So you’re overweight. Those excess pounds are weighing you down, both figuratively and literally. On top of all that, there’s the social, emotional and medical complications that come with carrying extra weight.
Fad diets rarely work. It can be complicated eating with friends and family when you have a rigid diet and depriving yourself of your favourite foods is never fun. You probably feel like you’re constantly fighting against yourself, and you see yourself yo-yoing back and forth between following the new routine and falling back into old habits. However, focusing only on food isn’t enough; you must also address the four pillars of health.
To understand the importance of the four pillars of health, let’s visualize a table…
I know you can relate to sitting in a restaurant where one table leg is not the same height as the other three. It’s frustrating and it impacts your experience; the table wobbles and drinks are spilled. I’m sure you’ve tried to stuff a folded up napkin or coaster under the leg to fix it… but that rarely works. Or, it’s temporary, and in time, the wobble returns.
Now, let’s relate this to your personal health. Imagine that your ultimate health goal (I.e. your ideal weight, more energy, less pain… etc.) lies on the surface of the table. The stability of the table relies on the four legs being equal and balanced. Similarly, your health goal relies on four pillars of health: physical, mental, emotional and social.
- Physical: We all have heard that our bodies are fueled by the food we eat, but it’s not as simple as healthy food = healthy body. Food is only healthy if your digestive system can process it. Sometimes even the healthiest of foods are harmful to your body. Understanding your unique biochemical needs, your microbiome’s health, the efficiency of your gastrointestinal tract and your toxicity burden will help you determine how your body will respond to your food choices. Remember, counting calories is far too simplistic, and it doesn’t work.
- Emotion: It’s important to practice moving through your feelings, and I mean all your feelings. It is right there in the word – eMOTION. Problems can arise if we get stuck in one emotion for too long. Not all feelings are positive, nor should they be. Emotional lows give us the perspective we need to truly appreciate the highs. Also, be aware of how social media impacts your mood and self esteem.
- Mental: Challenge yourself in new ways, stimulate your brain with books, puzzles, games, music or a new language. Setting goals or tackling a new hobby are great for your mental health and wellbeing.
- Social: Build your network of support, create a sense of belonging to your community. Finding the right community will give you strength, courage and support to achieve your health goals.
The best health outcomes are realized when all four pillars of health are addressed. Ignoring or neglecting one or more of the pillars makes achieving your ultimate health goal very difficult. Or, if you achieve your goal you may find it’s wobbly and unsustainable, just like that table at a restaurant.
If you have lost weight in the past, only to regain it weeks or months later it is worth considering a more holistic approach. Building health up from a strong foundation by addressing multiple lifestyle factors is the best way to achieve sustainable weight loss. You need to be healthy to lose weight, not the other way around. When focusing on health first, you will notice side benefits like; better sleep, stronger immune system, clear skin, balanced hormones, improved mood, better stress management and more…
Let’s face it, it’s hard work to be healthy. Everyone needs a certain amount of energy and focus to follow a new health regime. Sometimes a little help will get you started. That’s where I come in, I’m here to help you balance your table and achieve your health goals. Call Pamela for a free 15min holistic nutrition consultation.