Last year, pre coronavirus, The International Association for Eating Disorders (iaedp), of which I’m a certified eating disorder specialist, sent an invitation to a conference for eating disorders entitled Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: A Mindful Approach to Integrative Healing. My busy schedule prevented me from attending what would have been a fascinating; jam-packed with great information kind of lecture.
Though I couldn’t attend, when I read the invite my mind wandered, as it does. How does this body/mind connect? And in what order? And does it matter which comes first, the body health or the mind health.
Does the healthy body create the healthy mind, or perhaps the healthy mind creates the healthy body? Is it the chicken before the egg, or the egg before the chicken?
Though the program was much deeper and more pronounced than my imaginative mind, I can’t help but ponder over the healthy mind and the healthy body self-induced argument.
I think of Christina (not her proper name!), who sported a perfect size 6 framed body. You know, the one we are all envious to occupy. She looked like a picture perfect model with the long flowing golden locks of hair, emerald green eyes, and olive skin with an infectious smile, showing off a mouth full of perfect white teeth.
All good, right?
Though Christina looks like she has a healthy body; she doesn’t have a healthy mind. And one without the other is never a good thing. Her thoughts are a continuous loop of negative bashing about her body. She is not living her best life, though nobody would know it. Christina is fearful to eat, yet hungry most of the time. Christina has rules about this and that for a balanced array of foods.
As Chalene Johnson, 131Method, notes, “Your body is a miraculous machine with self-healing mechanisms that most times you can activate through your nutrition.”
I could not agree more, but with that said, it takes the healthy mind to choose the healthy nutrition, hence the miraculous healing from the inside out, which is the basis of all my writings along with obsessions. Like the obsession to be skinny that Christina holds onto with a tight grip.
Christina won’t be able to tap into her body as a miraculous machine if she doesn’t turn it around and eat balanced meals and incorporate moderate exercise, drink water instead of diet cokes, and tap into self-care and self-love. And perhaps if she sprinkled a touch of spiritual connection, or something beside her rigid obsession with her body, she’d produce an opportunity to heal from the inside out, with a healthy body and a healthy mind.
How can Christina make such a change? And why should she one might ask since she presents as this magnificent specimen? Christina is not well mentally or physically. Without mental health wellbeing, she is operating with faulty thinking. Faulty thinking leads to poor food choices that are not nourishing her body—nor her mind. Again, mental health wellbeing and faulty body thinking connect to the other.
If we set the mind on healthy patterns, then choosing actual foods becomes a better decision. But, if the mind is yelling internal negative chatter, in time, you believe this nonsensical message as your truth. Turn it around by changing the mental banter. I speak of this in Release Your Obsession with Food: Heal from the Inside Out at great length.
In fact, the healthy body I reference in my first book, Release Your Obsession with Food: Heal from the Inside Out explores how the food dictates to the mind. And the mind dictates to the body. Oh… okay, so healthy food, then healthy mind… and then healthy body. By George, I think we got it. We connect one to the other, which connects to the goal: The Body.
What are your thoughts? Do you think we need a healthy mind before we can attain the healthy body? And what the heck is a healthy body? Society dictates thin is healthy, but that’s not quite so, is it? If you don’t agree with my thoughts, please give a shout out, your views are important too.
To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, and aging please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.