Unlike alcohol or cigarettes, food is not something we can just quit if we suspect we have an unhealthy relationship with it.
The reality is you need to eat. It is something you will do day in and day out, multiple times per day for the rest of your life.
So, if you truly want to shape your body and life into the beautiful, exquisite flowers they are meant to be, I feel it is well worth taking this first step towards finding freedom from food and in your body.
This first step is about getting real with yourself and being willing to cultivate AWARENESS.
What I see over and over again in my one-on-one practice, my groups AND myself is that we don’t always eat (or not eat) because of purely physical needs. Food and eating become emotional crutches, often filling a void or making us feel falsely in control.
There is so much in life that is seemingly out of our control (although is it really? But that’s another topic), why not commit to empowering yourself with what you DO have full control over?
This concept is quite simple, but I know it is not easy. These habits and beliefs are deeply entrenched in our being, so it takes stepping outside of the daily routine to shine the light of awareness on them and begin to transform. That is why I am committed to holding your hand, so that you can achieve the results you desire.
Many clients are often surprised that I don’t hand over an eating plan on day one. Wouldn’t it just be easier to be told exactly what to do?
The answer is “yes” AND “no”.
Yes, maybe for the first day or week or even month, but then what? How can reading off a diet plan actually be sustainable in a vibrant, juicy, fulfilling life?
Instead of following some diet plan, the first step to food freedom is to begin practicing awareness of where you are losing your power. This is usually in some limiting belief or insecurity that developed long before we could understand what those words meant.
So, how do you cultivate awareness?
Step number one is: EAT ONLY WHEN HUNGRY (and getting in touch with real hunger).
This is critical if you wish to be your slimmest, most radiant and energetic self. The simple equation is when you eat more than your body really needs, you will most likely gain weight. The exception to this is someone with a hyperactive metabolism or a malabsorption issue.
Even if you don’t gain weight, energetically you are overburdening your body with food. So instead of giving you energy, it is now taking energy away. Eating only what your body needs is very different than calorie counting. This is about listening deeply to the cues of your body. If you have been reading my newsletter for any length of time, you know that counting calories will get you on the boring number-crunching road to nowhere – fast.
Okay, so here is a question to ask yourself as you begin your journey towards awareness:
Do I eat only when I am hungry?
If the answer is no, then ask:
My suggestion is to really “stay” with these questions. Ask them, then stop to listen quietly, and ask again.
Better still, sit down with a pen and paper and brainstorm a little bit. You might be really surprised by what you discover.
Some examples include:
– I eat because there is nothing better to do
– I eat because others are eating
– I eat because it is time to eat
– I eat because I am uncomfortable
– I eat when I am at work
– Eating to avoid something you don’t want to do
– I eat because I “just needed to get rid of _____”
– I eat off my kid’s plates because I don’t want to throw it away
– I eat because I need to stay up a little later
– I eat when I have an argument with someone
– I eat because I just love eating
– And on, and on . . .
What are your specific examples of when you eat when you are not really hungry?
Take a moment to begin to cultivate your own list.
I know I used to eat (or not eat) for many reasons – when I was alone, when I felt out of control, when I was unhappy with myself, when my feelings felt too painful to face. The good news is that this IS reversible.
Once you identify the conditions under which you eat when not hungry, the next step is to dig deeper and ask:
“Why do I eat when I’m ________ (at work, alone, etc.)?” Is it because of anxiety, habit, loneliness, stress, etc?
This is the real nugget to shining the light on what is really going on, which almost always starts the “disengage process”.
In other words, once you see this limiting behavior or belief, it no longer has the same control over you.
For example, if you discover that you eat at work because of stress, you will need to begin to uncover the layers of what exactly is causing the stress and take action towards lessening or removing these stressors.
This very simple process that only takes a few minutes, can go a long way in restoring a healthier relationship to food, your body and to your life. You see these components are intricately and intimately connected.
Begin exploring this for yourself and see whether you can start enjoying greater empowerment, peace and joy.
Let me know how it goes!