Growth, in nutrition, doesn’t just refer to your waistline! Nutrition is part of an overall emotional and mental progression, just as our various other life goals. Eating, one of our most frequent behaviors, is a practice in understanding, discipline, celebration, and sometimes, even forgiveness.
My “biggest loser”, Kevin, came to my office weighing over 400 pounds. Kevin has since lost 171 pounds over the course of a year and a half, quite a bit of medical nutrition education and therapy, and an enormous amount of personal growth. What began as various barriers persisted through to various ups and downs. Although Kevin continued to lose weight and seemed to melt away right before my eyes, discipline over his dietary habits waxed and waned and celebrations over victories sometimes made way to deep depression over failures. Then finally, one day, without warning or even conscious realization of its happening, Kevin began to forgive. In the midst of a self-destructive binge experience, or directing his anger with a situation or a person towards himself, Kevin suddenly stopped and realized there was no point. The self-sabotage had no point! In that moment of clarity, anger was no longer a valid reason to keep eating. It no longer satisfied him to destroy himself.
Emotional growth is good nutrition. Learning the inherent goodness of food, how it sustains and nourishes, rather than using it as a shield or weapon is growth. Pushing forward through the ups and downs and learning to forgive oneself and others is a true understanding that there are many battles we must fight. “Winning the war” is not letting those battles destroy us.
Photo Credit: Jun Belen