In July, I reached out to an old friend from grade school. She’s a bodybuilder, trainer, and lifestyle coach and I wanted her to help me with a specific need in preparation for an exam this coming April. I’m testing and am aiming at my conditioning.
I wanted to lose fifteen pounds, the same pounds my doctor has been repeating I should lose for a few years. I wanted a couple other elements in my fitness. Right away, she gave me a lifestyle plan and 5 weeks from starting with her, I met my initial goal. I’m happy I’ve maintained what she taught me as well as the weight.
Among the things Venetta said in that first conversation was, “Let’s talk about what you’re eating.” She wanted to know what I ate that day. It was 3pm and I was heading for lunch, my first meal that day.
That was a bad thing, she explained. She told me then and a few times since then to eat in order to nourish myself and in order to lose the weight I wanted to lose. She had me introduce about a hundred ounces of water in my daily intake. She had me remove specific things from my plate.
I’ve done these consistently because, well, Venetta knows what she’s talking about. She’s taught me to nourish myself even if I wasn’t hungry, taught me to drink when I wasn’t thirsty in a sense. She’s explained to me that I have to eat even when I don’t want to eat.
You don’t eat because of desire. You eat for nourishment. Of course, you get hungry and that’s another post. I’ll distinguish between desire and hunger. For now, think of the balance of proteins and vegetables and carbs. You need to eat to nourish.
When I get stressed, I get out of bed, even if I’m unrested, and I go. When I’m most stressed, I move by a schedule and not by a feeling (a desire). I’ve trained myself mostly to live by a structure that, to my mind, is reliable in the midst of unreliable circumstances or changing emotions–also another post.
If food isn’t in the structure and schedule, who needs it? I didn’t. So I thought. Not eating was costing me. Not nourishing was hindering me.
I encourage you to nourish yourself. Especially in stressful seasons. It’s when your body is most tested, most examined, when the curriculum is closest. Give yourself what you need even if you do want it.
In the long term, being nourished is better than giving yourself what you want in the moment. Drink some water. Go to the bathroom. Eat some chicken. Walk. All of it.