When I decided to major in nutrition years ago in high school it centered around my “issues” with food. Looking back I was not anorexic or bulimic but I was obsessive compulsive about counting calories, working out every day (most days 2x/day), I used artificial sweeteners to cut calories and sugar, I would not eat after 7pm, blah blah, you know all of those little strategies people talk about when they are talking weight loss.
I was into extreme dieting, low calorie, low carb, low fat, sugar substitutes and high protein, coupled with 1-2 hours of cardio per day and 5 days of lifting per week. This can make one look really healthy on the outside due to low body body fat percentage, but chronic dieting and over training trashes the inside of the body. As I was reflecting on my “old ways” I got to thinking about what true health really is? I work in a high traffic health club and I love people watching while I am working in my office. I see it all, the fitness model like women in the brazilian tights, the wanna be UFC fighters, the high school boys who talk about their supplements they take to get big ( some are full of harmful chemicals and they really should not be taking them), the beer belly middle aged man who thinks he is as strong as his “glory football days,” the hard core Iron man triathlete who is probably swam a mile that morning, biked 30 that lunch hour and now is finishing off their training day with core exercises and a treadmill run that evening, and then there are the people who hate the gym but go because they feel like they have to.
The question is….How many people are truly healthy? They have a balanced lifestyle that is healthy for the mind and body, they don’t over work themselves at the office or the gym, they fuel their body with chemically pure foods rich in colorful veggies and fruit, lean proteins and heart healthy fats, they enjoy the outdoors, they have time to meditate and they spend quality time with their families away from the TV and computer.