Wellbeing Wednesday: Finding success with support:
Maintaining healthy habits is hard. In the abstract, we all know that eating well and exercising is good for us. But that’s not always easy to translate into the motivation we need to make positive changes. We often avoid change and then feel guilty because of it, but we also miss out on the feeling of accomplishment, and the joy and energy that comes with eating well and exercising.
Most of us believe we know what to eat or what to do (have more vegetables, right?), but translating that into your life isn’t so simple. Sometimes what we are really missing is support to make those choices and stick to them. We all need someone in our corner, someone to work out our problems with and help us stick to our goals.
What I’m really trying to say is to take time to find that person or that group who will stand in your corner. For you, that might mean a friend who is in the same boat, someone at work who walks with you over lunch, a family member who wants the best for you, a personal trainer to encourage and hold you accountable, or a member of the healthcare team who wants to look out for you. It doesn’t really matter where you find that person, what matters is that you are not in it alone.
As a dietitian and personal trainer, I know the benefits of eating well and exercising, but I always find it easier to make healthy decisions when others are working to do the same. Living a healthy lifestyle is about balancing the ‘healthy’ choices with the indulgences, because both should have a place in our lives.
What I really enjoy is helping people to find that balance for themselves. The food we eat is intimately intertwined with our lives. It is in our daily routines, in our social gatherings, we go to food when we’re bored or stressed, involve it in our celebrations and our sorrows. For most of us, changing what we eat is primarily related to changing our weight or body image, but there are many other reasons you might like to change your diet. Take a look below, and if any of these situations apply to you, you might consider seeking the support of a dietitian:
1. You would generally like to feel better, have more energy, or prevent disease:
Sometimes we don’t know how poorly we feel until after we improve our habits. Preventing disease works in the same way, we often don’t know there is a problem until it’s upon us. If you have concerns or risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, diet changes may help.
2. You would like to drop some excess weight or gain a few needed pounds:
It may be 10 pounds that crept on over the year, or an extra 50 that has you concerned. Or, you might need help putting on a little more weight, either way your diet plays a large role in your success.
3. You are an athlete and would like to improve your performance or gain muscle:
You might be living an active, healthy lifestyle, but you’d like the extra edge to boost your performance and help you improve your game.
4. You have a special diet to follow:
Whether you’ve chosen to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, you have intolerances (such as lactose intolerance), or you have allergies and you must avoid certain foods, a little help might be nice to be sure you’re getting all you need.
5. You have a disease or disorder that you manage through dietary changes:
Many metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases, such as diabetes or Crohn’s disease, can be well managed with focused diet changes.
6. You would like to focus on your health during a big life event:
You might be pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you might care for an aging parent and have concerns for food and drug interactions, or you might find your teen has developed an unhealthy relationship to food.
In the end, whatever your goals are, take the time to find the support you need because none of us should have to go through this alone. It’s time to make positive changes so you can stop worrying and start enjoying the benefits of your hard work.
Candace Garner is an RDN with a Master’s in Kinesiology through the University of Wyoming. She obtained her personal trainer certification through ACE and also teaches the Group Training and Boot Camp classes at Purenergy Fitness. She finds her inspiration from those individuals who are willing to put in the work to see real results, especially those who start from the bottom. She believes that you are capable of more than you realize, and that you are worth the investment in yourself and your future. She is very excited to be starting work with Purenergy because she believes it is a great platform to influence others in a positive way.
Candace Garner, MS, RDN