I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue some four years ago. For me then, it is of utmost importance that I pace myself, take time out to recharge and most importantly of all, feed myself the right foods. Knowing this is the most important thing that I can do for both myself and my family, it is my priority. The one thing that I will not accept a compromise on.
If the cleaning does not get done once in a while there are no consequences. If the children miss a football or dance session occasionally then so what. But if we do not fuel ourselves with replenishing, nourishing and nurturing foods, then we do bear the consequences. Feeding myself not only nutritious but also totally delicious food, is the highest form of self-care - for myself and my children, knowing every cell of our bodies is renewed from every mouthful we eat.
So knowing the food we eat has the power to protect us from illness, disease, and promote longevity, it often interests me to look at the reasons people give for not eating more healthily. I examine each of the following in more detail in my book but they distil briefly to the following;
No time – I’m far too busy to cook from fresh each night; it’s just unrealistic
Too much conflicting information out there – I’ll stick to what I know
I never get ill! - I’ll be ok whatever I eat (I call this the Myth of Invincibility)
Too hard – I’m not very good at cooking and it doesn’t come easily
Fatalism – if I’m going to be ill there’s not much I can do about it anyway!
Not worthy – Unconscious or conscious view that I’m not worth looking after (often a protection mechanism).
If you are a mum reading this and recognising yourself in any of those scenarios, particularly the last point, then I would urge you to look afresh at your relationship with food.
I have no doubt that as a mum you are overstretched, a little frazzled to say the least and juggling your commitments like crazy while feeling the guilt that comes with the territory. I am sure you are always on the back foot and maybe dread the first question from the children as they step foot inside the door ‘What’s for dinner mum?’. You may also feel like you can never please anyone and that it is impossible to accommodate all the different dietary needs in your house. Perhaps you have built your eating habits around everything else instead of everything else around the priority of your nourishment. Maybe you find yourself giving into foods for children and you, just to placate them or for an ‘easy life’. But you can move from this place of overwhelm to confidence around healthy food, ensuring it underpins your own health, and then consequently that of your family.
Self-love and self-care are about you mum! You as a priority. Your health as a priority. Your wellbeing. So build yourself a triangle of health, balancing your exercise, your sleep and most importantly, your nutrition. Count nutrients, never calories and treat food always as your number one reward, never denial for eating well is about self-love of the highest order.
My mantra as a yogi is always ‘enough is good enough’.
Make it yours too. Please recognise long term change comes from gradual sustainable changes.
While I am always wanting everything now, and to be the best I can, at this point in my life I am trying to be kinder to myself. You should too.
Let things go.
Stop beating yourself up if something doesn’t go to plan.
Trust in the process of change; make a goal and know you will get to where you are going.
Be mindful of what you are eating.
Try to understand better what it’s doing for you.
You should be thinking ‘ME FIRST’ ALL THE TIME. I DESERVE THE BEST!’
All this ladies is enough!
You are enough.
Written By Carey Davis-Munro of Eat, Nourish, Flourish
Facebook; Group and page by the same name Eat Nourish Flourish