When you stop seeing yourself for how other people see you, and you start seeing yourself for who you truly are, it opens up a level of understanding that completely changes the game. I can remember being horrible at giving advice. It’s flattering when somebody asks you what they should be doing with their diet or fitness, but if you, yourself, do not take the advice you are heeding, yet taking credit for it, deeply inside it shelters a part of you that knows the truth. We need our truth!
The best advice is in following your own personal experiences. This comes with the improvement of an intrinsic virtue called honesty. From a nutritional standpoint, I grew up eating a certain way. Before I learned that it was labeled anything, it was just something that I knew how to do and survive, and because of that, I loved it and the people that fed me. If somebody asked me what my diet was, I would kiddingly, but authentically, say “Bad. I just eat junk.”
Changing my nutrition for the better had barriers because I thought that if I had to change a diet, I had to pick something to become. Do I have to be a vegetarian or a vegan now? I never wanted to disturb the peace and serenity I had grew up on. It took me deep understanding from within to focus on what it is that makes a good diet a good diet.
Of course, I found that the basic level of nutrition is love, but more particularly, being fed. It is the offering of food that was always greater than the actual substance of what my body was consuming early on in my age.
This is what I call nourishment. It is greater than nutrition itself. Nourishment is the action of eating. It is the whole experience of a meal. When a meal is enriched in a loving way the belly can be fulfilled. Nutrition is the measurable aspect of your food. This is also very important, but it is through focusing on nourishment that I was able to shift my nutrition.
Nourishment has one fundamental question. I love my food, but does my food love me?
I want an enriching diet that has an eclectic variety of nutrients. Focusing on one aspect such as a protein source, or a fat source, or a carbohydrate source is narrow-minded. To me, it’s like asking what is the most important color of the rainbow. There is no color that is more relevant than any other. They all are vibrant together. It takes the sun. It takes the rain. It takes a blue sky and a gray sky to heighten the experience. Likewise, this is how a proper meal works, and also an improper meal…Without an improper meal, how could we have the contrast as to what we enjoy at all?
I would say that the greatest aim in nourishment is bringing many people together to eat with each other. It happens for a lot of us on Thanksgiving Day. It comes at a time when we are forgiving and acceptable towards ourselves with our eating behaviors. This opens up our spirits and we are actually fulfilled to a point of suspended gratification! This year, let’s be thankful for this time in our lives and allow it to extend beyond a single day. Happy Thanksgiving!
Trey Tompkins is a local resident who writes fitness columns for the Record-Herald.