Yes you can! Good health is all about balance. Extremes, whether too much or too little are a bad thing. Too little effort when it comes to eating well or else over-doing it can create an imbalance in your life, which impacts on your resilience. Moderation is not sexy but it is the best way of finding a plan that is achievable and practical in the long run. Eating a diet full of sugar and white carbs should be avoided, as should smoking, too much booze and recreational drugs. But outside that, there is room for all kinds of magic to take place.
But what does that mean in real life?
Simply, meals should taste good, they should be satisfying and they should also be good for you. There is plenty to like in a Mediterranean diet with Asian influences and filled with anti-inflammatory foods. Diets of depravation – as most of you understand because of your own experiences – don’t work in the long run, while a plan that focuses on what your body needs for optimal health but allows for highdays and holidays works and, for your sanity, it’s important.
Being entirely fixated on only eating the right stuff can mess with your head. Plus it makes you a bad dinner party guest. Some people genuinely don’t like some things, you might be a vegetarian or know that certain foods don’t agree with you but I think we’ve probably all experienced the horror of a guest who comes armed with a giant list of stuff they can’t or won’t eat. Not having them round again!
Exercise – too much or too little?
Extremes can be dangerous for your health and your soul, When it comes to exercise, for example, something that doesn’t tax you on any level is a waste of your time because you won’t see the benefits (and exercise doesn’t have to be about just going to the gym –think of all those things you used to like doing as a child or before the kids came along). Too much, especially vigorous exercise, can stress the body. If you know you’re stressed out, if you have an under-performing thyroid or if you are going through the menopause where extra stress is placed on the adrenal glands (when your ovaries no longer produce oestrogen so the adrenals have that job to do as well as managing stress), a hard core running or HIIT programme is not going to work for your body. Trust me on that.
I have written before about trusting your body and your instincts around food. Feel when you are hungry (tummy hungry rather than hungry for love or simply some relaxation) and eat accordingly. When it comes to exercise, especially if it’s not featured high on your to-do list recently, your body might be a little sore afterwards but don’t give up. But there is a difference between a little post-exercise discomfort (which is actually quite satisfying) and actual pain. If you feel pain (real pain), then that’s your body telling you to ease off.
In short, life is complicated enough without adding complex rules into the mix. You should have a health goal or a weight goal, and you can work on this in a steady way, setting achievable targets each week. Having too many goals puts you out of balance, which doesn’t move you forward. It keeps you stuck in old habits, which don’t serve you.
As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Slowly, slowly catchy monkey, and all that. When I’m working with clients, the aim isn’t to turn their diet into the world’s best over night. That is an impossible feat. We choose our goals, making them achievable and measurable. We’re specific, realistic and choose an appropriate time they should be completed by. Best of all, the goals should be exciting, with a (non food) reward at the end. What’s not to like.
Need a kick start?
I am committed to you getting unstuck and moving forward with your health goals so consider booking a FREE mini coaching call with me. It’s a great opportunity to off-load where you’re at and explore where you want to be before getting super clear on how you need to start to get there. If this is what you need to get going, click the link here