Holistic Health: Feeding the Whole Person

The dictionary definition of holistic is “… relating to the medical consideration of the complete person, physically and psychologically, in the treatment of disease”.

Joshua Rosenthal chose to look at elements of many dietary theories from all parts of the world and even from conflicting viewpoints to create the philosophy of bio-individuality. He teaches that integration of the whole person and focusing on one’s individual needs is key to a healthful lifestyle

Even though I love to talk to people about food, the designation of Holistic Health Coach means I have a responsibility to guide clients to look at themselves as a complete person as they strive to reach health and wellness goals.

Weight loss seems to be the number 1 goal for many people who seek out a health coach. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to be a healthy weight. Many of the most prevalent and life-threatening diseases of our time are directly related to obesity. However, weight is often a symptom of bigger and more complex issues.

Unfortunately, people struggling with weight issues have often been duped into believing myths about how to overcome the problem. Most of these myths and half-truths only address a small piece of the puzzle and do not look at the whole or complete person. Everyone wants a magic bullet, and frankly, there just isn’t one.

If weight loss were as simple as deciding to eat less and exercise more wouldn’t everyone just do it? Of course they would! But willpower alone isn’t the answer. Without addressing the whole person and their physical as well as psychological condition, sheer willpower falls short.

We want to be sated when we eat, and yet when part of our whole self is still hungry, we may continue to eat even though we’re full, to fill a void that food just can’t fill. Everyone can relate to this at one time or another at some point in their life.

When we eat, we feed much more than just our physical body. We feed our needs for comfort, activity, and connection among other things. There is nothing wrong with feeding those needs when we eat, but they should be fed from other Primary Food™ sources (career, relationships, spirituality and physical activity) as well.

Physical activity, for instance will feed our need for activity better than eating, and healthy relationships will feed our needs for comfort and connection.

Not all of our Primary Food gives us what we need at all times. For instance, in a time of relationship upheaval, our spirituality may feed our need for comfort and our career our need for connection. Everyone’s life situation changes over time, which is why we must be aware of what we are hungry for and how to feed that hunger.

One other need we often overlook is simply our need for rest. Personally I can attest to eating to keep going even though I’m not hungry. Staying up too late, getting just one more thing done and eating to stay awake is a habit I’ve worked to break. I find that when I’m rested I’m so much more effective in everything I do. That might seem simplistic and obvious, but it sure has been a fight to get myself to act on it!

If you are struggling to find balance in how you feed yourself in all areas of your life and would like to talk to a holistic health coach, please visit my website, healthfulreturns.com and fill out a health history form. When you submit it I’ll contact you for a free consultation. There is no obligation and I would consider it a privilege to visit with you about holistic health and the whole you!