What We Take In Matters
Your diet is not only what you eat. It's what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang around... be mindful of the things you put into your body emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Tiny Buddha - The Minds Journal
A few weeks ago, I joined a national health challenge with four other women. The rules of the competition include teams of five forming groups to track their weight loss journey over the course of three months. The team with the highest percentage lost by June, wins a substantial monetary prize. To support my commitment to myself and the team, I started tracking my food intake in an app called Noom. The exercise of tracking my caloric intake has been a real gamer changer for me in terms of recognizing how many calories are in the foods I eat—especially the foods I incorrectly assumed are healthy in delicious abundance. Food tracking has helped me make more informed choices about what I consume. When I was younger, I could get away with exercising my way out of not so healthy choices. Now that I’m older, that approach no longer works so rather than solely focusing on burning calories, I recognize that I now need to focus more on what I bring into my body.
This revelation got me thinking about other areas in our lives where we consume aspects of our environment and the need to set up various control points to maintain mental and emotional health.
Of late, I’ve really tried to be more aware and deliberate about my thoughts and what I allow into my psyche on a daily basis. For example, I rarely watch live news anymore; I prefer to read the news so that I can pick and choose what I want to take in. I find live news to be largely depressing and overly emotionally charged so I feel that reading gives me a bit more control.
Another control point I've adopted is actively limiting my emotional involvement in conflicts that really don’t concern me. Unless I see something egregious or dangerous occuring, I’ve developed the restraint to simply stay out of messy situations. Conflicts typically resolve themselves and with maturity, I realize that I don’t need to always play the role of peacekeeper or superwoman. The Polish phrase “not my monkeys, not my circus” comes to mind.
My overall point is that what you allow in and around you really matters. With so many stimuli inundating us on a daily basis, it's critical to increase our awareness of what we allow into our bodies and minds to determine if it is serving us in a way that supports the life we want for ourselves.
It's also key to understand that sometimes achieving that balance means stepping away.