Shhh…Listen to This

Listening to your body isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially if you’ve spent a lifetime becoming quite skilled at not listening to your body.

And, when I finally do listen, I’m starting to get the message that my body is a maybe a bit pissed off. My teeth are clenched more than seems normal. My shoulders are, how you say, the opposite of relaxed, my digestive system gets upset on a pretty regular basis, my skin is broken out in little red bumps on my cheeks and I have a deep frown line (or two) on my forehead. I think it’s pretty safe to say that now may be a really good time to start listening to what my body is trying to tell me.

ll listen 2

How did this avoidance of my body’s signals begin? Well, I remember growing up feeling that the only comfort from my chaotic family life was food. Lots and lots of food (with a big can of coke and big bag of BBQ chips being my fave snack). And that was the start of my love of emotional eating and my war against my (ever expanding) body. I also remember my mother never being happy with herself and always being on some kind of diet or weight watchers eating plan and looking at herself in the mirror and frowning a lot. Since my out of control eating was already affecting my weight as a young child, I followed closely in her footsteps. I started to ping pong back and forth between emotional eating and compulsive dieting until my relationship with food became one big, long, frustrating struggle that lasted decades.

I’ve been on countless diets, far too many to list. I’ve been anorexic, bulimic, binged eaten until I was 30 pounds overweight. I’ve obsessed about my body’s shape and what and when and how much I was going to eat for years. And I’m getting weary of this. I don’t want to live my entire life classifying every single piece of food that passes my lips as “good” or “bad”. I don’t want to dine on lettuce when what I’m really craving is a slice of hot, delicious, mushroom pizza that I won’t let myself have. I don’t want my body to be my enemy and I don’t want some stranger who wrote a random diet book dictating what I put in it anymore.

What I do want is to actually listen to what my body wants. I want to eat food that I’m craving, even if it is cheesy mushroom pizza or a rich, dark chocolate bar. I don’t want to eat a ton of lettuce every day, only because it’s good for me. It’s not good for me if I’m resentful eating it. And, more than anything, I want to finally learn how to make peace with my body.

This is my motivation for my experiment with intuitive eating. Learning how to trust myself and listen to my internal cues and finally be able to sink into myself. A pretty radical concept in the ever changing world of Paleo, South Beach, low carb, high fat, low fat, “Eat like a French person” world.

So, here we go…

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11 thoughts on “Shhh…Listen to This

    • Hi Katia, I think our body has a lot of wisdom. We may crave not so healthy food in the beginning of eating like this but, I’m hoping that after the novelty wears off, I’ll start craving healthy food that my body actually needs. And, if that doesn’t happen, well then I’ll stop my intuitive eating experiment 🙂

  1. If I listened to my body when it comes to food, I would indulge it too much with the things I love (chocolate, ice-cream etc!). However, I do know when my body needs nutrition, and in the past if I’ve had a “party weekend” where you’re eating out, takeaways or just busy doing fun stuff and not eating well, I do crave things like salads and vegetables… so perhaps it’s a case of listening mindfully. Listening to your body when you need food is one thing, listening to it and feeding it rubbish is another. Also answer your body with one question – am I hungry or am I bored (one of my weaknesses is boredom eating).

    • Hi Susan, What I’m hoping for is to get to the point where I’m listening to my body’s wisdom so that it won’t even be an option to stuff myself with junk. I feel like the diet culture of listening to other people ie. diet “gurus” instead of ourselves has led us to feeling undernourished, angry, frustrated and cut off from our body’s signals. I’m hoping that learning to eat intuitively will put me back in touch with my body’s natural cravings and that way, I’ll be less likely to binge on food when I’m actually looking for another kind of nourishment.

  2. Great blog! I love the title of your blog and you’re adorable (I love the beach yoga photos, I wish my hair looked that great on the beach!)

    Anyway, I AGREE WITH YOU 100 PERCENT.

    I read the other comments and people are saying “You can’t always listen to your body because it will always crave bad food.” That isn’t exactly true because once you get in a healthy groove, “bad food” will change for the better, For example, I’ve been eating fairly healthy since 2003 when I discovered raw foods.,I can never ever see myself eating Dunkin Donuts or Doritos, as I haven’t since the 1990s. But now, to me, bad foods are maybe white rice or bean chips. Or the occasional Amy’s all natural dinner out of a box. See, where I’m going with this?

    Now, last night, after eating bean chips, I was able to stop after I ate a certain portion, then I ate some organic broccoli. When you’re eating 80 or 90 percent healthy 80 or 90 percent of the time, your body will always take you back to it. (In other words, you are doing the RIGHT thing!)

    I’m mostly paleo and read a lot. I’d say 90 percent of people who follow the paleo lifestyle (and even nutritionists) have one day where they could pig out on unhealthy foods. I do that on Sunday. But again, my “unhealthy” could be having a non-organic Greek salad in a diner. That may be healthy to other people, but it’s my junk food. 🙂

    Hope this makes sense 🙂

    • Hi Maryanne, That’s exactly what I hope will happen. It takes times but eating this way is making me sink into my body more than I ever have and also making me so much more aware of what reactions I’m having to the food I’m eating. Finally! 🙂

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