Blog

What Part of You Is Hungry?

What Part of You Is Hungry?

Who among us hasn’t reached for something to eat at the first inkling of hunger, even when it isn’t our body that needs to be fed? While encouraging healthy approaches to eating, the driving force behind What Part of You Is Hungry? is that physical food cannot satisfy the hungers that propel many women into conflicts with their bodies and struggles with their weight. To truly succeed in maintaining a healthy weight, a woman must determine if her hunger is coming from her body or her life. What Part of You Is Hungry? shows her how.

Two guiding principles shape my work and the ideas I explore here. First, arriving to a healthy relationship with food is best understood in the context of the greater whole: a healthy relationship with yourself. The extent to which your body, mind and spirit are in a harmonious interrelationship with each other is the wellspring of your life. Dieting, by itself, too often separates you from your life.

Second, feeding your mind and your spirit well is as fundamental to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight as healthy eating is for your body. When you can figure out if your hunger is coming from your body or your life, you’ve mastered the art of feeding yourself.

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children”

How many of you who have been struggling with your weight since childhood (regardless of what you weigh now), know this little girl? It is time to pay more attention to all the body image issues our daughters and granddaughters must face today.images.jpglittle girl

A Message To Ourselves and Our Children

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”        Leonard Cohen

cherie-clementine-perfeccion-34-1024x681

Dilemma: Distraction or Decision?

imagesFYQPDYOBIt is nine o’clock on a Friday night. You’ve just come home from having a great dinner with friends from work.  After a long and intense week of pouring your highly developed talents into finalizing a critical project, all you want to do is crawl into bed and watch a movie on TV. In the bed with you are some chips and leftover guacamole, bean and cheese dip. On your night table, a can of soda and a handful of grapes wait. More food wasn’t in your plan or was it?

You decide to turn off the television (great decision) and right away, all the resentment you ignored this week while scrambling to meet your boss’s demands settles in your throat. The unforgiving belief that nothing you do is ever good enough takes hold as the aching for recognition pulses in your stomach. The satisfying dinner and the food within your reach notwithstanding, your hunger from a tremendous sense of lack has followed you home.

When we are heart-hungry, heartsick or heartbroken, it is not our body that needs nourishment. We have the choice of distracting ourselves from our pain with food or making the decision to love ourselves. Self-compassion is the antidote for merciless self-judgment; it stops us from relentlessly finding fault and beating ourselves up. A little bit of compassion for ourselves is a bridge to our spirit when we fail, feel isolated in our imperfections and are about to give up on ourselves.

Our relationship with food is complicated.  It can become entwined with important emotional and spiritual issues and the direction our lives are taking. It is important to examine if we are comforting or numbing ourselves with how and what we eat. Taking a closer look at our unhealthy eating patterns can help us see if we are using food in ways that starve our spirit or help it thrive. What Part of You Is hungry?

 

 

“Thank You….”

imagesXLRWQELSGratitude is a “Superfood” for the spirit. Every time you utter the words “thank you,” silently or aloud, you are offering food to your spirit because they remind you that you are not alone. Saying “thank you” instantly connects you to someone else and at once, expands your personal boundary. The energy of a well-nourished spirit emanates outward, reaching for other spirits and other loving hearts. Being grateful for foods that nourish your spirit is a tribute to your divine and loving nature.

“Listen, God love everything you love – and a mess of stuff you don’t. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”   From The Color Purple by Alice Walker

A hungry spirit is a barrier to experiencing the beauty all around you. A hungry spirit denies living with humble appreciation for the one, great life you have been given. Your spirit may be starving right now. Move closer to it and find delight in the expressly personal foods that nurture your spirit and make it soar. Be kind to a somber child, playful with another or utter a silent prayer in the presence of a blessing or a fear. Be grateful. Gratitude is an attitude of your heart and your spirit’s primary source of food. To deprive yourself of the abundant means of nourishing your spirit is a malevolent form of starvation.imagesXLRWQELS

Do I Look Too Fat? 3 Insights to Transform How You See Yourself

picture1525.jpg fat

 

 

Thinking about your body in terms of how “fat” it is can erode your self-esteem and keep you at a distance from your real beauty. Here are three insights to help you reframe how the word “fat” operates in your life by changing the focus from body image to self image:

1. When you say “I feel fat,” what precisely do you mean? This is an important question because “fat” is a word many women use as a stand-in for a wide-range of authentic emotions. What is the feeling, the mood or the experience that is the driving force behind your “I feel fat” statement. Do you feel undesirable or socially anxious? Do you feel inferior or unlovable? Are you sad or hurt or angry and don’t quite believe that you belong in the world today? Shift your focus from chronic preoccupation with your body’s size and weight to what you are really feeling about yourself in the moment. 

2.  “Do these pants make me look fat?” How often do you suppose this question is heard in women’s dressing rooms? How many times have is asked it yourself?  Realize that no article of clothing makes you look fat. Your clothes do reveal other important information about yourself. A dress can emphasize how gracefully you age; a pair of shoes might say something about your sense of humor. But most often, the clothing you choose to wear is a statement about how you feel about yourself:

“I feel pretty” or “Don’t look at me.

“I’m comfortable and secure” or “Go away.”

“I’m a winner” or “I’m hopeless.”

“I mean business” or “Shoot me now.”

The colors, patterns and fit of your clothing can draw attention to you or help you hide, but no article of clothing “makes” you look fat. See if the clothes you feel drawn to give you insight about your internal landscape.

3. When you stand before the mirror, shift your attention from the critical eye perpetually judging the relative size and shape of your body. Remember that the amount of space you occupy is not a reflection of your self-worth. The size of your backside is not in proportion to your capacity to give and receive love. Your body’s silhouette does not limit or increase your integrity or your courage. Keep in mind that even the most dramatic weight loss does not promise an increase in self-esteem. A shift in your self-esteem, however, can support anything you want to accomplish.