Thursday, June 16

Set Point

In last night's class, I talked a bit about set point and how real food can play into finding yours. This is something I believe in so strongly that I thought I'd write about it here as well.

If you've never heard that term before, the quick explanation is that everyone's body has a weight/body-fat ratio that is most desirable for optimal functioning. It is the point at which we feel our best, look our best, are most fertile, etc. (Read more here or here.)

It is not the point at which you are the thinnest you've ever been. If you've ever been so lean or thin that people said you should gain a little weight back, you were likely below your set point. The set point is where your genetics lead you to be, or more simply, the way God made you to look.

Exercise can certainly help us find our set points but activity doesn't have to be the same for everyone. Sure, strenuous exercise will help you get there faster but many people have different types of limitations (be they physical or not) which just don't allow that.

Fitness can be found any number of ways. We can find the time for small changes now or live with chronic pain later. It's, at once, that simple and profound.

These days, though, I find that what we eat is increasingly important in finding and maintaining a healthy body weight. Most of what is in the grocery is not food. They're chemical-laden products. You are not going to feel your best eating them, period.

It occurred to me after class last night that one of the few times we women really listen to our bodies is during pregnancy. That is the time we are most likely to allow our bodies to guide us in our eating without worry about body image. We actually let go.

Consider then the fabled 'glow' of a pregnant woman and the feelings of wellness (morning sickness or other issues aside) that the majority of moms experience at some point during gestation. Certainly, there are many factors involved but could part of it not be that we listen to our instincts about food? Might that mentality be a guide as to where to begin finding our individual set points?

Learning to buy, prepare and enjoy whole, nourishing food can rid you of frustrating thoughts of dieting and the destructive patterns of denial of whole necessary components of food, e.g. carbs, saturated fat. The food that God gave us is satisfying on every level. Don't let the skill of today's food scientists and marketers rob you of the joy of eating. It is possible to get the nutrition you need from foods you truly enjoy. It requires a bit of relearning and it's not a quick process but it's well worth the effort.

That this journey also leads to looking the way you'd love to is just a bonus. :)

What do you think about this? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I totally agree with you. My family tends to fall victim to convenience, and I feel horrible about it.

  2. I don't think it's something we should feel bad about at all. The truth is that our society is just not set up to make eating well easy - at all. Of course, I certainly understand that guilt and worry can feel like the main duties of motherhood most days. That's why I call the eating thing a journey. It's all about baby steps, determination and lots of time.

    You are a wonderful mother. Food choices do not diminish that. :)