Posts Tagged food cravings

Fine-Tuning Your Health

 

The feat of riding a bicycle all by ourselves for the first time is a milestone in childhood. It is not merely a physical feat. Certainly, all the right neurons in the brain must engage and our body must be physically able, but the mind’s will and the spirit’s courage make it all happen.

In the same way, reaching and maintaining our optimal health, wherever we are in our lives, is an extraordinary achievement. It involves more than wise choices in food selection, preparation and maintaining an acceptable weight range. The key to being truly healthy is complex and requires we stay vigilant and inspired to maintain a well-balanced, systematic approach in nourishing our bodies, minds and spirit. We must love ourselves that much.

We each have an innate sense of knowing when we are in harmony with the rhythm of our lives and when we are not. The proportions and priorities of life keep changing and all the fine tuning is left for us to adjust as we go along Balancing the collective resources of our body, mind and spirit with our needs and the world around us is the foundation of the continual healing process that defines a truly healthy life. Our excesses and deficiencies are there to balance us, not to diminish us.

Establishing balance in the care and feeding of YOU does not happen all at once. Real change is best achieved gradually, as an understanding of food and your needs as a woman deepen. Trying to change too much or too abruptly is a set up for failure. Change and balance must go hand-in-hand as you master the art of feeding yourself. The best diet in the world must include healthy foods for every aspect of your being – Body, Mind and Spirit.

 

 

Beyond the Diet

Being on a diet can be a terribly lonely experience. Involving others is important for successful outcomes. We must look to people who are available to provide us with positive feedback and encouragement. It’s also important that they know how to listen, respect our goals and avoid imposing their own beliefs.

You can heal your struggles with food and eating. Food is not the problem; it is the solution. Identifying the source of your hungers takes you out of the diet mentality and initiates your healing. Starting on a stringent diet is actually much easier than identifying underprivileged, underfed aspects of yourself.

Discard the old diet mentality and bring bold nourishment to every forgotten corner of your being – Body, Mind and Spirit. This is a singularly profound accomplishment. If you have difficulties getting started or need support during a rough time, ask for help. Involve those who know you well and care about you. It gives up none of your authority- It enhances it.

If circumstances allow, work with an experienced therapist, professional trainer, nutritional counselor, physician, or spiritual leader—someone who knows and values their own truth and is respectful about yours. Anyone who does not work with you in caring, safe and beneficial ways is not useful to your process.

Women can form special alliances. We often make an instant connection to a total stranger, someone we know casually or have yet to meet who was once where we are now.  We make deep and abiding bonds to other women who are also searching for their answers and their truth.  Our greatest ally is often another woman. Sometimes someone comes along or is already in our lives that we can confide in and trust to help us.

 

Just Where Is the Dysfunction in “Dysfunctional Eating?”

shutterstock_165652964Our body weight does not define the degree of dysfunction in our eating. Anytime we use food to ease our despair rather than nourish our bodies and support our well-being, our eating is dysfunctional.

It may appear more obvious that someone needing to lose one-hundred pounds suffers with eating and food issues more than someone needing to lose fifteen, but body weight hardly defines the degree of despair we hold about our lives.

When food and despair become entwined, we lose sight of feeding ourselves and try to feed the despair, instead. Feeding despair is often a driving force behind our misuse of food and becoming entrapped in harmful eating patterns. Eating is “dysfunctional” when it leaves us on the other side of good health and loving our lives.

Using food in an effort to hide anguish from ourselves or others does not eliminate ease  pain or heal it. Understanding and accepting our vulnerabilities and difficulties as valid and endearing aspects of who we are is the foundation for true healing. Everyone comes face- to- face with all kinds of seemingly external obstacles that stand in the way of self-discovery. If yours are about your relationship with food, these obstacles are your calls for healing your life. They represent the turmoil within to know and accept everything about yourself, even the parts you don’t yet understand.

It may be sobering to admit the psychological, emotional and spiritual burdens that our body and food issues can impose on our lives. For some of us, decisions about food and eating are so layered and complicated that they become a source of on-going tension that never lets up. We become so caught up in the daily struggle that we don’t fully grasp that our lives don’t have to be this way. Before we know it, tomorrow is already upon us and the struggle begins again. A different paradigm for thinking about food can free you from thoughts about being or becoming fat, and all the other related issues that have taken a stranglehold on your life. What Part of You Is Hungry?

 

The Meaning of Food: An Overview

Happy-Group-of-WomenDon’t you wish you could go back in time and ask Eve why she ate that apple? She was surrounded by lush beauty and all the food she could ever want or need. What was she not getting from living in Paradise? What wasn’t she getting from Adam? What couldn’t she provide for herself?

The whole spectrum of problems that you have with eating may be more about the nature of your hunger than about the food you consume. Some essential part of you besides your body is starving. Some need is not being met. Some potential is not being realized. Perhaps something painful is crowding out some of the joy and purpose in your life. Food, in its broadest sense, is what heals you. Food redeems your understanding of yourself.

How you feed yourself involves far more than the choices you make every day about the substances you put into your body. Certainly you need energy to carry out your thoughts, purposeful acts and support the structure and functioning of your incredible human body. Most likely you understand food to be the organic matter that maintains life. Of course, you are correct. By now, you are familiar with the terms defining major nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. You may know a great deal more.

But you are a lot more than your body. Your mind and your spirit are vital aspects of the whole of your being. Expand your concept of food to include much more than the wholesome substances that go into your mouth to feed your body. Your mind needs constant nourishment. Your spirit can be ravenous.

Your body, mind and spirit are fluid and intrinsically interrelated and their “appetites” ebb and flow. Every aspect of you experiences hunger, needs feeding and has its own unique food requirements. It’s up to you to recognize what part of you is hungry and determine the kind of food that will best satisfy that hunger. Keep in mind that if it nourishes your body well, enlivens your mind or expands the reach of your soul, it is food…..

 

“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