Why is it that sometimes we need to repeat the same learnings over and over?
Last week, I started the week with all guns blazing, lots of enthusiasm and energy for the task at hand.
Sometimes I get so consumed with a project and the desire to complete it that pretty much everything else take a backseat. Including selfcare and eating… It’s back to that ever repeating lesson of learning that thing called “balance”, and what it takes to keep it so, in our daily lives.
Of course, starting out the week with such a fast and furious pace, set me up for arriving at a the place of feeling a bit “burnt out” a few days later. No surprise there really. Yet this is something I often find myself doing. Even though “ I should know better”… Sigh… Why is it when it comes to certain areas of our lives, we may be slower to pick up on the message in the lesson?
Last week I also happen to come upon some lovely and relevant insights around this topic of “doing”, that’s so prevalent in our modern lives. These insights weren’t about the fact that we sometimes attach our self-worth to how much we are doing (or not doing). The point and angle the author was coming from, was the fact that we so often move from doing one task, then on to the next and the next, without ever stopping to reflect on our accomplishments, learnings or achievements.
In a sense, that’s very much like constantly moving the goalpost, just that little bit out of reach, meaning we can easily end up defeated or deflated because we’re feeling like “we’ll never get there”.
This brought me back thinking about some of the life lessons and the metaphors I’ve learnt from hiking.
I can still remember the time I did my first summit, about 6 ½ years ago. We don’t have huge mountains here in Ireland, so getting to the top is quiet doable for most people. That said, it wasn’t without its challenges. Though for sure, all the huffing and puffing was worth it, as we were blessed with the clear view from the top (not always guaranteed).
Here’s the thing though, whether we are out hiking, or we use and apply hiking as a metaphor for life in general; There is much beauty to behold on the way to the top. So if we just keep our focus on our feet and our minds on the goal for “what awaits when we get there”, we miss out on so much!
Since that first summit, I’ve done more hikes and hopefully 2107 will bring more opportunities to get out and explore the beautiful Irish mountains.
The other metaphor and life lesson on this very same theme that I’ve picked up from hiking is.
“It’s only when we turn around we realise how far we’ve come”
So it’s not just about pausing once in awhile to take in the view, it’s equally as important to turn around to realise the distance we’ve already travelled, to acknowledge the hurdles we’ve overcome and the challenges that have shaped us along the way. No, of course I don’t think we should dwell on the past, or get stuck there, but I do think that there’s learnings to be had by realise that we are stronger than what we often may think.
Here’s another thing, metaphors from the mountains does not just apply to life at large. We can zoom in and take them as a way of looking at our relationship with food and eating too.
The dynamic we experience between emotions, food, eating and our bodies is one that keeps intriguing me, with a desire to explore it deeper and deeper.
As much as I believe in the power of food as medicine, I also believe in the power that is healing our relationship with food. Because until we do, making choices that truly serves our bodies and our health is challenging. (I will speak more on these barriers in another blog post).
The result of my sprinting start this week, followed by the burnt out state a few days later ended up much reflected in my food choices too. Like a burger and chips from a chipper one night…!
I know, I may just have shattered any illusion you may have held of me being perfect, as a trained nutrition professional. But here’s the learning. I no longer struggle with guilt or shame, after eating something like that. There was a time I would have, especially if I were on any kind of diet, but these days I see these food choices more like cues. When I find myself looking for quick carbohydrates and fried foods like this, it is usually a sign that my inner state of being is that of “fried” as well. So rather than beating myself up for what I just ate, I take stock to see what it is that I really need. Like going to bed a little earlier so I can have some more sleep, a hot bath to unwind, and a good conversation with a friend.
From looking at the symbolism in my food choices, I see that my own selfcare has been neglected and that is what needs attention! And usually my own selfcare routine also includes feeding myself with fresh colourful foods.
If I was still stuck in my old “dieting mindset”, chances are that I would have beaten myself up for my food choices at that time, followed by “sure I’ve broken it now so I may as well keep eating” , and probably ended up continuing on with some kind of binging… Maybe you recognise yourself in this kind of pattern? Truth is, it’s a harrowing one. One that’s draining both on our precious energy as well as on our self-worth and self-esteem.
But you know what, truth is, it IS possible to overcome it! Because that project that I was so feverishly working on, it is designed to do just that. Go and check out the Happy Healthy Me Programme.
Food freedom is possible. Though it can be bumpy ride at time, or a challenging path to walk (just like mountain hiking), I promise that the view from the top is totally worth it! And so too, is the beauty of the surrounding i.e the unfolding.