September 12, 2012

When a bag of chips are the healthiest option!

I have thought long and hard about this one. This post is the result of years working with folks who are at their wits end with the behaviour change stuff. The stress of change (of that little voice in the head that repeats itself over and over again...."you should be exercising", "you should be eating a carrot", "get your face outta that cake!") may be more harmful than the chips. 

As we know (or need reminding) stress increases this nasty hormone called cortisol and cortisol is responsible for all kinds of evil. The biggest being the weakening of the immune system leading to colds and flu and everything nasty thing going around. Stress is bad for the emotional health, physical health, and can lead to addictions of everything. In a ain't good.

So here's the 20 million dollar question....which one is healthier for you; eating the chips or sitting on the couch sweating it out (pretending the chips don't exist when you really know, in the end, you will be eating those chips but you will be suffering through a little more stress before you do)? If you weigh it all up and are thinking about your total health, the answer isn't that challenging. The chips win!

Now I'm not advocating chip eating whenever the mood strikes. We all know they aren't that great for us, they get in the way of pounds lost, and they don't make us feel energetic and vital. BUT...when nothing else is going to do it for us, why not have the chips and reduce your stress level in the meantime? I challenge anyone (doctor, lawyer, nutritionist, nurse, educator, biochemist, and snake oil salesperson) to tell me that isn't the right thing to do (okay...let's face it the snake oil person will argue the sky is made of cheese if it means they can sell their product). If you know anything about the effects of stress on the body vs. the effects of chips on the body I am confident you will agree with me.

So I intend to begin my next semester in health promotion speaking on the benefits of chips. I see it not only as a way to shock the hell out of people (into listening to me), but as a social experiment as well.  Will it anger people (the health and fitness people) to hear this? Will it bring down the shoulders of those who are struggling to do "the right thing" but failing?  Professionally, I think this message is not only healthy, it encompasses balance and real life.  I have a good feeling about this one.

I'll keep you posted.

But first, I have a half full (not half empty) bag of Lays ketchup chips in my pantry I need to finish off.


1 comment:

  1. Stress is bad for the psychological wellness, wellness, and can lead to addictive problems of everything. Simply ain't good.