Practice What You Preach

This morning I found myself staring in the mirror, spiralling into a bout of self-criticism and self-negativity.

For the past few days I have been preparing for a lunch n’ learn that I am doing at a company this week, where I will be talking all about the intersection between stress and nutrition. And as I got ready to head off for the day, I heard a familiar voice creep in, “do I even look like a nutritionist, what will people think of me!?” “I should look slimmer - is trusting my body failing me, should I go on a diet?”

These strong and loud voices left me feeling depleted, uninspired, and confused… until I reminded myself, why I got started on the journey that I did.

I didn’t come to the idea around trusting my body because I wanted to have a six-pack. I didn’t come to letting go of guilt and shame around food because I wanted to be stick skinny. I didn’t come to enjoying a diverse range of food and letting go of the need for control because I wanted to lose a ton of weight. No - that isn’t why.

I came to this way of living because I wanted to be less stressed out about food. I wanted to let my body shape be as it wanted to be without constant manipulation, fear, or anger. I wanted to be mentally and physically present with my friends, family, and peers without spending my time concerned about what I was going to put into my mouth but more concerned with how I was going to actively engage in connecting to the people around me. Yes - that is why.

And in this process I have healed a whole lot. After years of battling, my chronic eczema has calmed tremendously, my digestion has improved remarkably and there is no more swing in my pendulum.

I do the work now not so that my clients will have “flawless” bodies that they feel they should have, but so that they have well-nourished bodies that they can use to take them to places they want to go and interact with the world in all the ways that they could dream of. I advocate for feeling good but not feeling perfect - because perfection is an illusion.

So after a difficult morning of self-deprecation and questioning, I reminded myself that I need to practice what I preach. And for me, well that means picking myself up and continuing on with my day as I always do. It means continuing to enjoy my food and nourish myself with what makes me feel good. It means moving my body whether it is a run, or a bike ride, or a walk. In essence, it really means I don’t need to change anything - I just need to keep living.

Andrea Zimmering