“How on earth do I listen to my body?”
I can’t tell you how many times I asked myself this question when seeking a solution to my eating struggle. I thought, “When I listen to my body, it tells me to eat. Period. If I don’t control it, at least to some degree, I'm almost guaranteed to overeat.”
I was stuck. On one hand, I learned the hard way that I shouldn't restrict myself. I learned that self-love, not self-punishment, is the answer. On the other, I had been an emotional eater for my entire life and was still struggling to listen to my body’s signals and find an approach to eating that felt right for me.
Backstory: I spent several years in my early twenties under-eating and overexercising as a means to control my addiction to food. When I hit a wall and realized I had to stop sabotaging myself and my body, I set off on a transformative path. I changed my ways and learned a wild amount of information about whole foods, mindful eating, moderate exercise, yoga, meditation, holistic healing, and my place amidst it all.
Yet those years of searching also caused me more confusion. Over time, as I loosened up, I began to demonize most forms of structure, associating them with my old restrictive ways. And I was so inundated with information about dieting vs. food freedom, restriction vs. allowance, portion control vs. intuitive eating, paleo vs. vegan, and the like, I wanted to give up my attempts at striking a balance altogether. I thought, “If I need structure, then I have failed at listening to my intuition.”
Now, I realize that, for me, quite the opposite is true. After years of practicing listening to myself - and committing to slow down enough to hear myself - I learned that I have to play to my strengths, and no one else’s. I have to be me. Structure has always been a strong suit of mine. In the past, my discipline turned self-destructive, but that extreme behavior cropped up because I didn't know how to address the underlying causes of my craziness. The concept of structure itself was not to blame.
When I began to define healthy boundaries and structure for myself - creating my own guide to follow, developing tools, and committing to practices that completely changed the way I perceive and approach food and exercise - I set the stage for a deep and clear connection to my body, mind, and spirit.
We have to acknowledge which actions support our connection to ourselves, our highest potential, and which actions take us away from it. We have the power to create our own lives, but we have to take the time to learn how to listen to our inner teacher and to walk a path that supports us - which looks different for each person.
Take time to listen to yourself. Allow yourself the time and space to step back and make decisions (around food, exercise, and everything else in your life) based on your experience; based on what works for you and what doesn’t; based on universal wisdom you've gained; based on how your body, mind, and spirit feel - past and present.
Structure that supports your ability to connect with your food, your body, and yourself is the path to freedom.
I teach practices and tools that allow you to learn how to listen to yourself, find freedom from obsession, and create a sustainable, healthy, and loving relationship with food and your body. When you’re aligned with yourself, nothing can get in your way of feeling great, fulfilling your purpose, and being at ease in this world.
You can find the balance you desire within you. And I’m here to help. I invite you to connect with me here for a free session.
Sending you love and light!