I went for my annual checkup today.
I really love my doctor – a delightful first in my medical history.
She is easy to talk to, practical, and (a must for anyone who has ever suffered from an eating disorder) non-dramatic when it comes to the normal ebbs and flows of medical test results and daily life.
When she asked how I’ve been doing, I shared I feel better than I ever have before in my whole life.
I feel more balanced – insides with outsides.
I feel healthier in my relationship with my body.
I feel really good about my mental state.
I feel like a better “me” than I’ve ever been able to be before now.
But then I told her sometimes I still worry when I don’t eat everything I want to include in my meals every day.
And that is when she said it – a nugget of pure, true wisdom I am sure will stay with me for the rest of my life.
She said, “Don’t look at your nutrition as a daily inventory. Look at it over the course of a week.”
She went on to explain how her kids (two boys and a girl) may eat just protein one day, but then the next day they will eat just veggies. Then some days they will eat more breads and grains. And some days they eat all of the above.
As a parent, she says what keeps her sane and calm about her kids’ nutrition is looking at their meals not on a day-to-day basis, from rather from a weekly “big picture” perspective.
She notices they eat what their bodies need, and what they need changes very naturally from day to day. She also notices they eat until they are full and then stop to go enjoy other activities.
Interestingly, I then realized I see the same in my animals – my 14-year old parrot and my 10-month old tortoise.
Some days they eat everything in sight. Other days they may pick at their food and then turn away to play or nap. Still other days they may eat a lot of just one thing (and often it isn’t the same thing they wanted the previous day).
They allow their bodies to guide their choices – intuitive eating at its very finest.
This is very good for me to see, because I do not share a species with either, and I can’t possibly know what their bodies need better than they do. (It also helps me not to worry as a mama to two little ones whose nutritional needs can be so different from my own!)
From here forward, I am excited to try on this weekly perspective for size with my own meals as well.
I am especially relieved to know I don’t have to consume a bit of everything on my “healthy eating list” each and every day – it is enough to make sure I get some of each in sufficient quantities every week.
In this way as well, my sweet pets serve as wonderful mentors for me – neither of them has ever suffered from an eating disorder, and to them, food is simply fuel for the body.
As such, they are wonderful pro-recovery company to share my days with!
Today’s Takeaway: Do you ever find yourself wondering (or even worrying) that a day has gone by without getting enough of this or that, be it a certain nutritional element, a vitamin, a food item, or even hydration? If so, could adopting a week-long approach to meeting your nutritional needs ease some of your concern? If you try this I’d love to hear how it goes!