A good reminder that “healthy” is always changing as your life changes and be gentle with yourself as the tides change.Hey guys! My friend Robyn over at The Real Life RD is kicking off a Mindful Monday guest post series while I’m in Europe. I met Robyn for the first time at FNCE last year and immediately fell in love with her keep-it-real, no BS, attitude. She also has a kickass blog and Instagram account that’s all about embracing your imperfections and treating yourself with kindness, which really is a breath of fresh air considering all the negative, perfectionistic content we’re inundated with these days! I hope today’s post reminds you that health is not all black and white and definitely not one-size-fits-all.
I’ve learned over the past few years of being a dietitian and also being a 20 something human, that we as a society have gotten the meaning of healthy incredibly wrong. We’ve put it into this black and white box instead of letting it float around in a huge grey area, landing where it feels natural and right in that moment.There are a lot of opinions when it comes to food and health, so therefore there are a lot of uncertainties and things you should take with a grain of salt. Everyone will have their opinion and what works for one person, often does not work for the next. We all aren’t the same! And thank goodness. Because that would be boring as ever.
So while there is a lot of health information out there (some true, more false) there are three things I do know to be true.One, healthy means far more than how much green is on our plate and how many calories we burned today.
Two, healthy is not a static set of guidelines, rather it’s a rhythm that will ebb and flow as our lives ebb and flow.
Third, we place way too high of expectations on ourselves. We can’t do it all and we weren’t made to do it all.I’ve been in some of the most chaotic and unpredictable and busy seasons of my life over the past couple years, but I’ve also experienced slower seasons where rest comes more easily. And what I’ve learned in both of those is that your priorities change as seasons of life change.
Perhaps there’s a lot of emotional stress going on in your life. Divorce or a sudden death or family turmoil or a breakup or a job termination.
Perhaps there’s a new found excitement and joy in your life like dating or making new friendships or traveling somewhere new.
Perhaps you’re in a physically stressful season of late nights working and early mornings working again, where sleep is lacking and there’s barely a moment to rest and simply breathe.
Perhaps you’re just tired of trying to do it all – work out six days a week, meal prep on Sundays, go to bed by 10pm, get up early to be productive and blah blah blah blah BLAH. Maybe you’re tired of trying to keep it all together.I’ve walked through the thick of each scenario above so hear me when I say, I get it.
And with each of those, it’s unproductively stressful to try to eat healthy (whatever that means) and get in your workout every morning, and get to bed at 10pm for 8 hours of sleep, and also be invested in relationships and do your job well and ALLOFTHETHINGS.
But…deep breath. You don’t have to. We are humans, not super heroes.
Maybe that means you give yourself grace with workouts, listen to your body instead of trying to control your body and do what feels good and what you actually even have time for. Maybe that’s a walk with a friend, or maybe that’s stretching on your floor before bed, or maybe that’s nothing at all. Maybe movement means going about your daily life – walking to things, unloading groceries and vacuuming your floors.
Maybe that means you buy frozen veggies and eggs and pre-cooked rice or some frozen meals you enjoy or if you’re like me…you order takeout or grab Chipotle instead of cramming in meal planning and grocery shopping on your weekend. Because sometimes rest is far more important than cutting vegetables and stirring quinoa.
Maybe that means you don’t eat all the vegetables and all the whole grains and clean organic non-gmo only coconut oil things. Maybe you eat what’s least stressful and most nourishing given the circumstances. Health is so much more than what’s on your plate. And if there are two things that trump eating and exercise every time…it’s getting enough sleep and taking care of yourself so you can manage your stress levels.
Maybe that means you accept imperfection, see it as a gift instead of a weakness, and be okay with doing what matters instead of doing everything perfectly. You’re doing just fine. And it’s okay to embrace your humanness.So maybe there in fact is time to rest, do something that fills you up, flip on some Netflix, and recharge for a bit.
Whatever that looks like for you, healthy changes as seasons of life change. And that’s more than okay.
Thanks so much, Robyn for the inspiring post! I’d love to hear what resonated for you in the comments below. Let’s keep this conversation going!
For more Mindful Monday inspiration, check out my posts below!
I’m a nutrition coach and yoga teacher helping people to learn to love food again. I love cooking, taking pictures of my food and traveling around the world. Follow my blog for delicious, seasonal vegetarian recipes and simple strategies to bring more yoga and mindfulness into your life. And check out my e-book to learn how to improve your health through nutrition and yoga. Show me what deliciousness you make! Tag me @karalydonRD on Instagram.