By Linda Quinn, MS, RDN
While dancing around my house singing Whitney Houston’s greatest hits I had an epiphany. Her song “Greatest Love of All” is one of those songs that I just want to belt out from the rooftops. “Everybody’s looking for a Hero…someone to lead the way”. I would love to be that hero for you: guiding you to better health through clean eating and playful movement. But, in life’s journey, you have to “depend on yourself”. And as Whitney sings it better than anyone, “Learning to love your self, it is the greatest love of all.”
The answer to why we are not fulfilling our dreams, eating the way we know we should and building physical work and play into our daily lives is because many of us haven’t learned to really love ourselves.
Feeding yourself healthy is a pure act of love. It says I am so important, that I am going to make sure I eat the best food. No skimping because I’m tired or lazy. No, I am just too important. I love myself too much to do anything but. It is what we would do for our baby, our dog and even the plants in our garden. But, somehow when it comes to ourselves, we don’t realize we are “the greatest love of all”.
We often fill our days with negative messages and self
-doubt. The end of a “I’m not good enough” day often results in an overindulgent meal, addictive substances coupled with sluggish apathy melted into the couch.
But, you are better than that. You are the star of this movie and you have the capacity for greatness. You are the hero to your family and friends and they all want you to be the very best you can be. You are the Best! Once you believe this and really learn to love yourself for all your abilities and uniqueness, you will realize that taking care of this incredible human being is the most important job on this earth. If you were on a plane that was careening towards the ocean, you would first put on your life jacket, then put one on your child. You need to take care of yourself first so you can then take care of others.
Once you really get this message all the way down to your toes, you can start on this magical journey to wellness and freedom. The more I learn about the human body, the human genome and the capacity to heal and grow, the more I realize that each of us is a “work of art” that demands care and respect.
If every journey starts with a single step, then here are a few steps to get you started. Enjoy this amazing ride and learn to love yourself more and more every day.
1.Feed yourself food you enjoy with a focus on plants. Plant foods contain thousands of substances that can enhance your health in many amazing ways.
2.Eat mindfully. Learn to appreciate your food in a relaxed setting focusing on its enjoyment.
3.Eat until you are 80% full.
4.Enjoy a fresh green salad with oil and vinegar dressing every day for enhanced nutrition and digestion.
5.Move your body every day. Whether walking, dancing, running, riding a bike or hitting the gym, commit to getting some form of movement. Start with as little as 5 minutes and build from there. This will keep your body growing.
6.Smile, laugh and enjoy the company of others. See the good in people. The more accepting you can become of others, the more accepting you can become of yourself.
7.Don’t worry, be happy. Enjoy your fabulous life!
Linda Quinn is a Registered Dietitian and Chief Happiness Hero at Island Girl Living, LLC.