Don’t eat first thing in the morning…. only have fluids…have a big breakfast…eat like a pauper at night…. only eat when you’re hungry…carbs are the devil. O.M.G! How did the world of food and eating ever get so complicated? We are living in a society where there are so many ‘rules’ around food, what to eat, when to eat or not, no wonder why we have such a high prevalence of disordered eating, body image issues and controlled behaviours when it comes to the source that keeps our bodies alive and functioning—food.
Recently I have been on a gut-healing journey, it’s definitely been more of a growth and self-development experience—which I did not expect but have welcomed tenderly. Life sure does present us with lessons and guidance often when we least expect it. But, during this time I have had to stay away from certain foods that trigger my gut to go into, well, lets just say a damn uncomfortable mega bloated episode that can often last for an entire day and night (that’s the sugar-coated version). Amidst this journey it has called me to reflect on my past behaviours with food and my body image—I have been able to understand more about the deeper root-causes of my experience and how much I have grown and developed within myself—the tools and skills I have learnt to bring me to a place of acceptance of who I am inside and out (I am not perfect and my journey will forever continue). This journey has also taught me how much I bloody love food and how important it is to have a good relationship not only with yourself but also the food you are feeding your body and your mind.
The way we eat and how we eat is often the way we feel about ourselves and live our lives. I used to restrict carbs out of fear that I would miraculously gain a stupid amount of weight and undo all the hard work from long cardio sessions I would push my body through. Can you see within that mentality I was living from a place of fear and mistrust of my own body and a deep lack of acceptance for who I was and what I looked like—which in turn affected my relationships and quality of life. It actually infuriates me more than ever when I see adverts such as ‘the liquid diet’, ‘no carbs-high fat’ etc.… what I want everyone to realize especially young girls and women is that these so called ‘weight loss diets’ are not healthy. How do they teach us what feels good for our body? How do they teach us to eat intuitively and mindfully? The way I see it is these diets are a way people can mask or hide behind, deep seated mindset issues around their worth and acceptance of who they truly are. I know controlling my food definitely gave me the ability to distance myself from the truth of what was really a deep mental and emotional issue of not accepting myself –it was a form of numbing out and punishing myself. I say this not to gain sympathy or pity, in all honesty I have moved on from that place after having done a shit load of inner work—I say this because I want you to realize that no ‘diet’ is going to ‘fix’ you or make you accept who you are, just as you are. Food is for nourishment, pleasure, it brings loved ones together, and it’s a time to share with happiness and feel gratitude for its yumminess and abundance.
There are going to be foods that don’t sit well for you and that’s ok, it’s a term described as bio-individuality, where one food can be someone’s medicine but it could also be someone else’s poison (a little dramatic but you get my drift). It really comes back to simplifying—learning and knowing what you enjoy to eat, what feels good in your body and eating as close to nature as possible. Putting labels on foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is really asking for trouble—it’s creating an opportunity for us to live from a place of fear and restriction and offers up a possibility of what I mentioned before, disordered eating and on a physiological level deficiencies within our body that deprives it of functioning at its optimum.
What we all need to realize is that getting to know what works for us, our own individual needs and what will help us thrive can be a tricky and often emotional journey. So, I highly recommend building your own wellness team—the beauty is that you get to chose who you want on your team, it could be a nutritionist, integrative doctor, a spiritual teacher, a coach or counselor—just to name a few. This food maze is often much bigger than just the food, hence building your own wellness team can help you navigate your way through the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements that when attention and awareness are brought to each one true healing and wellness can begin and continue throughout your life.
Please know that, I’m not dismissing that there are certain diets that serve you well and act as a course of treatment for a particular ailment—many of these diets however, are for a certain length of time and are done under the supervision of a trained professional.
In foodie freedom,
PS: Remember we are all unique and that is bloody awesome!!
I would love to hear from you and your experiences with diets, did you learn about yourself during this time? What is your relationship like with food now? Comment below or email me at email@example.com