Guest post by Trina Holden
Have you ever experienced Real Food Burnout? It’s an actual condition, typified by an aversion to the kitchen, phobia regarding shopping or menu planning, and surprisingly strong cravings for junk food. Sufferers often experience amnesia in regards to meal ideas, paralysis when it comes to trying something new, and general depression on the topic of food.
How do I know so much about this condition? Because I have suffered from it many times myself.
We succumb to Real Food Burnout when we only focus on the list of things we want to change, when we forget that eating well is a journey, and when we think that our health is all up to us. Sometimes burnout episodes last for days or weeks, but in extreme cases, patients give up and never try to eat healthy again.
That is a tragedy, because Real Food Burnout can be avoided if you take these “Perspective Pills” regularly:
1. Realize it’s a journey.
The best way to get burnt out is to think of eating well as a target – and one you have to hit the first time. [Tweet “The truth is, like everything else in life, eating well is a process.”] There will be ups and downs, wins and losses, but one instance of succumbing to the convenience of take-out does not mean you have failed. It just means you are still in process. Take a deep breath and remember that you’re learning a new way of life, and that change takes time. Give yourself grace.
2. Look at your progress.
We can get so caught up in all the areas we want to improve and grow, we can completely neglect to notice our progress. Always focusing on our weaknesses is a recipe for depression! Yes, it’s great to have goals of recipes you want to try and things you want to change, but occasionally we need to glance up from our busy efforts to see how far we’ve come. Think about how you ate a year ago, or five years. You’ve come a long way! Take a moment to celebrate that!
3. Remember you’re not alone.
For me, the biggest trigger to an episode of burnout is when I think that the work of nourishing my family is all up to me. But when I act like my efforts are the only thing keeping body and soul together, I’m forgetting that the biggest factor isn’t actually the food we eat or which chemicals we’re avoiding. It is the fact that we have a God who created us and sustains us by His power. We are called to steward our bodies, but we don’t bear that responsibility alone. Let that reality bring you peace.
When I experience burnout, the fastest route to recovery is to call my real food mentor, who gently reminds me of these truths over and over, and then gives me one small thing I can do this week to make progress. If you need a friend to give fresh perspective for the journey or guidance on what to focus on next in your kitchen, check out my new book “Your Real Food Journey: A Gentle Guide to Steady Progress.” Because real food isn’t a target we have to hit the first time, but a journey to be enjoyed.
Trina has graciously provided KOTH readers with 20% discount on her book! From today until September 25th, use coupon code “koth20off” during checkout to get your book at the discounted price!
Trina Holden is a modern-day gypsy, currently parked in Alabama where she and her husband run a business encouraging families to thrive through real food cookbooks, classes, and consulting. Together they homeschool their four children, drink gallons of raw milk, and dream of their next road trip. You can find her online at trinaholden.com.