The Journey to Health and Wellness

 

By Joanna Gies

How did I get here?

I was arguing ferociously with my 15-year-old daughter the other morning, and after I dropped her off at school I had a thought: How do I have a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old? Wow—I am 45!

I started to think about all the choices I’ve made and also the what-ifs that would have changed where I am and who I am today. For example, if you would have told me 20 years ago that I would be doing private-practice nutrition, I would have said, “Not a chance!” But just as nutrition and health science have evolved, so have I.

What I’ve come to learn in this evolution is that everyone has a very personal relationship with food and is often on a journey to understand that relationship. Many outside influences impact our food choices, starting in youth with parental influences and their beliefs. For example, I grew up in a house where you could not leave the table unless all food was finished, and it didn’t matter if you were full or liked the food.

Cultural beliefs, traditions and practices also influence food choices. Perogies are a favourite food simply because it is family tradition to make them together. Food is also tied to celebrations, comfort and love.

There are also the outside influences—friends and colleagues who offer advice, movie stars who are sudden experts and claim they have the secret for health and weight management. The worst offender of all: the internet. Together, these influences can create confusion or negative feelings around food choices.

Clearly, we are the fortunate, privileged people who are on a journey that doesn’t just involve food security and finding the next meal. We have choices, and can change our mindsets at any time. This change is good but can be really uncomfortable, but if you have people who can support you on your journey, it will be a positive experience.

I, too, still struggle with habits or thought patterns about food, even though I know the science. But that’s part of the journey. We know science provides a guide, but we also know that all the other influences and relationships with food are real. At 204 Lifestyle, we want to be part of the positive part of your journey.

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