By: Jennifer Hefner
LET’S TALK RELATIONSHIPS!
Throughout your life, the number and strength
of your relationships affect your
mental and physical wellbeing.
Ok, let’s talk relationships! Healthy relationships to be more specific. When you think of the word relationship you might immediately think about the BIG relationships- marriage, dating, children, family, work, friends, and money. And these are definitely the relationships we encounter daily.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we have hundreds of relationships going on that we aren’t overly conscious about that shape us and affect us daily. Some relationships you might not have even considered- your relationship with cleaning, social media, food, exercise- the list goes on and on. And every relationship we have can be good or bad. So today we are going to focus on the importance of having a healthy relationship specifically with food and exercise and how it affects our mindset.
When you hear the term “mindset,” what do you think of? One online source defines mindset as “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” Freedictionary.com defines mindset as a “fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.”
Relationship is defined by the dictionary as “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.”
Relationships help shape our mindset, they shape our attitudes. If we have an unhealthy relationship, you guessed it, we are going to have an unhealthy mindset. Our attitudes towards specific concepts, objects or people will be negative. But if we work towards creating healthier relationships then our attitudes can shift the scale towards a more positive view.
Let’s take a look at food. Have you ever thought about how you feel about food? What your relationship is with food? Did you realize you have a relationship with food? Yes, we all do. But what is important to note when we are BUILDING our relationship with food is that we are looking to create one that is healthy and positive. Our HH Nutrition Coach Kristi Goode had a great point about our relationship to food:
“For your journey with nutrition to be sustainable, it’s key to not label foods as ‘good or bad’. When we start to label foods as ‘good or bad,’ we sometimes label ourselves as ‘good or bad’ when we eat them. What’s important to note is that some foods are more nutrient dense and therefore are better for your body and overall health.”
Our relationship with food definitely has an impact on our mindset. Studies are showing this connection. As reported by the website www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org, “In recent years, evidence shows that food can contribute to the development, prevention, and management of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders.”
FOOD IS FUEL! Remind yourself that food is what fuels your body. I know most of you have heard this but think of a car. If a car doesn’t have fuel or the right kind- it won’t work properly. Our bodies need fuel! So as we build our relationships with food, let’s start thinking of the nutrients certain foods provide us and the benefits our body and mindset will gain. Just that small shift can create a better relationship.
Now let’s take a look at our relationship with exercise. Do any of you dread exercising? Do you feel like you are being punished? Do you feel pressured to do certain exercises or workouts to keep up with other people? Or do you feel that you won’t see benefits if you aren’t doing a popular program? Our HH trainer Kristen Summers talked about the importance of creating a good relationship with exercise:
“I think a big key to having a good relationship with exercise is that it needs to be something you like. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you are not going to get all the benefits it has to offer. Especially with feeling accomplished after you finish it. If you don’t feel accomplished afterwards, it will decrease the “want” to go back the next time.”
Exercise should be activities that you enjoy and that your body responds to. If you have a negative response to a certain activity, by all means you should look for something different. Exercise should not create a “dread” mindset, find something you enjoy. Try new things and see what works for you.
As we continue on this health journey together, let’s remember to improve our relationships with food and exercise. Think about what our HH coaches said. Let’s look at the nutrients food provides us and how this will keep us fueled for exercising as well as our everyday activities. Let’s find exercises that we enjoy so we will want to go back and exercise again. By improving our relationships, we will be creating a healthier mindset, therefore a more positive view of ourselves. Remember to check out our HH App and all the delicious, nutritious recipes available as well as all of the exercises.
~ Jennifer Hefner, HH Mindset Coach