an evidence-based lens before incorporating it in their life. They are generally happy and positive people that make the most out of life and don’t sweat the small stuff. Well-balanced people make a point of surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals.
RATE YOURSELF: What Are You?
Instead of asking yourself if you are a healthy person or living a healthy lifestyle, ask yourself if you have wellness balance. It is a balanced spectrum, and we might find ourselves on one part of the spectrum in different parts of our lives for various reasons. But remember what you can control and what you cannot is key. What I would suggest is sitting down with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) that specializes in wellness. Allow them to start you on a balanced plan while educating you on what really is true health and wellness.
As say goodbye to National Nutrition Month for another year, we want to leave you with some great resources to keep you going all year long until we blog again on National Nutrition Month next March!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Tons of free food and nutrition information by topic that is practical and reliable. There is a national search for a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) in your area. Many of us take insurance that often covers the entire cost of your visit. If you don't like to read, go to their EatRightTV YouTube Channel and check out their great videos!
Food and Nutrition Magazine: A great resource of recipes, various cooking and nutrition topics written by RDNs across the country. Stone Soup and The Cutting Board blogs are also housed on this site. Stone Soup is a conglomerate of dietitians all over the country posting on various topics. The Cutting Board covers various topics releated to food safety. Food and Nutrition Magaine has some very beautful and inspiring Pinterest boards! Check them out.
Kids Eat Right: All things kids, wellness and feeding by age. Reliable. Practical. Actionable.
If you live in the Dalla/Fort Worth area, give us a call and see how we can help you and your family balance your wellness. At Lemond Nutrition, it's nutrition month every month!