What's Primary Food?
Last week in my workshop, Weigh Less, Live More, I talked about the importance of "Primary Food."
Primary food is what nourishes us beyond the plate and is really more important than what we eat.
When we are nourished by primary foods, we don't rely so much on secondary food (the food that we put in our mouths).
Think about when you were a kid or when one of your children were playing with friends in the neighborhood. That happily playing kid isn't running home every ten minutes for a snack. They'll go hours before they come home to eat. They usually aren't even coming home to eat, but because either they or their friends had to return home at a certain time (or it got dark.)
If they're bored at home, they're complaining every few minutes that there's nothing to eat!
Or think about a time when you've been really excited about a project. You aren't so worried about food. You have to remind yourself to eat. Food becomes an afterthought.
Now remember a time when you weren't feeling all that great. Maybe you didn't like your job or a relationship had just ended. That's when comfort food comes in. You turn to whatever food offers you comfort, but in never really works, does it?
The more primary food we give ourselves, the less we depend on secondary food.
Yes, we need secondary food to nourish our bodies. But, if we are being fueled by primary food, then we can consciously pick the foods to eat that do nourish us.
The four main primary foods are relationships, physical activity, spirituality, and career.
Today, I'll focus on relationships, specifically friendships. Relationships with friends, family, and even our co-workers. Next week, I'll write about romantic relationships!
The quality of your relationships tells a lot about the quality of your life and your health. It's important to cultivate relationships that are healthy and support our individual needs, wants and desires. It really is individual.
You could be eating the perfect diet, but if you are feeling isolated and lonely, you aren't going to be to be living your best life.
Do you feel that you're part of a community?
Community is important to personal fulfillment. Community can be harder than ever to develop in our increasingly busy lives, but it isn't impossible.
Sometimes, I think I could live anywhere. Other times, I really appreciate the sense of community I feel after living in the same town for over 25 years.
I have a friend that I know both from swimming and through another close friend. When she was diagnosed with cancer last January, she had such an outpouring of support. People showed up to take care of her yard, they brought meals, they offered words of encouragement when she needed them.
Her friends also benefited from giving.
I guess that's what you miss out on if you don't have strong ties to a community.
Building a community can be looked at in many different ways. If we lived in a small town, our community could be the other people that live in a small town.
Since many of us don't live in small towns, our ideas of what community is can expand.
If we put a little effort to get to know some of the people we meet in the course of our lives, it can create a sense of community.
Since I'm a bit of an introvert, I like my time to myself, but I really enjoy visiting with friends at the pool, or other parents at my kids school events, or even the people that work at my local grocery store.
Do you have casual friendships that could develop into a deeper friendships?
The casual friendships aren't really enough, though. They're still valuable, but closer, more intimate friendships are important, too! We need friends we can be completely ourselves with, even if we're having a bad day.
Having high quality friendships adds depth and meaning to your life.
Having friends who really listen and care are more valuable than gold! Being a friend that listens and cares, is also valuable. Giving is gratifying.
Look around. Are there people in your life, even if they're new friends, or even acquaintances, that create a spark?
I'm talking about the spark that might lead you to try something new or an interaction that makes you smile and feel happier afterwards.
Those are the people to try to spend more time with!
Think of a few people you think you might enjoy spending more time with, people with qualities you resonate with. Invite them for tea or for lunch.
Yes, it's hard to make time in our busy schedules, but developing new friendships can be very rewarding.
Or how about that good friend that moved away and you aren't in contact too often?
Or maybe your kids aren't in school together anymore, so you aren't on the same traffic pattern?
It's just like old times when you do see each other, or talk on the phone. You pick right up where you left off.
Maybe try to pick up the phone a little more often!
I'm not trying to be morbid when I say life's too short to not reach out, but life really is too short!
What about friends that engage in activities you're not interested anymore? Maybe instead of going out for a glass of wine (I'm not saying it doesn't have it's place), you would rather go to bed early and go for a walk in the morning.
Try to drag them along with you! You might be surprised, they might be ready for a change, too. Or it might be time to put that friendship on the back burner.
Is it time to move on?
Yes, it's nice to have old friends. It's also important to take stock from time to time. We need to surround ourselves with people that bring out our best selves, the people that fit our lives.
Life is much to short to keep people in our lives that drag us down.
I'm not saying to cut people that don't fit anymore out of your life completely, but you may want downgrade your relationship with them, so you have space for people that fit into your current life!
Friends who help you be who you really want to be!
If we're serious about our health and wellness goal, it's important to surround ourselves with people who want to support us and even have some of the same goals, as well.
It's exciting to work together in a friendship, to help each other become better versions of ourselves!
Like all relationships, friendships take work. They can also be hugely rewarding. Remember, friendship is primary food. It should nourish you!
Pick one person to call this week, new friend or old!
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Women's Wellness Circle: From Inflammation to Vibrant Health
Hi, I’m Crystal!