You can have your cake and eat it too!
I mentioned a couple of newsletters back that I was reading a book called Intuitive Eating. This book has validated the journey I've been on with my relationship with food and my body.
Like most women, I have been negatively impacted by diet culture. My weight has fluctuated about 20-25 pounds in my adult life as I have cycled through the latest diet. I've probably lost and regained twenty pounds about 8 times. I was dangerously thin in my twenties and fretted about gaining twenty pounds in my pregnancies. I denied myself food and took laxatives if I cheated.
The way I have felt about my body and how I look has been tied into a number on a scale. I have tried sugar-free, low carb, low calorie, vegetarian, point-counting and fasting. And all with some success, but eventually, I would reach my target weight and binge on the foods I had denied myself.
The truth was that my life didn't change no matter what number was on the scale. Along the way, I have become more comfortable with who I am and less motivated by the opinions of others. I have found myself resisting dieting and the culture that wants to keep women small and feeling shame about our bodies. The thought of restricting anything in my life has me feeling rebellious! Can you relate? And what does that have to do with my work?
Intuitive eating is a way of learning to listen to my body again. I’m hearing and honouring what I want. I’ve been taught that if left to my own devices, I will self-destruct. I’ve been taught that about food and other aspects of my life as well. I’ve been taught that I need external controls or I’ll be fill in the blank (suggestions: obese, broke, drunk, lonely, addicted, evil, sinful, etc.)
Learning to hear, honour and trust myself has been a big part of my journey in the past decade. It’s helped me set boundaries, address people-pleasing, carve out a healthy spiritual life and walk away from situations and beliefs that don’t align with who I am. It turns out I can have my cake and eat it too if I want. And so can you.