Hungry Games – Shae embraces nutrition for a better life

Gladstone News is sponsoring local teen Shae Bunge to participate in the headspace Hungry Games, an eight-week program for young people aged 12-25 helping them to adopt healthy life habits. In return Shae has agreed to blog about her Hungry Games journey – this week she talks about the links she is beginning to see between her food and her mood…

This isn’t entirely about weight loss for me. It’s like a bonus though. For me this program has made me look at how I’ve been treating myself.

In May I was admitted to hospital with a blood clot in my lung. When I returned to discuss my results with a hematologist he explained that it was most likely triggered by certain risk factors: I have a family history of clots, I was on medication that increased my risk, and I also live quite a sedentary lifestyle. The best way to avoid getting another clot is to remove as many risk factors as possible. I changed the medication. I can’t really change my genetics. I can work on moving around more. I need to exercise to reduce my risk of another clot.

Before the program started, members of Headspace’s Youth Reference Group were asked to participate in a video for Megan (Leane – the local dietician advising Hungry Games participants) and it revolved around our relationship between food and our mood.

As a member, I was asked to talk about that and I jumped at the chance. This activity made me really look at how I’m affected by my food. The days I’d have the most trouble getting up to exercise, I’d also had an entire pizza for lunch. The days I just curled up in bed in the dark and moped, I’d have a full bag of chips the day before and that was it. The days where I just did not want to do a single thing, I’d have eaten an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies for brunch.

The same can be said for the reverse though. The days where I start with a healthy breakfast, I have no problem doing a million things in the day. Healthy salad roll for lunch and I’m ready to exercise that afternoon. Having an apple and banana instead of chips even has me feeling happier in general.

I don’t want to exercise to lose weight. I don’t want to eat better to look good. I want to do these things to be better to myself.