Balance means balance. When it comes to eating healthy, or what many people might call “dieting” balance is key. Dieting is extreme. Dieting can take on many forms of restrictive eating, some of which can be problematic for mental and for physical health. Extremes are easier than balance because balance takes self-awareness as well as self-control. Extremes create extreme expectations whereas balance is more regulatory and normal. When you try to commit to something like never eating unhealthy food again, you set yourself up for failure. One day, you’re likely to have something which might be categorized as “unhealthy”. Part of the reason balance is so important is because creating balance helps remove the polarity of eating. Too often food is categorized as “good” and “bad” instead of just food. Some food you are supposed to eat a lot of, like fruits and vegetables. Other foods you aren’t supposed to eat a lot of like fried foods and sweets. Balance means knowing what the healthy amount of each food is so that your diet is balanced between the two. However, that doesn’t mean for every piece of fruit you get a piece of candy. Each person has a different body chemistry which dictates how they react to different foods. While you’re in residential treatment, you’ll work closely with a licensed nutritionist to get an understanding of your body and create a unique diet plan that helps you create balance.
Food is an amazing part of life to explore. All around the world, there are different cultures who celebrate food in a different way. Spices, herbs, dishes, and delicious delights are what bring cultures together. There is so much to explore in food that there is no way to ever get bored. Learning about different food groups, exploring different ways to create savory or sweet treats out of different kinds of food can be an adventure. The kitchen is a great place to build confidence and self-efficacy in your recovery. Cooking is an adventure and often a misadventure which can help you practice humility as well as build important life skills. Going out to eat and exploring new foods is a great way socialize with recovery peers, create sober outings, and explore new things in life together. It may sound silly, but going out to eat in new places with your peers in early recovery will end up being some of your favorite memories.
Cottonwood Tucson is a residential treatment program offering an integrative approach to co-occurring disorders. Our programs for a spectrum of mental health disorders including substance use disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and compulsive behavioral disorders, are internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. For information call us today: (800) 877-4520