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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.

Hunger, Healing and Joy

 

We honor our hunger most not by offering food to our body right away, but by giving it a voice. Listen to what your hunger is telling you and where it is coming from. If your hunger is physical and persistent, by all means feed your body.  If it continues or reappears too soon, might you be confusing it with something else?images.jpg cccc

Try restoring your spirit with a breath of fresh air and a few moments in the sunlight. Give your mind a spontaneous treat and take out the latest photos of the children (again) or finish the insightful article you earmarked last week. When you stay engaged with your hunger just a little longer and give it a name, the promise of feeling full and whole is  within your reach.

Every hunger can be the next opportunity to heal your relationship with food and with yourself.  Your healing begins anew every time you break the old connection of feeding your body at the first sign of a hunger. Just by acknowledging the existence of another kind of hunger changes your perspective and gives you new choices. Keep in mind that besides all the healthy food available for your body, there are unlimited resources to nourish and satisfy every part of yourself.

Hunger connects us to life—not as a distraction, but a direction.  It directs us to be responsible for our health and feed our bodies consistently and intelligently. When we understand how often our hunger is holding the space for unlimited reserves of joy, we can anticipate the prospect for complete fulfillment in just one moment or over our entire lifetime.

How often do you think about reclaiming the joy in your life? How often do you experience hunger? Joy, like hunger, is not only for special occasions. Yet we are much more aware of needing food for our physical hunger as opposed to how woefully deprived our spirit is of joy. If it is easier to remember the last time our belly was stuffed rather than when our hearts were full of joy, perhaps the next time hunger taps us we can name it before we feed it. What Part of You Is Hungry?

Feeding Your Spirit: There’s an App for That!

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58% of American adults use a smartphone, and on average, each of us spends approximately 151 minutes per day on our device. When you’re on your phone, tablet, or computer, how do you feel? Checked out? Foggy brained? A little outside yourself?

While technology has its downsides, there are several apps designed to help users stay a bit more emotionally connected and spiritually present. Think of these digital tools as food for your spirit!

Here are a few apps to try to help you stay connected to your spirit.

LOVE by Tiny Buddha. This app developed by the founders of the popular blog Tiny Buddha sends subscribers affirmations, inspiring quotes, or evocative questions throughout the day. Imagine receiving a text message from the Buddha, and you’ll have a taste of what LOVE offers. Each message’s arrival is signaled with the soothing sounds of Tibetan bowls. The app provides periodic reminders that inspire users to be their best selves.

Tips for Daily Living by Iyanla Vanzant. This app designed by Oprah Winfrey’s favorite life coach is like having a deck of inspirational cards on your smartphone. Open the app and receive a beautifully illustrated “card” that includes a thought-provoking question. This is truly a tool to help you think about how to create what you truly want in your life.

Louise Hay Affirmation Meditations: Essential Affirmations for Health, Love, Success, and Self-Esteem by Louise Hay. This highly rated app is an easy- to- use tool for transformation in a moment of time. Using cutting edge technologies like an app “mirror,” users are invited to use Louise Hay’s renowned affirmations to generate self love and healing.

 

 

 

 

The Saggy, Baggy and Oh-So-Loved Grandma

images.jpg elephantI had just finished reading a pile of books to my darling 4 year-old granddaughter, Rosie. Among them was The Saggy Baggy Elephant, a favorite I remember reading to my children when they were little. It’s one of those “Little Golden Books” that addresses the well being of so many who have felt different, lonely or have struggled with their self-image and what they look like.

[Recap: Happy little elephant thinks he’s dancing beautifully until a rude parrot starts to make him doubt himself, his body and who he is. He tries to change but cannot. Life is too hard so he hides away in a cave. A lion approaches and in anguish, the little elephant lets out one last trumpeting bellow. A herd of big, grey wrinkled elephants arrive on the scene and the lion runs away. Saggy Baggy thinks the elephants are the most beautiful creatures he has ever seen. When they remind him he looks just like them, he goes back to his dancing and lives happily ever after.]

Back to my story: After Rosie and I had a snuggle, she pointed to the loose skin flapping around under my arm and said: “Grandma, are you fat?”  My reply: No, Sweetie…. I’m just your Saggy, Baggy Grandma!” We both laughed and went back to snuggling.

Can you think of an incident when you had a reaction that was totally spontaneous, without a hint of self consciousness that ended in a moment of pure joy?

 

Body Love In The Nude

untitled.png nudeIn early January, 2015, a What Part of You Is Hungry? client shared a transformative experience. Robin is in her sixties, and like many of us, has long struggled with her body image. In working together, we explored her hungers and her lingering feeling of emptiness. Here’s her story in her own words: 

Sunny Kruger is a miracle worker.  When I first telephoned her, it was about wanting to shed pounds. She knew from the start it was about more than pounds.  That’s her unique gift.  Our sessions took me deeply into myself and finding someone who was beautiful and worthy. Sunny gently guided me through my tempests, past my tantrums, into my hidden tales. And I lost the desired weight, gaining insight instead about what filled my empty places besides food.     

