The Law of Conservation of Energy is the first law of thermodynamics. It states that energy must remain constant in an isolated system and is conserved as time passes and that it can neither be created nor destroyed. Instead, energy is a constantly moving entity, transferring from one state to another or changing from one state to another. Thermodynamics and this first Law of Conservation of Energy was created in the mid 1800’s by Rudolf Clausius and William Thomson. Often, Albert Einstein is quoted when he said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
When we talk about food and nutrition we use the wrong language. We talk about what food will give us and create for us. We drink energy drinks and use pre-workout supplements to give ourselves more energy. We follow strict dietary plans in order to make gains and maximize what food does for us. Part of the reason we might struggle for so long with diet and exercise is exactly because of this false ideology. We think that the food that goes into our body creates something or destroys something. Food is energy. Food is fuel. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, we neither create nor destroy the energy from food in our body. We change it and we transfer it. What we put into our body in the form of food is transformed into other energy, fat, protein, acids, and much more. What goes in, comes out differently. The food that we put into our body matters because we are conserving that energy in the isolated system which is the machine our bodies truly are.
To lubricate grinds in order to make a machine run smoothly, we wouldn’t use chewing gum. In order to make the machine of our body run smoothly, we have to feed it with the food and supplements that help maximize its productivity. Feeding ourselves what is essentially garbage in terms of food is like sticking chewing gum in a grind. The energy is still transferred and changed, but the energy that is conserved is not as efficient as it could be. Getting in peak physical shape helps us make the most out of life and create meaning that is critical for our recovery. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can rob us of our physical strength. Even if we trained and maintained some kind of physical health during our active using, the Law of Conservation of Energy still applies. Recovery gives us the opportunity to feed our bodies, literally and figuratively. We need to give the body the power it needs in order have a body that is as powerful as the energy we give it. With this energy and this mindset, we can connect ourselves more deeply to our physical form and the energy we create in the world. We are constantly being transformed and transforming the world around us. That is part of the freedom of recovery.