It’s been about 10 days now that I’ve made a conscious effort to listen to my body and nourish it intuitively. That decision was preceded by a lot of reading, including:
- Gabor Maté’s When the Body Says No, which taught me that putting yourself last all the time has real, physical consequences.
- Jon Gabriel’s The Gabriel Method, which taught me the power of meditation, visualization, and a baby-steps approach to making healthier choices (think What About Bob?).
- Linda Bacon’s Health at Every Size, which taught me that the idea that a thin body automatically means a healthy body, and conversely, that the idea that a fat body automatically means an unhealthy body, is crap.
- Sunny Sea Gold’s Food: The Good Girl’s Drug: How to Stop Using Food to Control Your Feelings, which taught me that I have a right to feel my emotions, and I don’t need to use food to suppress them out of fear that they might be too much for some people. If I’m too much for someone, then they don’t need to be a part of my life.
- Connie Sobczak’s embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!), which taught me that life is about balance and that I can love my body where it is, regardless of where that is.
- Traci Mann’s Secrets From the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again, which threw back the curtains on just how deceitful the diet industry is in efforts to keep us trapped in the dieting mentality, and taught me that the body treats dieting as a physical threat and produces more of the hormones that make us want to eat more and conserve energy while we diet.
It also involved a few other things:
- Corinne Dobbas, who taught me actionable steps toward self-love.
- Guided meditations from both Jon Gabriel’s The Gabriel Method and Gabrielle Bernstein’s Add More -ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, which brought me a peace of mind I had never experienced before.
- Positive journaling with this journal, which has helped to turn my Negative Nancy tendencies into ones of peace.
The results so far are that I’m much more relaxed about everything when I actually take the time to listen to the meditations. I’ve also lost as much weight in 10 days as I did during a full month of a very restrictive weight loss program. I’m not restricting what I’m eating…my socioeconomic status doesn’t really allow me to do that at the moment. But I am paying closer attention to hunger and fulness cues, as well as checking in with my body to see if I’m craving any fruits or vegetables in particular. This has lead to my adding vegetables and protein to foods that would be dubbed as “bad” on most weight loss programs, but my goal isn’t to lose weight. It’s to stop the internal war and bring myself to a place of peace while still taking care of the body that God gave me.
Honestly, I feel like intuitive eating is the way that God intended for us to eat. No tracking everything all day, no restrictions, no eating food substitutes that taste nasty, no mutilating our bodies…I want to actually live my life, not spend my time writing down every little thing that goes in my mouth or how many calories I burned. I don’t want to eat things or do activities that I don’t enjoy because society and the diet industry tell me that I deserve to be punished for having a fat body. That’s no way to live. And it’s no way to honor and worship God, either.