Just the other day I was asked by my artist-photographer friend to pose for a photo shoot for a project she is creating for the Women’s Museum in downtown Asheville. With hardly any hesitation, I said “Yes!” I couldn’t wait to tell Sunny. This was no ordinary photo session. I had agreed to be photographed in the nude!”    

Robin’s photograph debuts this fall. Undoubtedly, the courage to pose nude marks a real personal victory. Robin is more comfortable in her own skin, but in sharing the photograph with others, she invites other women to look at their bodies with more acceptance, too. We all might not pose in the nude as the ultimate expression of coming to peace with our body. But feeding her empty places led Robin to a place of courage and commitment about living the rest of her life with a spontaneity and freedom she never imagined possible. 

Hearing Robin’s story made me wonder about other ways of stripping down old fears and anxieties to claim an authentic body love. Maybe donning a swimsuit for the first time in twenty years is your moment of authentic body love. Perhaps wearing sleeveless shirts in the summertime again or riding a bike on a trail requires a kind of bravery from you. For me, the first time I dared to make love with the lights on was a momentous experience.  Is there a moment that represents your moment of claiming body love? Please share below, and let’s learn from each other.  

How to Improve Your Body Image in 3 Easy Steps

 

If we can’t experience the reality of our innermost beauty, losing weight won’t bring us any closer to recognizing how lovely we are.

320756_2545702681966_1101898257_nMany of us have struggled with body image for most of our lives, but this battle doesn’t have to define our future. Transforming our body image may not be an instant fix, but beginning the process is far simpler than many of us realize.

Here are 3 doable steps that will undoubtedly improve your body image and lead to greater self-love.

1. Rethink Your Flaws.

Often there’s a body part that steals our focus. For some of us, it’s our thighs. For others, it’s our stomach. Many of us are preoccupied with a part of our body we’ve designated a “problem.”

Yet, the very fact that we see our body as a problem tells us more about the state of our mind than the state of our body. Often our lens is shaped by popular culture and fashion trends. Start working on your perspective. It’s the one that matters most.

Do some investigative work and find a culture or a historical period that celebrates round stomachs or thick, full thighs. It may make a difference in how you think about your own body parts. When you find yourself focusing on your “flaws,” remind yourself that seeing your body as a problem is simply a matter of perspective.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/perfect-female-bodies-no- such-thing_n_4726196.html

2. Go Grateful

Feeling truly grateful for our body heightens and reinforces connection with ourselves and with others. Our amazing body manages a legion of complex human functions and interactions to maintain its balance and health with loyalty and resilience. We depend on our body to make courageous efforts to compensate for physical and psychological maladies as they occur.

Our bodies are first and foremost functional. Our legs are our primary means of support and movement. Our torso protects vital organs. Our hands help us complete the essential tasks of every-day-life and embrace our whole world.

When we’re focused on what we “don’t like” about our body, we miss out on one of its most remarkable aspects – Our body is a “communication specialist” bar none. It takes in and responds to everything we think, say and do. Everything takes place in our body. It maintains a continuous stream of communication-whether we are aware of it or not.

There is a powerful, inseparable connection between our minds and our bodies. The more grateful and kind our inner dialogue is, the more positive the corresponding physical responses. We can linger in our bodies longer and feel safe in them.

Make a gratitude list featuring your body. Describe the abilities you treasure, the ways your body supports you, the health you savor. Take an inventory of your senses and appreciate each one for how it enriches your life. Close your eyes and listen to your body’s extraordinary language. It can be an unprecedented meditative experience for as long as it lasts.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Learn-to-Listen-to-Your-Bodys-Signals#ixzz3TtwRoZPz

3. Treat Your Body As A Dear Friend.

Poor body image can lead to incessant internal unrest in which our mind, body, and spirit are disconnected and adrift. When we’re in conflict with our body, we are far more likely to succumb to unhealthy behaviors. Instead of thinking of your body an adversary, try treating your body as a dear friend. Try to embrace a spirit of hospitality and kindheartedness on its behalf. Nothing is closer to you than your own body.

11532_20120923_193954_dandelionsWould you prepare a beautiful and nourishing meal for a dear friend who came to dinner, or would you pass them a paper bag from a drive through restaurant? Would you rush a dear friend through a story, or would you be patient and empathize? Imagine what your daily life would look like if you treated your body as a friend and listened to the messages it gives you with compassion and warmth. Transforming your body image isn’t going to happen overnight, but never underestimate your capacity to change your perspective from one moment to the next.

Every subtle shift in how you perceive yourself can transform how you see everything else. Seeing your thighs as too fat or your upper arms as unattractive is more likely to prescribe your behavior on the beach trip, not your appearance. Can you relate?