So this may sound weird to a lot of you but lately, I can’t get pie out of my head. And not the tasty pastry type; the chart ones. I was going for a cold, windy walk when I started imagining how life can be reflected in pie charts; specifically your health and wellness. For example, did you know that body change is 80% effected by food and 20% by fitness? What!?! How can that be? Why then do we focus so much on something that only contributes to 20% of a physical change? However, I felt like there must be more to this statistic. If we view the pie chart of 80/20 comparing fitness and food I feel like there is a larger pie chart that actually equals 100% of our physical changes and that is our minds or mindfulness.
Our brains are extremely powerful. I was talking to a friend who is in school to become a naturopathic doctor and she was telling me different scientific studies that have shown the power of the brain. Did you know that just THINKING that your body is burning fat and calories actually causes an increase in your metabolism that leads to higher fat burn? JUST THINKING ABOUT IT! Screw running, I’m going to sit on a couch and THINK about burning calories. Ok, so not actually…But why would I allow a negative thought in my mind that prevents progress when just changing the way I think can enable deep change?
So if 100% of change comes from my mind how does mindfulness affect change? Well, to simply answer, it affects every part of changing. If I see my body as evil and ugly and gross, why on earth would I put myself in exercise wear and take care of it? However, if I see my body as a beautiful work of art that is continually becoming better, then well I’m going to take care of it as such. I’ve had it where I’ve been in the middle of a workout and I get confronted with the worst negative thoughts; thinking my body is literally the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen…I’ve actually stopped exercising because I’ve allowed self-defeat and insecurity to win. Friends, this is not how we should be living! If I view my body and food as an enemy then I’m not going to eat properly. My goal won’t be to nourish it. I will be setting myself up for a pleasure to shame cycle that leads to a disordered relationship with eating. Did I just say that? Yes. I believe that disordered eating, or an eating disorder, encompasses so many more people than just those who suffer from obesity, anorexia, or bulimia. We live in a culture of disordered, distorted eating. I’ll have more to say on this in another post but for now…
Let’s go back to that 80/20 rule. When it comes to fitness and food we see the 80/20 pie chart. However, if we were to break down the food portion of the pie chart we need to see that healthy eating should be seen as an 80/20 rule. If I try to be perfectly healthy 100% of the time then I will fail OR I might develop a disordered relationship with eating (which, I have unfortunately been the victim to). It leads to a shame cycle where you can’t stand yourself if you mess up OR you feel like you can’t succeed so you make one mistake and then continue to cause nutritional havoc on your system by only eating “junk” foods. By eating well 80% of the time and allowing yourself some indulgences 20% of the time you have a much higher chance of success.
Craving edible pie now? Sorry 🙂 BUT if you live an 80/20 life maybe today you can give yourself the grace to enjoy a small, but significant, slice of deliciousness. However, if you choose to indulge in the treat do it with mindfulness. Don’t inhale it. Savour it. Don’t look down on yourself for eating the sweet; instead, thank your body for having the amazing ability to nourish you with delicious food. Maybe even make your own pie so that it is a homemade treat free of preservatives and chemicals. Something you laboured over and then got to enjoy. See the difference yet?
Here’s an example of my life; how I TRY to live this way. Every morning I try to make the choice, to begin with, thankfulness. Thankful for my body. Thankful for my beauty. Thankful for the way I have been created inside and out. Thankfulness changes your outlook on life. Read my post about being content if you doubt me. After I attempt to get my mind in the right place I then start by eating a nourishing breakfast. I try to take my time to savour it slowly; though it can be hard if I’m rushing in the morning. I also “indulge” in coffee every morning. I don’t find that it harms me and I truly savour the warmth and delicious caffeine. During the day I try to move around as much as I can. This habit can be hard depending on what I’m doing in the day, but on more sedentary days I try to go for a walk at lunch or after a workday. I also really value physical fitness and aim to exercise every weekday.
I’m on a journey. You’re on a journey. I am not perfect. You are not perfect. We are perfectly imperfect. Continually aiming to grow and improve. Have grace and patience with yourself. Be mindful and positive. Value your body and pray to see your beauty.
Love & Blessings, Chelsea