Be human

Be human

Young woman running on seaside path. summer time.

Weight loss, when focused solely on changes in eating behaviour, lower caloric intake, and a reduction in certain types of popular foods, is difficult to maintain over the long term.

The focus should not be on food alone, but rather integrate healthy eating with other appropriate lifestyle changes that lead, day by day, to an overall sense of well-being. Weight loss is an integral part of an overall, daily positive change.

Every day, you must try to achieve balance. Ideally, this means taking time every day to reflect on your accomplishments (not your disappointments); making sure to plan exercise (depending on your family and work needs, this can be anywhere from an hour on the treadmill to an activity you enjoy). It’s always better than nothing. Part of the day should be spent with family, getting enough rest, reading something non-work related, thinking about the meaning of your own life and the things you would like to do. Among all these daily “obligations” is to eat well. Controlling portions, avoiding high-fat, high-sugar foods, avoiding fast food restaurants, avoiding take-out, trying to choose healthy alternatives when your emotions would make you eat sweets.

At the end of each day, you should be able to turn around and say “I tried”. The more you try, the more likely you are to win.

We will always face food temptations. So let’s put things in their place. Food is no more important than rest, no more important than a peaceful mind, no more important than your individual spirituality. Food is the fuel for your wonderful body. It contains nutrients that can prevent disease and give energy. By giving it its own place, food should, as Hippocrates said, be considered a true medicine. Take it in the appropriate doses as prescribed and do not abuse it.

The mind, the body, the spirit. With our hectic lives, try to respect each of these elements within you. I have met people who are so (pre)occupied with organizing their work day that they have forgotten the art of being just human beings.

Take 5 minutes for yourself. Breathe softly, slow down the pace of the day. Write down the goals for that day and the next week. Be in control. Be forgiving to yourself.