We are told about the food pyramid and that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We are also told that fibre is best sourced from grains and calcium from dairy.
What we are all discovering (especially those reading this blog) is that our bodies are telling us something different.
“I won’t give up coffee/wine/beer/cheese/milk/bread/chocolate – I just can’t” – if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this I would be a rich woman!
The food we are eating is making us sick and we are ‘comfort eating’’ to not feel our hurts – because those hurts are usually self-inflicted, we really don’t want to feel them because it would mean that we have to deal with our self-disregard. Ouch.
So my pattern was not to feel my hurts – eat comfort food (in my case bread, cheese, ice-cream, alcohol) – put on weight – exercise like a maniac (soft sand running and road running; 2-3 miles every day and longer on the weekend) – think the exercise was counter-balancing the food choices, which would justify the comfort diet – and start the whole thing again. I had also introduced the numbing effect from exercise – so the hurts were now muscular so I was less able to feel my deeper hurts. And of course, let’s not forget, is all about ‘Looking Good” so a ‘fit’, lean body is acceptable, no matter the self-abuse!! I was literally running from myself.
And so the cycle of disregard continued – as was my pattern from age 25 to 38 – and even substituting bread with gluten free and cheese with dairy free had the same weight-gain effect because I was not addressing the hurts, just changing the type of comfort food – so my body was still seeing those forms of food as an opportunity to hide again. And the weight was a form of hiding myself with a layer of protection (fat) from the world.
What’s been most profound for me is that I don’t need to eat three meals a day. This is a myth. Sometimes, I don’t need to stop at 1pm and eat a meal. I notice that my team at work at about 3pm are reaching for sugar because they have filled up on carbs (sandwiches, pasta, noodles, sushi, pizza etc etc) at lunchtime and the afternoon is dozy and less-responsive for most of them.
Usually two of my meals are what I would call ‘main’ but the portion sizes are much smaller than those from my previous cycle where comfort and filling up the emptiness was the main focus.
The other realisation is that running is no longer necessary. With my new food choices and portion sizes depending on how I feel, now a spritely morning walk, sit-ups and stretches with light weights are all that’s needed to stay toned and invigorated.
What would happen if we felt our bodies before we ate? Just sat and asked our body what it needed?
The change has been, and continues to be, learning – learning to trust my body and listen to what it needs and not override that truth with what I THINK I want to eat. My fridge is pretty lean – now my Achilles Heel is that I can numb myself by overeating in the excitement of how yummy it tastes because I’m such a creative genius in the kitchen!!
Oh how I LOVE food and it’s expression for us as a reflection of our self-love. It’s so beautiful that we can use food to express our love for ourselves with every measurement, every anti-clockwise stir of the soup, every sprinkle of spice, every glug of olive oil and every self-loving mouthful – when we stop and feel how Amazing we are!
5 thoughts on “Listen to and Trust Your Body”
thank you Sarah – great article and great advice! So often I notice I am eating because I think I should rather than because I’m hungry or ‘just in case’ I get hungry later. I too only started to lose weight once I addressed the underlying hurts that kept me stuffing my face and keeping the hurts at bay! And I agree re the number of meals – I no longer feel to eat as much as I use to. This is still a work in progress as food would be one of my weak spots – esp for treat/reward after a hard day at work!
You’re welcome – I love exploring my expression and your blog was my inspiration 🙂
Oh – the reward eating – great point Eunice!! I will blog about that too – with thanks and love, Sarah
Hi Eunice, a BIG me too for the “just in case” eating. I get scared (yes…scared) not to eat, just in case I can’t later and then something bad might happen:-))))). What this bad thing is, I don’t know, but I will just keep eating so I don’t find out!
Thank you to all three of you for sharing this about food!
I can very much relate and it makes me realize how simple it is: just follow what I feel in my body…
…if there wasn’t the mind interfering all the time:
“Yes, but…. shouldn’t you?”
“So and so said this is healthy or not so healthy”
And then there is the comparison: there is people I really admire and they said they do not eat this or that – I want to be like them, so maybe it works if I eat the same way.
Well, I better check with my body next time!