I've mentioned over and over that I'm listening to a ton of work from Kara Lowentheil. In her work she teaches about a thought ladder exercise and this is my lighter version. When you have a terrible thought, think to yourself, "what's the next best thought?"
Have you ever had a toddler lovingly cram a cookie into your mouth? My kids certainly did this and I’ve seen other kids do the same. They are so exhilarated at the concept of the cookie that they simply must share it with you. It’s startling and sometimes gross yet we laugh and love the enthusiasm toddlers have for food. Toddlers are the best intuitive eaters.
I’ve recently gone back and read the book Intuitive Eating (IE) by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I say “gone back” because I felt as if I had already read it. I’ve read many books that reference their work (such as Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison and The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole -Smith). I’ve even done the workbook that accompanies the book but finally getting to read the book that is considered the reference for so many others was needed. It is an older book; written in originally in 1995 (though it has been updated many times). So what is intuitive eating?
Read the book! Hahaha. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m not here to rehash the whole book for you but I did want to talk about some of the concepts in the book that have changed my life dramatically. I’d also like to share some simple ways that you can start eating intuitively although I will warn you. Intuitive eating isn’t one of those things you do a little bit. As the great Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try.” (Ah, Yoda life lessons!!)
One of the big concepts of Intuitive Eating was one of the hardest for me. It is “give yourself unconditional permission to eat.”
Like ANYTHING. ANYTIME.
This is Samuel my walking partner, coworker and constant companion.
The other day we were out walking and I thought about some things. When I take Samuel for a walk, he doesn’t count steps. He doesn’t worry about the distance we have gone or the time we have spent on our strides. He does stop and smell the “roses” (or the duck poop, whichever he finds first). He does notice the sights and sounds that surround him. When we stop, he pauses to feel the breeze on his dark chocolate nose. He says “hello” to every single person we pass by. Samuel knows how to take a walk at a level I admire. He savors every moment. When the we return home, if he is tired, he rests. If he wants more, he goes to the backyard and lays down in the sun and lets it bake into his skin like lemon cupcakes in the oven.
If I said that my body image issues started here (imagine a picture of me, three years old in pink tights and a black Leotard, long pigtails and barrettes) would I be exaggerating? Probably not. Studies indicate that girls as young as three show signs of body image issues. Dance class at this age brought me a lot of joy but I recall as I got older dance became a rocky trail. I was told when I was going on pointe that it would probably be best to “watch my weight.” My super skinny friend in school told me she wasn’t chosen for a dance company because her “thighs were too big.” Mine were twice as big as hers.
There’s another picture of me around this same age that I have. It’s me in a little dress standing next to my tricycle. My ankles are adorned in those thin white socks with the lace around the edge and my thighs are robustly smushed together. I once looked at that picture and said, “See, even at my lowest weight, I didn’t have a thigh gap.” I thought I was being clever.
This time last year, my spouse and I were in a BAD place. In spite of the beginnings of vaccines making their way into our world, the kids were not yet vaccinated and therefore we were keeping them close. Which meant they were with us ALL.THE.TIME. No camps, school, or other activities. My spouse and I were on edge. Anxious, unhappy, irritable. Especially for my spouse, who now works from home, there was no escape. I saw our beautiful home become more like a prison for him. Zoom meetings are great but happy hours, water cooler conversations, actually being next to someone, you can’t replicate that.
When I graduated from massage school I wasn’t even 21 yet. I was legally allowed to rub on naked people but I wasn’t allowed to toast my own graduation (although, funny story, I did have a margarita at our massage school after graduation party when one of my classmates pretended to be my mom and ordered me one, LOL.)
Over the years, I’ve switched jobs several times but I’ve always done bodywork. I’ve always loved working on people, helping them with their aches and pains. I’ve worked on my family, my spouse, in private clinics, big box establishments, spa settings and now for myself! Not that I am speaking for all bodyworkers but I think it is safe to say that over the years I’ve learned some things and there are many things I wish my clients knew. So, I decided to write about it. Here goes:
Often times, when I don’t have a dinner plan we make a “smorgasbord.” I guess the fancy term would be charcuterie board but let’s be honest, there are usually goldfish involved. I get out a huge platter and fill it with crackers, sandwich meat, any fruit that needs to get eaten up, sliced cheese, and anything else that might look appealing. The kids know and love smorgasbord night because they get to serve themselves, eat off paper plates, have as much cheese as they can handle and eat with their hands (not only accepted on smorgasbord night but expected.) If this sounds amazing to you then you will love this newsletter because it’s gonna be a mix of everything. Happenings at the studio, writing about the new year, quotes, articles and everything in between. Enjoy!
Constantly I am seeing the posts. “Hiring, will train.” “Hiring, sign on bonus” “Hiring, please we will do anything.” Ok, maybe the last is an exaggeration but the posts are sounding more and more desperate everyday. I get it. At one point, we had seven teachers in The Yoga Casa family. Now we have three. Never being able to find enough help appears to be the burden of owning a business (I’m learning).
At one point I had teachers banging down my door. Constantly emailing, calling and begging for a chance to interview. It’s been awful quiet in the house lately!
I’m realizing now how much I miss the pounding at the door. There is always, a silver lining of course. My loss of teachers has left me with the cream of the crop! They are grand!
It’s the month of gratitude and I have a lot to be grateful for. For one, we have so far made it through this pandemic with our sanity intact. Our family has been able to stay healthy both physically and emotionally (although there have certainly been days where I thought the summit was completely out of reach.)
Part of it is shear luck. (There have been some Covid close calls.) Part of it is having an extended family that is cautious yet tight knit enough to celebrate Thanksgiving outside last year (and every other holiday really). Part of it is having access to good medical care, stay at home work options and the ability to homeschool. Still, I sometimes wonder what exactly has kept us going especially on those uphill days.
Read my thoughts on yoga, teaching, parenting and everything in between.