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Fuelling my body with nourishment, not anxiety🥝

Nutrition is fundamental to overall wellness, affecting every aspect of physical and mental health and goes hand in hand with exercise, cognitive function and overall health.

FYI, I’m not planning on banging on about what nutrients are good for what, I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian (start here or here for in depth discussion), so discussions about nutrition will primarily focus on my own experience, and likely some meal ideas will pop in every now and then.

Eating the “right” thing sometimes feels like just another pressure we add to our list of ever growing internal and external pressures. And this one has been a significant and long-term one for me, and I continue to learn and grow through this.

Being an athlete for a large portion of my childhood and adolescent life, this – my awareness of what foods are helpful in what ways – was knowledge I had from a young age. However, this doesn’t always prepare you for society’s/peers’/your own views on food and body shape; and the onslaught of body image programming that can fuel your view of yourself.

For a very big portion of life, on and off, the thought of less is best has been a strong theme, and restricting eating has always been in the back of my mind. Surely the less I eat the better I will feel about my body?

Actually, super weird but eating minimal food makes me bordering on homicidal. Probably a better explanation of that is a restrictive eating pattern can lead to higher stress, anxiety and an overall unhealthy view of food and body.

One (probably normal) meal would throw me into a spin. My awareness of this pattern has helped, but it is hard to beat a lifelong programming of thin thin thin, and that eating grass is the only way to stay healthy.

For me, turns out that eating generally well-balanced meals, along with my usual takeout or eating out (one to 30 times) each week worked a lot better. As long as I am moving (like getting steps up with a couple of workouts each week), this pattern has been great.

One thing I will say, is that calories in vs calories out is something that I do generally keep in mind – as well as keeping up my protein, fiber and not avoiding every carb I come across (disordered eating, anyone?).

I am now more adaptable, so while I can eat my “normal” food (eating out) – balancing this with meals that are mindfully portioned and balanced (bla bla bla) has helped in all aspects (especially mentally).

Since I have taken this view, I feel more positive about adapting my eating to what phase I’m in: it’s Christmas you say? I will definitely be enjoying myself food-wise, but will also keep my food-stress at bay by balancing with some decent nutrition where I can.

While I am no whiz in the kitchen, subscribe and follow for some easy meal and snack ideas, as well as tips on eating and balancing your food with your life. Food and body image-based anxiety is so very common, but releasing some of the pressure of these unhelpful views on eating with some tweaks can help.

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