Don’t lose weight! Get healthy! Part 2
The future is yours
CONGRATULATION! You’ve made it through Part 1. By keeping a journal of your eating habits you started to become aware of your food environment. If you have also written your feelings about the process, you might have discovered some of the varied emotional states concerning your new endeavor. These are as much important, if not more, than the caloric content of your plates and cupboards. You have just started becoming aware of your eating habits! Excellent!
If you have just arrived directly to this page, here’s the link to Part 1 of this amazing free Get Healthy Program
Part 2 : Feed your mind!
In Part 2 we will be looking into the Emotional Value as well as the Nutritional Value of the foods you are choosing everyday.
My ‘7 Steps To Loving Your LIFE’ program is all about finding meaning and living out your passion in life. Steps 2, 3 and 4 are respectively about feeding your mind, your spirit and your body. You can find more information on my 7 steps website here (It is a bit out of date as of this writing, but I hope to post new updates soon.)
So relax, have fun and let’s get started with Part 2
Action Step #1: Get knowledgeable about your body
Knowledge is the most wonderful gift we can acquire! As the old saying goes: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
What I wish to give you is twofold, I’d like you to teach you how to ‘fish’: to become curious and inquisitive, and get into the habit of looking for information and answers by yourself. And I’d like to introduce to you the simple concepts of the Emotional Value as well as the Nutritional Value of foods.
‘Fishing’,or ‘Googling’ for that matter has changed my life. In the old days of library catalog cards, where you would open this long skinny drawer with thousands upon thousands of cards, I found a goldmine! You had to be lucky to find a nugget and ‘strike it rich’: the library would have to have a book on the subject you were researching AND it had also to be available in the stacks.
Today not only have I access to all the physical books in all the libraries in Canada, I can also listen to the Authors themselves on YouTube and download audio books. We not only have access to a plethora of information, we actually suffer from an overload. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff, the honest research from propaganda? I know it’s dizzying, and this is why I will be devoting an entire chapter on this subject in my ‘7 Steps to Loving Your Life’ workbook.
So be curious and ask as many questions as they come up. Listen and read diverging information and feel your way into this new sea of knowledge.
Action Step #2: Emotional Value VS Nutritional Value
For years I chose for a Vegetarian Way of eating, eventually followed with the Vegan outlook into life, and then did a complete 180 turn by adopting the Paleo lifestyle. I was at my biggest during my Vegetarian and Vegan period, and have lost most of my weight and regained my health by mostly eating meats and greens. As of this writing I am using my acquired cumulative knowledge and practical experience to introduce you to my new concept of Nutritional Value.
Before going any further I would like to underline two pitfalls to be aware of. Firstly, in our modern societies we usually use the shortcut of ‘being’ as opposed to ‘practicing’. I am a ‘Doctor’, a ‘Teacher’, a ‘Fireman’, etc…. which leads us to state : ‘I am a vegetarian’, ‘a Vegan’, etc.. you get the idea. The problem with this is that when you discuss your eating habits, your sense of identity becomes threatened, and we all know what can happen next.
Secondly, I found that discussions on nutrition are actually a ‘minefield of beliefs’. I have no idea where beliefs fits in with physical processes. It is usually suggested to avoid discussions on religion, sex and politics, but my most heated arguments has not been about these subjects but about nutrition! So be aware! My suggestion, if you really want to get into such discussions, is to ask where did they get the information, did they read it themselves? Therefore you understand that you yourself shouldn’t talk from beliefs but from what actual material you’ve researched.
Emotional Value VS Nutritional Value
What is this all about then? Well I’ve noticed whichever nutrition habits I practiced (vegetarian, vegan, paleo) I actually gained and lost weight on specific foods more than on specific diets. What became my guideline was how I felt in my body and my energy levels, as well as my emotional outlook in life. I saw how all of these became intertwined and interconnected. I could lose weight but felt more susceptible and had to endure cravings, which in the end leads to regaining what I had lost and even some more.
In a nutshell you can easily differentiate Emotional from Nutritional valued foods. Emotional Value foods are generally man made manufactured products, and you’ve guessed it, Nutritional Value foods are generally produce found in their natural state.
Have you ever notice that when you have cravings they are generally more for man made products such as chocolate, cookies, ice scream, candies, chocolate bars or even alcohol? You rarely crave broccoli or carrots! There are very specific reasons for this and I will detail these in Part 3: the correlation between craving comfort foods and their Emotional Value.
Don’t panic, I am not against comfort foods! My approach is not about any restriction. Again let me remind you, my program is about regaining your health! You’ll feel so energized and your emotional outlook so positive that the extra kilos will fall of by themselves. You will no longer need to carry that extra weight!
Action Step #3: Start highlighting your journal
Your journal is now your new best friend, and he’s (she’s) going to help us get back to health. I would like you to start to read through your journal, and highlight the Nutritional Value foods (NV): produce found in their natural state in one color, and the Emotional Value products (EV): man made manufactured products in another.
The objective is for you to become aware of your habits and your nutrition. Most meals are made of different components, so we will talk about quantities and proportions later. My experience is that our choices are the most important factor, half a plate of french fries is not the same as half a plate of cheese cake or half a plate of a nut/raisins/carrot salad. By the way French Fries falls into the EV category, not NV, same for orange, apple and other juices (unless you know of an orange juice river flowing somewhere!) If you have questions, or are unsure please post them below in the comment section, I’ll be more than pleased to answer them.
Another alternative to highlighting your journal is to start on a new page, draw a line in the middle to create an EV and a NV columns, and list your choices directly there. As the weeks progress this is what I will be suggesting you switch to, so that instead of looking into your food choice after the fact, you will be making a ‘for your health and happiness’ choice according to EV or NV.
Action Step #4: How are you feeling? Write it down
The last action step for today is to write down how you are feeling about the process. What have you being feeling about noting down your snacks and meals? What are you noticing as you are starting to highlight your choices? What are your questions? These are very important because as I will explain later these are at the roots of your Emotional Value choices.
Lift off! You’ve made it!
Congratulation, you are now on your way to greater health and happiness, as well as a renewed sexiness! The sky is the limit!
Remember: How you do feel inside?, your levels of energy you show and the positive outlook you will be gaining, this is what really matters.
What you wish for is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
In Part 3 we will start to learn about Emotional Value as well as the Nutritional Value of the foods in details. I look forward to be with you again! Keep journaling!