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.
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.
The very first time I meditated I was five years old. I remember laying on the grass. I watched the cotton candy clouds floating by slowly, peacefully. I closed my eyes and could feel the vibrations of the ground beneath me. I remember feeling connected to my body and the Earth. I felt my heart beating and I sensed my entire being from my head to my toes. My mind rested.
Of course I did not know I was meditating or even what meditation was, but looking back that is totally what I was doing. I was listening and observing my body; my internal world. I was simply being.
My body is changing with age. Because of society’s ideas about age, it can be a difficult burden at times. To see my skin wrinkle and my waistline widen. I’m lucky to be the owner of a studio filled with (quite a few) women who are older than me. I get the opportunity to allow their years of wisdom to rain down on me. They probably don’t know it but I seek out those sprinkles of wisdom that only seem to come with age. Here’s what I’ve discovered.
Older women don’t give a F*CK what you think about them.
About a year ago I quit wearing my Garmin (FitBit/Apple watch/Letsfit, whatever your poison :) It occurred to me that I exercised only to achieve an arbitrary goal instead of for the enjoyment it brought me. For the feeling of warmth, strength and power I felt. I never walked simply to enjoy the walk, the flowers, the blue sky. I never stopped to feel my feet on the ground, the breeze on my skin or the sunlight on my face.
It reminds me of a book I’m reading by Thich Nhat Hanh. He talks about doing things just to do them, not to achieve a goal. He says that everything you need you already possess. I read that and thought, “Really? Maybe YOU possess everything you need but not me.” LOL!
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