How the diet mentality relates to anxiety or depression

“There is always one true inner voice. Trust it.-

So I had a conversation with my older brother recently. We have a lot of deep talks- I love it! He has been struggling (as we all do at times) to find his path in life. Or purpose. Whatever you want to call it.

During our talk, I had an aha moment! The lightbulb was definitely flashing above my head.

Being a female and one very interested in health and wellness, I have experience with the diet mentality. When I was in high school I developed an interest in health and it kept growing in college. Only, some of my good intentions led to bad behaviors (stressing over weight gain, thinking I needed to be on ANOTHER diet, over exercising, etc.). I didn’t know any better back then. Instead of loving myself first AS IS, I focused on nursing the signs/symptoms of low self esteem instead of working through the actual issue at its core. Now that my self esteem has been healed, I no longer even feel the need or desire to diet or over exercise. I love my body as is and it is naturally in good health (granted, I am currently 38 weeks pregnant so I do have quite the belly on me, but I sure love it. And when I was in college I NEVER thought I would get to a place where I could ever be happy with a pregnant belly.) How cool is that?!

Fast forward to my brother and I’s convo… not having direction or being uncomfortable with where you are NOW can often lead to coming up with other signs and symptoms, nursing those, and forgetting about the real issue at hand. The signs and symptoms look much like anxiety and depression, among other mental issues. Focusing solely on fixing depression or anxiety can often lead to MORE anxiety and depression when the real problem is not being looked at. It is a downward spiral, much like the diet mentality.

With the help of THE best solution-focused therapist in DFW, Elliott Connie, we came up with a solution to the real problem of not listening to your inner wisdom. The solution for my brother is to travel more. It is that simple! To find a job where traveling and adventure is a natural part of the position. He is one that starts to feel uncomfortable when he is stagnant for too long. He has known deep inside that he would love to travel and work with different people on farms for awhile, but always seems to find reasons (aka excuses) not to move forward with this path. He denies his inner wisdom when he does this.

It is easy to get suckered into the societal rules of thinking you need to work a 9 to 5 regular Joe Schmo job, getting married, purchase a house with a picket fence, have 2 kids, etc. However, this lifestyle would cripple him! And that is OKAY… that is okay for anyone. The American dream gets to be individualized and is not cookie cutter, even though Facebook makes it look like it should be.

I loved seeing the excitement in my brother’s eyes as his inner wisdom took over and gave him the confidence he needed to move forward. What a beautiful gift our inner wisdom is! Don’t get suckered into the “shoulds”… they can create more problems than good.

  • Cindy

    This is a great post. I have just rebranded into a motivational speaker and I speak on exactly this and using ALL aspects of health in addition to diet/exercise to live a happy purposeful life. I hope you are feeling well! Can’t wait to see baby!! I was just looking at last years blog post for NNM =) that was a good time!! Let me know if I can provide any “blog support” while you transition to motherhood.

  • Priya Tew

    Lovely post, thanks for sharing.