This week’s Motto is about food.  I know you may be wondering why a psychological therapist and coach is talking about food.  I recently discovered from a GP friend that her medical training had very little to non-existent training on food, diet and nutrition for health and wellness. This was definitely the same in my professional training – it never even came into the equation.

I like to make it clear I am neither a nutritionist, nor a dietitian but I know from personal experience I love food.  I love food to the point I don’t know how to say ‘no’.  As I have got older, I now just have to look at food, and the bulges are coming out of places I didn’t know I had. I also know what food makes me feel good, look good and what makes me the happiest, and I have also learned what food makes me feel sad, drowsy, fatigued or even cranky.  Food plays a vital role in our mental, emotional, psychological and physical imbalances that supports us positively or negatively from the inside out.

One thing I have consciously done for my own psychological benefits is to stop beating myself up. Stopped trying to eliminate the guilt, or the regret when I have indulged in pancakes, or the lovely almond covered dark chocolates and gulped down a few glasses of red wine or two. I have re-framed my thoughts and focus on how nice it was and how much I enjoyed the food and company – and that’s what makes me feel good.

Most of the time I am a healthy eater, I do believe eating healthy is a very serious consideration for myself and my family’s health but without regret, guilt or shame when I eat unhealthy foods – it’s all about balance.

Anyone who is unhappy about what they eat or their weight or other physical, emotional imbalances may want to consider re-evaluating what they eat, and how much.  Mental health affects many people with poor diet and lack of nutrition especially young children and the elderly, and we are increasing obesity as a nation.  We can overcome depression, anxiety and even anger by new eating decisions and habits.

Here are a few links to good food and nutritional advice given by specialists you may want to check out:

NHS Eat Well
British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Diet

In the meantime, next time you eat (it does not matter what you eat) you may want to consider trying some of the suggestions below:

  • don’t think about or say how bad it is for you, or how fat you will become before you have even gone near food – re-frame to the positive from the onset.
  • refrain or stop yourself from thinking and feeling guilty, beating yourself up or feeling bad about it – enjoy whatever you eat and remind yourself how good it was.
  • keep your mobile phone away from your dinner table or when you’re cooking to reduce the radiation food absorbs.
  • put one healthy item on your next shopping list. It could just be one natural yogurt instead of a processed yogurt.
  • monitor how you feel after eating something. If it makes you feel good – enjoy it. If it makes you feel lousy because of the way you will think and feel about it afterwards  – why have it?
  • eat what you think will make you feel good!

If you need support in changing how you think and feel about food that has not worked for you before, I offer a one-to-one individualised healthy eating programme, go shopping with you, plan your weekly food menu, and provide motivational walking therapy to make a difference. If you are interested in working with me, you’re welcome to contact me.