The process of eating is one of the most basic, nourishing actions we undertake in our lives on a daily basis, yet do you actually get all the nourishment you can get out of your food when you are eating? I am not just speaking about eating a meal that is high in nutrients (a.k.a. healthy) and knowing your digestive system works at its most effective setting so making sure that you actually absorb the nutrients you eat. No, I mean nourishment that goes beyond the physical. The mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment you can get from a meal.
- Like the feeling of love after eating a meal (however healthy or unhealthy) cooked by your Mum.
- Like the knowledge that you are nurturing your body at its most basic by having a meal that it needs right now because you took the time to listen to your body and honour its needs (even though the meal is laden in fat).
- Like the energy you gain by eating a meal that is just right for you not because it has a certain amount of nutrients, is low fat or paleo, but because it supports your whole being wholeheartedly.
Eating should be loving habit of nourishing yourself rather than a punishment for what else is (or is not) going on in your live. However, as adults we often eat food to avoid pain, loneliness and feeling low. We have beliefs about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ foods judging everyone around us including ourselves if we eat ‘incorrectly’. Our minds are so pre-occupied with all these fears, believes and fantasies about food that we completely miss the joy of being present with our meals. Instead of eating with our whole beings taking pleasure from food, we eat with our minds.
Eating intuitively is only great if you are actually in tune with your body, having learnt to listen to it and interpret the signals correctly. You may well eat intuitively when you comfort eat, because you think your body craves for food that helps you to deal with a full on day; however, if you have not learnt to pay close attention to your emotions and deal with them, all you will do is cloak over those emotions with your food rather than productively resolve them. There is no nourishment in that.
Unless you stop fighting food and start embracing it and the whole body nourishment that the process of eating can bring along, you will find yourself in the endless cycle of diets, not feeling at home in your body and not living up to your worth.
Now, imagine yourself having a relationship with food that leaves you nourished and fulfilled every day. Imagine yourself being confident enough to relax and enjoy the food you eat, whatever it may be. Imagine yourself taking delight in eating and getting pure pleasure out of other healthy habits such as exercise. Imagine yourself being healthy because healthy habits make you feel good rather than them being a chore.
If you are ready to have such a life, stop defining yourself about how much you weigh or what you look like and start appreciating all the other layers that make up the person that is you. Stop victimizing yourself around food, your body or anyone else’s standards and start taking responsibility for small, simple, yet profoundly effective changes that help your metabolism to find the right groove again. Stop eating with your head bringing about feelings of guild and inadequacy and start eating wholeheartedly with all your senses involved.
Stop punishing and start nourishing yourself when eating. Today. Now!
… and you will find that once you start noticing your food (not the calories or the fat or the sugar or the salt), your body does not bypass the satiation mechanism any longer and you will stop hungering for more…
Here is to you nourishing yourself wholeheartedly!