Monday, February 25, 2013

Intuitive Eating

Your body has a wisdom and a sense of what it needs. When I follow my needs rather than a strict regimen of shoulds and shouldn'ts, dos and don'ts, I am less likely to overindulge or rebel. I know that most people are looking for the definitive answer: the diet that works for everyone.

There is no "one size fits all" program. Sure, there are guidelines, like eating organic fresh vegetables daily or avoiding processed foods. These both work as a general rule, but putting everyone on the same program just isn't realistic or effective. Each one of us has a different body chemistry, history, and conditioning. I personally have a history of eating disorders that began when I was a child and became overly focused on what was right and wrong. When I was about ten, my parents introduced a strict macrobiotic diet to the family. My very focused (obsessive) mind took this and ran with it. If cutting out certain foods was "good", then maybe cutting out more and more foods would be "better". After many years of restriction, the pendulum swung the other way, to the point that I was eating marshmallows for dinner. It took me some time to unwind and find the happy medium.

Today I prefer the idea of shifting the focus from dos and don'ts to choosing some version of mindful restriction that works for the individual. The primary benefit of a restrictive diet is that is requires conscious choice. I tend to say to people, just choose a way of eating and stay with it for several weeks. The cycle that yo-yo dieters tend to get mired in is the punishment/reward syndrome. When I eat BLANK I am good, and when I go off of that it's BAD.

What you feel, say, and sense when you feed yourself is equally important to what it is that you consume. In fact, when you consider what your body truly needs, you may be able to indulge in delicious foods that are treats in moderation. I personally allow myself a treat daily. It may be chocolate or some form of ice cream. When I allow myself small indulgences, I satisfy my craving and I do not over indulge. I recently stopped drinking coffee, not permanently, but I stopped needing it. This was a real listening to myself as I have been "on again" with coffee. How often do we simply get stuck in a rut of what we have been doing rather that what we really want or need?

At this moment, there is a lot of Pisces energy in the stars, making discipline a greater challenge. Drinking, overindulgence, sweets are tendencies...and restriction may be harder to come by. However, there are ways to offset that energy, for example: get better sleep. Sleep can help to curb our cravings, as we may be tired and craving sugar to bring the energy up. Or painting may satisfy our inner artist instead of boozing. Dance can be a form of rebellion and breaking free into expression. Before you pick up the habit, go over the check list and see if you can satisfy and indulge in a different way. How about ducking into a movie theatre and treating yourself to 2 hours out of your day rather than diving into a pint of ice cream. 
Remember, it's delicious to go with the flow, and when we bring consciousness to the fore, we can enjoy and indulge in a much fuller way. 

1 comment:

  1. I think you are a true visionary for the human race and I am a big fan of your wisdom. I believe you have one of the most interesting voices out there to point us in the direction of true self care. Thank you for being you!