I was at a mindful-eating workshop a few weeks ago when the woman leading the workshop said something profound: “Nutrition is a tool, not a weapon.” (To be fair, it was just one of the many profound things she said that weekend.) Isn’t it interesting that so many of us turn information about how to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle into a punishment? How many times have you said—even just internally—”I have to work out or I’ll feel guilty going out to dinner tonight” or “I want the fill-in-the-blank, but I should get a salad”?
I used to feel bad if I didn’t work out for an hour a day or if I “messed up” and ate something unhealthy (which, of course, happens all the time—I can’t help it if I have a weakness for cake!). Oh, and then there’s this: I’m an editor at a health and wellness magazine. So it’s my job to cover weight loss, nutrition, and fitness news on a daily basis. It’s basically the fastest way to feel like your attempts at healthy living are inadequate: One day, the latest study says you’re not eating enough protein; the next day, new research suggests that high-protein diets can increase your risk of cancer. You go to cycling classes regularly and are a fixture on your gym’s elliptical—but then fitness experts say that strength training is, in fact, superior to cardio exercises.
And that’s essentially what this blog is all about: Learning how to use health and wellness as tools for a better, more fulfilling life—and not something to beat myself up about. I hope you’ll join me as I seek out that elusive health-related happy place—I could use some company along the way!