This is How You Can Become the CEO of Your Body (and Life)
Rebecca McConville, MS, RD, LD, CSSD
Reframing is an important part of therapy used to help create a different way of looking at a situation, person, or relationship by changing its meaning. Reframing can help one to look past what the eating disorder has shaped in terms of nutrition, body image, and exercise.
Personally, I relate best to things that have impacted me so that it is most relatable. Most individuals have been (or will be) a part of an organization at some time or another. An organization must have a CEO and thus an organizational chart to follow. Organizational charts show the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs. Each part is important but there are parts that are more important than others. When one part is missing or understaffed this usually demands more of the other organizational parts.
A mark of a good CEO is one that listens to the different organizational departments (parts) and responds accordingly by leading.
Now let’s reframe the organization to be You and your body. You are the CEO and the fuel you choose to consume is your organizational structure.
Carbohydrates are your Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as it helps to be the limiting factor (controller) on what fuel is used for energy, how much of that energy is used and serves as the primary fuel supply to your brain. Just like an accounting department, the body is always desiring balance working hard to keep basic functions running first then use “available” fuel afterward for other non-essential functions. However, carbohydrates also contain valuable nutrients such as B-complex vitamins that are needed to shuttle the fuel through your body to your cells (courier). Fiber is important for removing waste and keeping the digestive tract moving (environmental control). Lastly, just like any organization, carbohydrates help to provide fuel (utilities) for necessary day to day functions such as: immune system, nutrient absorption (ex. Iron), replenishing of fuel stores (gas tank) and preserving of protein for use for its intended function.
Protein is your Chief Organizational Officer (COO) that must have a shared vision with its CEO. Protein first prioritizes necessary functions such as: enzymes, hormones, body tissues/muscle, immune system regulation, and energy. Second in command to the CEO the COO plays a central role in processes of the body. Proteins catalyze the reactions in our body and transmit messages from cell to cell (department to department). Proteins are always keeping an eye on the integrity of the body by transporting oxygen and regulating the immune system. So you can see with this critical role why would we want our protein to be used for fuel if we can preserve it to enhance the function of our body?
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Fat is your Human Resources department (HR). HR departments tend to be the place of blame when there is dysfunction in an organization. However, without HR you wouldn’t have the right parties in the right department. Fat is necessary for absorption of key vitamins such as: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. The other key role of HR is they work hard to keep employees engaged and satisfied. Fat provides a sense of satisfaction and helps with blood sugar stability. Have you ever tried a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with PB2 then switched to regular peanut butter? Enough said!
With this appreciation of what your nutrition workforce can do for you consider these key components of a great CEO and you can work with your body.
Ability to learn from the past. Experiment with mixing up different types of foods at different times. Just because one meal didn’t go well doesn’t mean you pull back to old food rules.
Building relationships. Just like any relationship you want your relationship with food and movement to be based on trust, not control. This can take time so allow for grace and patience.
Realistic optimism. Your fuel can work wonders but be realistic in that it will not prevent you from ever being sick, always bounding with energy and be controlled to fit societal norms of body image.
Understanding. Learn all the different ways that your fuel can work for you and how all foods have their place.
Listening skills. Don’t try to control your body, listen to its wisdom instead.
Willingness to take calculated risks. This may be simply tuning out what your friends and family tell you about what you should do and just go with your gut instinct!
Rebecca McConville, MS, RD, LD, CSSD is a Master’s Level Registered Dietitian & a Board Certified Sports Specialist. She specializes in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating & exercise addiction. She also treats the female athlete triad & athlete-associated disordered eating. Becca understands that the drive for peak performance may lead to disordered eating. Her goal is to help you fuel your body, so that you can fuel your life! Visit her website.