[Note: this is Day 8 of a 10-Day Self-Care Expedition. I am examining my relationship with food and movement. You are welcome to join in as well through committing to your own self-care practice, commenting, and/or silently supporting.]
So.. I want to untangle my relationship with food, huh?
Yes. I want to untangle it in the hopes that I can get to a place beneath all the confusion, external stories/fads/diets/studies, and internal conflict to where I can truly hear what my body wants to eat. So I can truly hear, directly from my body, what nourishes and strengthens her.
Because, she knows exactly what she needs in order to be strong, healthy, and nourished… right?
That is the premise on which I’m basing the remainder of my expedition. It has proven true so far with regards to exercise. Surely, it is also true when it comes to diet.
Except, my god! The resistance!
Yesterday I set the intention to consciously pause and check in with my body prior to making food decisions.
Ever since then, I’ve basically not eaten.
Well, I’ve eaten. I’ve just put off eating (and checking in with my body regarding food) until I’m to a point where I just don’t care anymore. And then I eat whatever happens to be the most readily available.
This means that my primary diet over the past 24-hours has consisted of cheese, crackers, caffeine, and chocolate. Yes.
So, today I’m noticing this resistance to checking in with my body regarding food decisions.
I’ve watching (with as much compassion and curiosity as possible) as I put off eating until I get to the point where my intention is feeling weak and then quickly devour the first thing I see.
And, I’m noticing that this pattern itself isn’t new… that it isn’t solely a result of this expedition and yesterday’s commitment.
No, this pattern is typical for me.
Now though, thanks to this expedition, I have a bit more distance from it and can see it a bit more clearly.
Maybe tomorrow I will even be able to pause (once even would be terrific!) and notice what is present in my body before I just grab whatever is most handy. Maybe not. We’ll see.
Focusing on a particular self-care practice for a length of time tends to open the door to whatever stands in the way of us being able to practice deep self-care on an on-going basis.
10 days can feel like an eternity when practicing a deeper way of caring for ourselves and/or noticing what comes up when committing to a new level of self-care. We are, or I most definitely am at least, in the thick of it right now.
If you are as well, just know you aren’t alone.
Everything that is surfacing (resistance, wanting to quit, forgetting your intention…) is coming up for acknowledgement and healing.
It is coming up so that, after this expedition concludes, we can be in a more authentic and effortless relationship with ourselves and our bodies. It is coming up so that self-care can become more of a way of life and less of a chore or an obligation.
I’m sending love to you on this, Day 8, of our expedition.
Emma McCreary says
What came up yesterday and today around my relationship with sugar is basically this: I can work on creating healthier food habits, but the deepest aspect to the sugar habit is really more about sadness and how I deal with pain than it is about food. Said another way, the part of the habit that is me eating sugar because it’s easy and I’m being lazy about preparing healthy food is (relatively) easy to address if I’m focused. The part of the habit that is me eating sugar to avoid feeling the pain and sadness of certain realities of my life right now (separation from someone I love, seeing the injustices of the world)–that is a deeper, harder question. I sat with my sadness/pain and drew a picture of my “Dark Cavern of Sadness”, filled with words like, “deprivation”, “pointless pain”, “missing”, and “unchangeable tragedy”. I drew me looking at it with the caption, “What can I learn from you”? And over in the corner, the “Candy bowl of denial & avoidance”. What I’m sitting with is how to have a different relationship with the pain I feel. I’m looking at it as something to learn from, rather than being in this constant dance of avoidance with it at the cost of my own wellbeing.
What I’ve gotten so far is this realization that as painful as my pain is, I’m far from alone in facing tragedy and injustice. I remembered this article/photo-journal I saw recently of a photographer who took pictures of his wife’s slow decline from cancer. They were hauntingly beautiful images of joy and beauty and love, within a body that was slowly wasting away. Life is just not easy for any of us. To change my relationship with sugar, I have to accept that reality. Sugar is my way of running: it is my attempt to escape the suffering that is really unavoidable.
This habit developed when I was a child and the suffering was too much for me to face. But part of growing up is facing the reality of suffering and pain and injustice and loss. To avoid it means constantly running, and damaging yourself and sometimes others in the process.
So today I sit and face my tears. I let them fall and know I’m not alone. I attempt to accept the reality that life will never be perfect and pain-free.
Emma McCreary says
Added a blog post about it, and put a pic of my drawing on it.
Larisa Noonan says
All of this is so beautiful to me Emma. So so beautiful. You are most definitely not alone. Thank you for sharing. And, through sharing, making it even more evident to me that I’m not either. xo