The other evening I went out to dinner with my husband when something really struck me that I wanted to share with you…
I looked over at the next table and saw a young girl who had a piece of pizza on the plate in front of her. I saw the mother trying to coax her to eat, but the girl was just too interested in looking around, saying hi to other people in the restaurant, and she even got up to check out flowers in the restaurant.
Then she went back to her seat, started talking to her brother, and then finally (after about 5 minutes) she took her first bite of pizza.
And then it hit me — that’s what Intuitive Eating (also called mindful eating) is all about. About getting back to that place where *life* is more interesting and fulfilling that food isn’t so important anymore.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love food and I really enjoy eating. And when I sit down to eat most of the time I’m hungry.
But in our culture, we are so attuned to food being used as a solution to our issues, to food being used as a recreation, to food being used as a social tool, that we have seemingly forgotten that foods primary purpose –is to nourish our bodies. AND that eating can be (and should be!) physically pleasurable.
But for so many, food often plays other roles and seems to have taken precedence over many other things in our life.
But food shouldn’t be a substitute for pleasure in life.…it should be a part of it. And just like this young girl at the Italian restaurant — she was so interested in other things that the food was no longer so important.
You see, intuitive or mindful eating gets you back in touch with your actual needs, and gives us permission to once again experience the pure pleasure of eating. It’s a common sense, hunger-based approach to eating, where you are encouraged (and learn HOW) to eat when and only when your body tells you it is hungry. But for many of us, dieting has made a sort of ‘disconnect’ in those signals.
When someone is disconnected to her internal cues of hunger or fullness, it is easier to be trigged by external triggers to eat — such as emotions, stress, being tired, because the clocks says it’s 12 noon, opportunity, and/or perceived ‘rules’ of eating.
If someone has rigid rules for so-called healthy eating, she is more likely to succumb to overeating, as a consequence of breaking the well-meaning rules.
With intuitive eating, instead of focusing on dieting, you’ll to focus your attention to what you love. Because if you love your LIFE, you’ll want to take care of your body.
So aim to be like the girl I saw in the restaurant — where food is a part of life and life’s pleasure, but it doesn’t control you or your day. No matter what your way of eating, you can apply an intuitive approach to it–it’s about a way of living and relating to food, not about a food plan.
And for those of you who would like to learn further, and get back to that place where food is just food, where you don’t eat with your emotions but instead with your stomach and inner guidance — I have a new class that will get you there. It’s an 8-week course that will change the way you think about food, help you break free of the dieting and overeating cycle, and take back control of your weight and your life. And it’s starting at the end of this month.
The course is definitely not a diet or eating plan, but instead a way of experiencing life which allows you to be present and aware so that you are able to listen to your body and choose food based on nourishment and self-care.
I’m so passionate about this and feel the message is an important one for any woman who wants to handle her relationship with food, her weight, and her life in a healthy way, and to become truly whole. If that is you, you will not be disappointed, I promise.