Achieving Balance - Body, Mind and Spirit
Friday, February 20, 2009
Just last week I was sitting in the doctor's office, at the bone clinic, going over how many vitamins and minerals I was getting from my food. I realized that calcium, potassium, vitamin D3, vitamin C and sodium need to be watched closely. I'm trying to do at least part of my eating by vitamin and mineral content. I had been tracking everything before but I wasn't paying close enough attention to the balances of vitamins and minerals in my diet. The sodium tracking is getting easier and I've reached a fairly good balance with sodium. This week I have added more root veggies to my dinners and today, I added more whole grains to breakfast in order to have enough carbs for the day. I am watching my calcium and potassium intake more closely by eating low fat dairy and potassium rich fruits/veggies. However, I was having trouble seeing the big picture. Suddenly up popped the new Daily Nutrition Feedback Report on my Spark Points page. Talk about getting a clear message from the Man upstairs about what I should be doing - wow! Now I see what I'm getting in a more graphic way plus, I'm getting suggestions for foods to eat to help me balance the amounts of vitamins and minerals I'm taking in every day. This whole process has caused me to rethink why I've been eating the way I have and what the consequences are for me in the long term. Something that I've considered but was afraid to look at too closely, in the past, is whether or not the lack of certain nutrients in my diet can cause me to have or develop health problems in the future. Obviously it does or I wouldn't be in the bone health clinic trying to prevent osteoporosis. I am very deficient in vitamin D and calcium which has put me at risk for developing osteoporosis later in life. (Yes I am lactose intolerant and yes I wear sunscreen to prevent skin problems (not getting vitamin D from the sun) but I have to work around that.)
I can't go back and correct my past mistakes. In life there are no "do overs". What I can do is take care of myself now. I can't spend my time wishing I was different or the weight I was ten years ago. That was in the past. This is now. I can eat for health and take care of my body as it is now. That means tracking vitamins and minerals in my food, taking the appropriate doctor approved supplements, exercising without overdoing it (really hard for me since I tend to be a compulsive exerciser) , drinking adequate amounts of water and getting an adequate amount of sleep on a daily basis. I need to also address my spiritual and emotional needs since I am a composite of physical, emotional and spiritual. I need to become as strong emotionally and spiritually as I am physically because there needs to be a balance among the three components. The emotional component can affect my eating choices if I let myself be an emotional or impulsive eater. The spiritual and emotional components can affect my stress levels. They can either reduce or increase stress. I don't want stress to cause my body further damage. My journey for health should be all about this balance. Right now my primary focus must be on getting the emotional and physical parts in line - my spiritual side is already well established. I will continue my food and exercise tracking and continue with writing in my journal. I continue to be a work in progress, making good progress, but a work in progress none the less.