Welcome to Fit, Fyne & Fabulous, a faith-based online community designed for women of color to gather, commune and grow their knowledge of living, eating and thinking all things healthy & fabulous! Learn more about our Signaturea VIP program “The Divahood” (click here)
Today’s Education Nation post was written by Dr. Ajita M. Robinson, a Grief and Trauma therapist, Bestselling Author, International Speaker, and Income Strategist. She has been seen in places such as Wall Street Journal, Huffpost, Washington Post, Business Insider, Bustle and Therapy for Black Girls. We are blessed to have her guest author for our blog! Dr. Ajita will also be joining us in a FB Live this Sunday, September 20th, make sure you join us!
The Intersection of Mental Health and Physical Health
by Dr. Ajita Robinson
Our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are connected. We often view our health as biological (heart, organs, weight), when in reality our health includes our:
- mental and
- spiritual domains.
These aspects of health can enhance or inhibit our health in other areas related to our health and wellness. This discussion will focus specifically on the intersection of mental health and physical health, namely our weight goals.
First, I would like to encourage you to consider that what you weigh is less important that the composition of body fat and muscle. Second, the narrative that we hold about weight, fitness and dieting often impacts our sense of self, our emotions and whether we engage in unhealthy eating patterns.
We are socialized around food. When we have a bad day, we often reward ourselves with a favorite food. When we are bored, we eat, not for nourishment but to self soothe. When we are mourning the loss of a relationship or a loved one who has died, food is usually an offering of love and comfort. It makes sense that we utilize food to mask or cope with our feelings, boredom and other circumstances.
I want to be clear; food is not the issue. How we use food can be problematic and in opposition with our health-related goals.When our mental health is compromised our motivation to create and hold boundaries with respect to food and exercise are also compromised. Click To Tweet
However, protein rich foods and exercise are known to:
- Increase dopamine (the happy brain neurotransmitter)
- Increase energy
- Increase mood
- Decrease anxiety
- Increase sleep quality
- Increase sexual libido
- Increase concentration and memory and so much more.
We feel better when we give our body what it needs. Our body is geared towards survival. When we engage in caloric restriction and extreme fasting the body goes into survival mode because it is not sure when it will receive proper nourishment.
When I was grieving the death of my brother and grandfather, I ate my feelings. This often happens when we are navigating grief, depression, job loss, a breakup or other stressful life event, we turn to a trust coping mechanism: food. The sugar gives us an immediate high and instant gratification and then the cycle of shame, guilt and defeat repeats itself. It is hard to develop a habit of consistent meal prepping and exercise when our root issue isn’t physical or biological. If we want to disrupt this relationship with food, we have to address the root causes of the issue, which are often psychological and emotional.
Join us Sunday, September 20th at 8:30pm EST
to learn more about how to disrupt the bad relationship many of us have with food!! A free book will be given away during the Live!
You can purchase Dr. Ajita’s Bestselling Book, The Gift of Grief: A Practical Guide on Navigating Grief & Loss here: ajitarobinson.com/book or on amazon.com.
I’m Nicole Twyman, a native New Orleanian, who has lived all across the US! Although, my small family of 4 currently calls Los Angeles, CA home. I am a proud 40+ year old mom of a wonderfully energetic and theatrical daughter, and a handsome, scholarly athlete!
While I have worked in corporate America as a certified senior project / program / portfolio manager for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Procter & Gamble & IBM, my passion is service. It has always been my desire to live a life of service to others; which I took every opportunity to explore as an active member of many of my church’s ministries and of my public service sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
Well, now I am over the top excited to have the opportunity to serve divas through my very own ministry, Fit, Fyne & Fabulous.