What does listening to your body mean?
It means acknowledging you have a body and that you are not at war with your body and your job is not to control your body.
This foundation alone, believing my mind and body are a united front, that we are allies has changed my life. It began with the food but I soon realized it’s an act of ownership and acceptance of myself as a person. It was my gateway drug into loving myself NO MATTER WHAT, and I want that for all of us because we all deserve to be unapologetically who we are whether we are drinking a green smoothie or an ice cream cake.
You know that intuitive eating is the process of becoming an expert in yourself and that you have permission to eat, guilt free, because your are a grown-ass lady and now I’m going to share how this empowerment mindset (I’m my own expert and I choose what I eat) is the foundation for listening to your body.
If you’re still not sure how to feel empowered and are questioning whether you can trust yourself, that’s normal. Intuitive eating isn’t something you hurry up and do, it’s not a set of rules and in my mind it is all about being OK with what you eat, how you feel and what you do about it - no matter what. Last week when I ate a bunch of cake because the election and its aftermath had me feeling A LOT. I didn’t stop feeling, I didn’t judge myself, I let myself be a proud emotional human who ate some cake. Turns out it’s not that big of a deal.
Your body can speak to you in clear ways like when you feeling pain. When we feel pain it’s a heads up from our body that something needs our attention. But there are also subtle messages from our bodies like feeling tired, energetic, overwhelmed, nervous, hungry, full and we have to get quiet in order to actually hear those signals.
Listening to and acknowledging your body is a muscle and to strengthen a muscle you have to practice using the muscle and building it up. If we keep ourselves in multitasking, crazy busy mode we miss the subtle messages and they wind up becoming loud and intense and difficult to ignore.
I don't want us women to get to the point of illness or burnout or feeling so out of control or disconnected in our lives that we try to fix it with a new healthy way of eating (AKA a diet) and expect that if we lose weight we will have permission to start living the life we want.
Do you want to make empowered decisions about your body? Good, me too.
Learning how to feel my own hunger and fullness and acknowledging my body was really difficult. I swore I never felt hunger in my body yet I also felt hungry all of the time. In fact, I tired and worked really hard to identify those hunger and fullness signals, which is valuable knowledge, but it didn't sink in until I let go and stopped trying to so hard. Instead I had to trust. It took years of practice for me to notice what my physical hunger felt like and to not feel guilty for eating or eating when I wasn't hungry and I did it by asking myself a million questions because that’s what an expert does.
What can you do today?
1. Pay attention.
2. Practice not judging.
Guess what? You are your greatest source of power and knowledge. Being open and moving out of judgment and relentless shit talking (to yourself) is your ticket to freedom.
This is about the time I started asking lots of questions about nutrition. I was all for ditching diet culture and self-acceptance, but part of my brain wanted to know how to do this without ignoring nutrition. I really wanted to know where weight loss and weight gain come into play. Since you are probably thinking the same, that’s what we’ll talk about next week just in time for you to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.