Building a new relationship with your body
After the breakdown of a relationship, one of the first areas of neglect is diet. Eating habits can effect both our weight and metabolism.
A good diet will promote energy levels as well as physical appearance, by improving the condition of hair, nails skin and their rate of repair and growth.
In the driving seat
A knowledge and awareness of food and diet is part of the empowerment that puts us firmly in the driving seat of our own future health and happiness.
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what makes a healthy lifestyle and diet, but can find it difficult to make the right changes.
This may arise from the ‘comfort’ factor of sugary or starchy foods, social pressure and busy demanding routines.
But don’t give in to eating on the hoof. It not only decreases our enjoyment of food and mealtimes, but is responsible for poor digestion, preventing absorption of the nutrients our bodies need.
It is important therefore to start by creating set mealtimes and eating proper meals. Look also to change what you eat to include more fresh fruit and vegetables as well as foods high in fibre.
Gently does it
Go easy by introducing extra foods to your diet in a gentle fashion. Think about adding things to your diet rather than having to go without and as your confidence grows you will able to explore and be more creative.
Indulge and delight in cooking and eating and enjoy the healing which comes from nurturing yourself as you start to build a new relationship with your body.
You may be familiar with the phrase ‘Recommended Daily Allowance’ (or RDA) of vitamins and mineral levels. It is clearly stamped on most packaging and declaims the healthiness of the product. As stated, the recommended daily allowances given are as quoted by the medical profession to keep us free from scurvy or rickets; in reality we need far more to maintain positive health.
Try therefore to increase your intake of foods rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids which help to destroy damaging toxins and chemicals that build up within our bodies.
All the talk about detoxifying diets (see below) to rid our bodies of such impurities and cleanse the system should not be taken too literally. Whilst they can be wonderful, go easy – any form of fasting or detoxification can be stressful.
According to natural and complimentary practitioners, when the body eliminates toxins, they flow back out of the tissue and into the body causing a short but unpleasant reaction such as nausea, headaches and lethargy.
When the excretory processes become overloaded, excess impurities become deposited in our tissue. A detoxifying diet consists mainly of raw fruit and vegetables depriving our bodies of those toxins and cleansing the system. Detoxifying diets can be a great boost where there has been a poor diet or eating pattern, helping the body back into a state of equilibrium.
Exercise is a great way to help us look good and feel good but often it can be hard to find that extra energy to get started.
Try cutting out those foods that make us appear to feel better, as most of these foods are high in fats, sugars or salts such as chocolate, biscuits or chips.
A quick high
Whilst giving us a quick ‘high’ by artificially raising our energy levels for a short time or chemically stimulating the brain they can cause the body to go into overdrive and use up valuable resources of essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes (see below).
It is this that can make us feel lifeless and tired all the time and less inclined to exercise. It can also make you feel heavy or slow when exercising.
Make your first step to successful exercising begin in the supermarket. Choose foods that are fresh, easy rather than convenient. Cut out those excess fat, sugars and salt wherever possible and before you know it your body will be bounding back to health – not to mention the next aerobics class!
Enzymes are proteins which act as a catalyst in biochemical reactions such as digestion helping us to get the most out of the food we eat.
We all have to face some difficult situations in our journey through this life, and sometimes it is really good to know that we are not alone in our problems.
Difficulty and challenge are pretty much universal but it is the shared experience and wisdom of others that can make a real difference.
You might try to think about seeing a therapist counsellor. He/she is there just for you and it can be a huge relief to unburden your feelings with someone who is objective and can help you put things in perspective.
Counselling is a great way for getting the body de-stressed, this in turn not only helps the body and mind feel better but also function better too. Make changes to your routine where possible and start putting your own needs first.
Emotions are neither good nor bad – it is our response and reaction to them that becomes so.
Yoga / Meditation
Yoga is a form of aerobic exercise that oxygenates the blood through an increased heart rate and deeper breathing. It is great for helping the body and mind cope with stress and social anxiety. Not just an exercise regime or form of meditation, Yoga is also about healthy living, which includes a healthy balanced diet.
That doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian (although the traditional Yoga diet is vegetarian), just that you should be conscious of the foods you eat. Stick with organic (see below) fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and pulses, etc. as much as possible while limiting your intake of junk food and foods high in fat, like red meat.
Most Yoga classes range between 60 to 90 minutes and it is recommended to practice daily, if you can’t afford the time then practice two or three times a week in shorter sessions – remember any yoga is better than no yoga!
Organic fresh produce is grown without chemicals and contain no artificial colorants or additives. As a result it has lower nitrate and water levels, therefore giving it a higher nutrient content than non organic counterpart.
Do I have to give up stimulants such as caffeine?
No , but you should try to decrease the amount of stimulants you eat as they cause the body to burn up excessive energy and bypass our normal feelings of tiredness, etc. Try drinking decaffeinated coffee after midday and look at other alternatives like carob as a replacement for chocolate in cooking.
Is organic food actually better for you?
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that organic foods have higher nutritional levels than their non-organic counterparts as it is farmed and processed without artificial fertilisers or harmful chemicals, the side effects of pesticides are reduced to a minimum.
I enjoy snacking – can I do this healthily?
Yes, you don’t have to stop eating nuts and crisps, just buy products that do not contain chemical additives, colourings or flavours. On the sweeter side try cereal and nut bars sesame snacks or halva.
I want to follow a better diet but can’t seem to stick to a regime.
We all need encouragement from time to time. Make a positive plan and discuss it with your family, friends or colleagues explaining to them how they can best support you.
- Decide how much you are going to change your diet
- Make a positive plan – it will help you clarify your intentions
- Get as much support as you can from your family or friends, they can be a great help to you maintaining the changes you make.
- Plan your meals and shopping carefully so that you can keep your diet interesting and balanced. This will also help you running out of things and resorting to snacking.
- Collect great recipes with as many of your favourite foods to encourage you to cook proper meals and take the time to enjoy mealtimes
Need to Knows
- Reduce your intake of animal fat as much as possible
- Increase your daily consumption of fibre by switching to wholemeal breads and pasta or increasing the amount of beans and pulses in your diet.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit every day
- Exercise regularly – even a little a day can help
- Make time for yourself
Please Submit Your Own Story…
Please consider sharing your story with others suffering now. How you coped? How you felt? What helped? What were the circumstances that led up to your separation? How do you cope with loneliness? The more you can share the better.
Your story really does help others who are going through the same gut wrenching pain. Your story reinforces the fact that they are not alone in their suffering.