I like to use this analogy for some of my patients and will preface the said analogy with the obvious (as common sense is not so common these days) : this is a very simplified example!
We as human beings function like a giant wet cell battery when it comes to energy.
Like the wet cell, we generate electric impulses via ionic flow within a liquid medium.
Like the wet cell battery, we too are rechargeable.
But when we do not recharge and take care of the body, we commit BATTERY (verb): “ the act of beating someone or something with successive blows : the act of battering.”
In my line of work I am often amazed at an individual’s priority to take better care of their cars than their own bodies.
Not so long ago, checking the water battery in our car was part of the routine.
No battery= no energy for the car to start.
IF THE BATTERY WAS FLAT THE CAR DIDN’T EVEN GET STARTED
UNLESS! You had friends to help you push it down the hill and get a running jump.
I have found however, the majority of people I work with do not realise that energy is a FINITE resource. It doesn’t matter if it’s the wet cell battery in your car or solar power, the energy will eventually run out.
The human body in all its amazing splendour, is not free of the constraints of energetic scarcity.
We all sure as heck know how to use energy, running about our busy day to day lives, flitting here and there with barely a moment to think, cramming our lives with all the things we can scroll through, read through, hustle through.
But how do we get energy? And more importantly, how do we get more of it?
We get energy from the food we eat. This is it at the base level.
We get more of it by either increasing our intake of energy, or reducing the output.
If we eat less than we expend, we are in an energy deficit. The same is true of the reverse except the body has inbuilt mechanisms to mitigate this in the form of thermogenic adaptation and endocrine responses to keep us alive.
Sufferers of anorexia nervosa can demonstrate what happens at the extreme end of the scale when energy in is far less than energy out. The body will begin to catabolise and break down its own tissue.
What about those who are not at this extreme?
The overtrained and underfed female athlete for example? In women, we can see a cessation of the menstrual cycle and loss of bone density. Again, at an end of the spectrum and yet not so extreme as a tube-fed anorexia sufferer.
What about a female cross-fitter who trains hard and yet is putting on “weight” despite eating a 1400 cal diet? Maybe they should cut more food out of their diet? Exercise even harder?
What about a working breastfeeding mother of four young children who is eating salads and veg and limiting meat intake to “lose the baby weight and tone up the stretched skin”? On a diet of 800 calories she should DEFINITELY eat less and throw in some half marathon training or some high intensity training right???!
WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.
By taking an objective perspective can you identify anything, ANYTHING at all that is wrong with these scenarios that besiege the modern day woman?
Why is it that one of the biggest complaints women have in this day and age is that they are tired and yet it is paired with the biggest mistake- that of eating too little WHOLE nourishing food?
Why is such a simple solution so overlooked?
And why when we start to feel the energy levels pick up again we want to drain the battery down to 1%?
If you kept trying to start a car with a dead battery and it wasn’t working, what would you do- go and get another battery of course!
But we don’t have this luxury. We have one body, one life and one battery. Our body is the battery.
How you choose to spend or conserve the finite resource that is your energy and attention is up to you.
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