Reflections from My Recent Summer Travels

Whenever I travel, I not only enjoy myself, but I also usually learn some things. I recently went on a trip to Orlando for tennis sectionals with a group of ladies. Here are a few things that I noticed while away. 

Our bodies need regular consistent nourishment. 

I rode with two friends down to Orlando. We left around 1:15. On the way one friend started feeling nauseous and her head was hurting. This was abnormal for her. She doesn’t usually get car sick. 

My nutritionist brain couldn’t help but consider a lack of food as the possible culprit. I asked her what she had eaten. She said she had a good late-ish breakfast. I also asked if she was used to only eating one meal by this time of day (at this point it was 3:30 or so), she said no. She eventually decided to eat a bar. A little after eating it she started feeling better and realized yep, she hadn’t eaten enough. 

Turns out her body was giving her hunger signals and just needed more nourishment than she had given it. When she listened and gave her body what it needed, she felt better. Eating regularly and consistently is one of the most important things we can do in order to support our health and feel good in our bodies. I talk about it a lot with clients. Many of us have received the message that avoiding food and ignoring our hunger is a good thing. I teach the opposite. Our bodies need nourishment and listening to and responding to hunger is an important way to honor our bodies and our health. 

Fit, strong, capable bodies come in all different shapes and sizes.

At this tennis tournament we competed against other teams of women at our same level from all over Florida, West Palm, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Sarasota to name a few. As I looked around I noticed the diversity of bodies in the women competing. There were tall women, short women, people in smaller bodies and people larger bodies. All different shapes and sizes playing tennis and competing and doing something they enjoy. 

Don’t judge a book by its cover. 

I remember early on when I first started playing tennis. I was in my late 30’s and got on the court to play some ladies that were quite a bit older than I was. One might have been wearing a knee brace. I was a little too quick to judge and misjudged my opponent’s craftiness. They may have been older and possibly had some joint issues, but they had skill and experience and knew exactly where to place the ball…and how to make me run all over the court!

We’ve all heard this phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover, before and hopefully try to practice it, but our biases can naturally creep in. For me playing tennis has reinforced it over and over and really driven it home. Not only do the people I play tennis with and against come in all different shapes and sizes, they also are all different ages and athletic abilities.

This was again reinforced on this weekend away, to reserve judgement and avoid making assumptions. It really doesn’t serve anyone to judge a book by its cover and when we do it, it is an opportunity to note our bias. We can only change biases by becoming more aware and mindful and allowing that to shift our thoughts and beliefs. You can read more about bias in my previous blog Stop the Weight Hate.

Diets are Temporary and Most of Us Know It

One of the ladies in our group said something about her husband, “being on a low carb diet until he wasn’t and ate ALL the carbs.” I hear this one a lot. People talk about cutting out carbs and working for a time…until doesn’t.

At dinner one night this comment was made and was just so clearly representative of the vast majority of people’s experience that I took note. As I talk about often with clients and in my writing, this failure of restrictive diets is not an individual failure. Instead, it is a natural physiological, mental, and emotional response to restriction of one of our fundamental dietary needs.

Don’t believe me, the World Health Organization just had this to say about carbs in their most recently issued healthy diet guidelines, “Carbohydrate intake should comprise 40-70% of total calorie intake and come mainly from minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes, with research finding that these foods are associated with a reduced risk of deaths from any cause and diet-related non-communicable diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer).” They also advised 2 servings each of fruits and vegetables, and 25 grams fiber daily.

The belief and thought process that carbs need to be restricted is a myth. The perpetuating of this myth only serves to create a scarcity mindset that just drives us to eat more of them in a way that doesn’t serve our bodies. Carbs are not evil. They are a broad category of foods that include everything from apples to donuts to potatoes to oatmeal. All of these foods are carbs. They are our bodies preferred source of fuel and there is a way to include them that promotes health and gives us energy to do the things we want to do. 

My Own Body is Strong and Capable of Enduring More Than I Thought

It was seriously HOT in Orlando! My weather app said that it “felt like” 105-107!! ? It was so hot that several of the players from opposing teams were cramping up. One with full body cramps that left her writhing and screaming in pain and sent her to the Walk-In clinic for IV fluids. ? Witnessing bodies do what they do, especially under extreme conditions, and playing all weekend left me in awe of the human body and all it is capable of. It also left me feeling a lot of gratitude and appreciation for my own strong, capable body and all that it does to support me both on and off the court. 


I learn so much on these weekends away. To recap what was reinforced for me this weekend…

  1. Our bodies need regular consistent nourishment. When they don’t get it they will let us know one way or another. 
  2. Capable bodies come in lots of different shapes, sizes, ages, and athletic abilities. Making assumptions about people based on assumption serves no one.
  3. Diets are ineffective and restricting foods, including carbs, only makes us want them more.
  4. Our bodies – every one of them – are amazing and resilient and deserving of so much appreciation and gratitude.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *