To paraphrase Einstein, one can’t solve a problem at the same level of consciousness at which it’s created. So then why do we continue to diet to lose weight when we know full well we will eventually gain that same weight back? Why do we swear we will be “good” tomorrow and then fail to achieve that “goodness”?
Why instead are we not reframing and exploring our relationship with food and our bodies?
For some of us, so much of our time and energy is spent worrying about food and our bodies. If we were to free that energy up, imagine how it could be channeled into developing our passion, talent, and creativity! To achieve peace with food and our bodies, we need an approach that incorporates our mind and its beliefs, our body and its needs, and our spirit and its fulfillment. We don’t need deprivation, shaming and external rules to tell us what our unique body needs. So how do we get there?
Our journey needs to be a patient and loving one, in which we learn to eat consciously as we attend to our body, mind and spirit. We explore our underlying beliefs and notice how they both drive and sabotage us. “If I eat this chocolate cake, I might as well eat desserts all day long.”
How did that thinking come to be? We get to know our bodies’ signals for hunger and satiety. How did some of us get so dissociated from our bodies that we rarely eat when we are truly hungry? We learn to set a beautiful table and relish our food. We actually taste the food and experience it fully. And we explore what truly feeds our spirit e.g., nature, speaking our truth, friendship, solitude.
We eat what our body wants when it is hungry and we stop when we are full. We notice when we want food when we are not hungry and we slowly learn how to respond to the underlying needs with non-food soothing strategies. We do all of this in a kind, loving, patient manner knowing the goal is not losing weight but finding peace with food and our bodies.
The weight will float off as a result of finding peace.
To truly find peace with our bodies and food, we must start from a place of self love by being kind to ourselves, by just noticing when we eat when we are not hungry and by learning what we really need, be it a walk in nature, a hot bath, a talk with our friends.
As part of learning what we need, we get to know our inner child and learn how to dialogue with her. When we are hungry, we eat and when we are not,
we explore our feelings and respond to them.
The very paradox of losing weight is that it will only happen when we accept ourselves exactly as we are. When we commit to a journey where food is food and feelings are feelings. When rather than berating ourselves for eating when we weren’t hungry, we explore what we were feeling before we ate and what would have more effectively responded to those feelings. When we realize that the concepts of good and bad food, good and bad behavior and external constructs like calories and scales move us further and further away from ourselves. They distract us and keep us from being truly present.
We can achieve peace by giving our body exactly what it wants when it wants it. We can achieve peace by satisfying rather than depriving ourselves. We can achieve peace by giving our spirit what it wants through developing a relationship with it. We can achieve peace by exploring our underlying beliefs that hold us back and sabotage us. Conscious eating is so much less about losing weight (although that will be one result), and so much more about feeding ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.