A classmate asked me today, “Would I listen to a nutritionist who is overweight?” I answered that I probably would not because they are not taking their own advice. How could I listen to a nutritionist preaching about being healthy, when they themselves are not. But then I thought about it more, thinking about how I am the same way. I preach to my friends and family about being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle, while I myself for the most part do not eat healthy. Healthy is not only eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cutting out junk food, but it is also making sure you get the proper ingredients. For my class, we had to write an assessment about our relationship with food and exercise. Below is my short essay if you would like to here about my troubles with food and why I do not portray the perfect nutritionist. Regardless of my poor relationship with food, there is always room for improvement and living a healthy lifestyle. Admitting to yourself that you have a problem is the first step. Then, you find ways to improve and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Growing up, I always had a difficult relationship with food, using junk food as an emotional outlet during stressful times. Assessing myself gave me the opportunity to understand what I need to improve in order to build a better relationship with food. When I first began to lose weight, I thought that restricting calories and cutting out junk food was the accurate way to lose weight. I was strictly counting my calories, but as a result, I lost twenty pounds. After a while I realized that restricting calories is not healthy, however, it is always going to be a habit when I feel “fat”. For this reason, I do not weigh myself often. Through this whole process, even when life became stressful, I was motivated to lose weight, aiming to reach my realistic weight loss goals. In addition, my outlook on exercise has changed. Instead of forcing myself to wake up every morning to go to the gym, I go for the purpose of destressing and having fun.
However, because of my restrictive healthy eating style, I do fantasize about my favorite foods and eat less when I want to indulge so that I do not feel guilty. Not only that, but my stomach has been a significant factor in my relationship with food. I developed a stomach issue over the past year, and as a result, my doctor restricted my diet to gluten-free, small amounts of dairy, along with no high carbohydrate, high fat, or high protein foods. As a result, my dietary requirements have not met the recommendations for myPlate. Vitamin D, for example, has slowly been decreasing as I minimize the amount of milk, yogurt, and cheese in my diet. In addition to my stomach issue, regardless of the fact that I exercise 5-6 times a week for an hour, strenuous cardio has been a major challenge due to my diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction (when the vocal cords constrict when you breathe during exercise). The one aspect that I can improve on in my exercising is accepting the fact that not every workout will be perfect and recognize that my body has certain limitations. Overall, even though my fruit and vegetable intake is up to par, I need to find ways to incorporate more foods to increase my fat soluble vitamins, increase soy products if my dairy intake is continuously low, find ways to incorporate grains in a way that will not hurt my stomach, and increase my Vitamin D levels. In addition, I need to cope with the fact that I am allowed to indulge once and awhile, instead of restricting calories. In conclusion, I have come to learn that no one should be on a diet. Diet is for short-term weight loss, causing people to be miserable for weeks or months, when in a few years they might gain the weight back. Eating healthy and exercising should be activities that you enjoy and should become more of a lifestyle change rather than another chore.