My personal trainer, Vanessa, has kindly agreed to write-up a guest post about the importance of trying new foods. I’ve started to reform my picky eater ways, and I’ve learned that there are some veggies and fruits that I like. It really boils down to being willing to take that risk.
I spend most of my work day watching the human body move. I watch its angles and curves, its stretches and strains. I’ve seen bodies transformed, not just from “larger” to “smaller” which is what most people associate with personal training and weight loss. No, I’ve seen bodies go from cumbersome and rigid to limber and agile. And that may be the most inspiring transformation of all. For 1-2 hours a week, my clients give me their best efforts in the form of weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and plain old heart. I push them. They often push back. But for those who will eventually “get” what I’m trying to impart, they start relaxing into the workout more, laughing more, and accepting that a new body isn’t possible without a new mind. And so the mind transforms as the body takes shape.
Here’s a fact: when the body becomes more limber, so does the mind. And vice versa. We are holistic beings, and we are a mind-body, not a mind and a body.
One of the areas of life where we stay entrenched, rigid, and therefore burdened, is our food.
via Edward Dalmulder on Flickr
“No, no, I don’t like spinach.”
“NO DIET SODA??? WHAT????”
You’ve heard it. You’ve said it. Come on. ’Fess up.
The problem with this thinking isn’t about the unhealthy foods that are standing in the way of better choices. The problem is the mindset. The mindset says, “I won’t change. I won’t entertain other options. I am not open.”
There is such a limited amount of work I can do with someone who won’t learn new exercises. And the same limits are rigidly in place when people won’t learn new ways of eating. See, when the mind opens to the potential of a new body, it opens to the possibility of a new self-image, new personal clothing styles, new activities suddenly seem attractive, new vacation spots emerge as viable, interesting options… do you see? A step toward fitness is a step toward an ever-expanding world of options! How will any of this occur when one area of the mind is rigidly against new food choices?
I’ve heard it said that we “get fit in the gym; lose weight in the kitchen.” I can’t agree more. Understand that 80% of your weight loss success will be directly related to the food you are eating. This is the truth. However, this is not possible if we are not open to new foods.
I’m not talking about subsisting on grilled chicken salads and raw celery sticks.
I’m talking about buying a cookbook filled with nothing but vegetarian options.
I’m talking about replacing all liquids in your diet with water unless or until it’s the weekend.
I’m talking about learning what quinoa is, what kale is, what to do with shrimp besides fry it.
I’m talking about learning what it means to balance your carb intake against your proteins and fats.
I’m talking about taking risk. Believing that you are smart enough and creative enough to manage your own health through your diet. No one is more capable of these choices than YOU.
I’m talking about an open mind.
Health and fitness, sadly, has become a choice of a lifestyle. I wish it weren’t! I wish unhealth, disease, and sedentary lifestyles were unheard of. But the fact remains: you have a choice.
Will you choose to be rigid?
Or will you choose to be open?
Take a risk. See what happens. Broaden your horizon.
Did I mention she’s in grad school to become a therapist? Thanks for the post, Vanessa. The idea of opening up your mind to try something new applies to everything in life from crafting to food to vacations. Try something new this week!