You don't know what you don't know... A phrase that can rattle around in your head like a jar of coins. This phrase is so obvious and, probably overused, that one might even roll their eyes when they hear it. Nonetheless, it is a blatant fact which we can apply to every single area of knowledge, including nutrition and food.
There is a sense of defensiveness at times when it comes to discussing eating habits as its most often tied in with body weight. However, let's not think of physical features for the sake of this post, but rather think about the way you feel- mood, energy levels, clarity, and attitude. You might think you know what food is your favorite and which foods make you feel your best... but do you really know?!
That's not a question of how smart you are, nor a comment about your appearance or habits, but rather a query of whether or not you have gotten out of your dietary comfort zone long enough to discover, "Oh wow, I didn't know I could feel this good!". Many people haven't for many different reasons. Food has become a coping mechanism, an escape, a way of celebrating, a mood booster, and even the focus of different events. Other people have went on horribly restrictive diets or developed an unhealthy relationship with food due to pressure, abuse, or other personal experiences.
Our habits become a part of us and who we are, especially with food. It's easy to forget that what we put in our bodies also becomes part of us, quite literally. So, when we eat non-nutritive food, and under feed or overstuff our body, we are going to suffer in all other aspects of our life - sleep, performance, mood, clarity, energy- etc. Now, if a severe relationship with food has developed in your life, it may be necessary to seek the appropriate help from a trained professional. But the task of starting to figure out what you don't know about food and how you feel, is to start small.
I remember always being a big person, but when I finally slimmed down - I thought about how I started. I stopped drinking regular soda and replaced it with diet soda. I stopped eating fast food. I cut back on pasta and bread. I took a walk everyday telling myself "At least 20 minutes."
As my body adjusted, those small changes grew bigger. After a few months, I stopped drinking soda entirely- I used to drink 3 a day and suddenly I no longer desired to taste it. Fast food had lost it's appeal but I'd still treat myself to a pizza or burrito here and there. I found out how good it felt to move and be active. I wasn't that kind of person before I really committed to changing a few small things first.
If you're feeling like you could feel better every day, you probably could! So make some small changes, commit and don't be afraid to fail, think of how good it will feel to succeed. Take control of your health and your life today!