“Our body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.”
FEEDING YOUR BODY. MINDFUL CONSUMPTION.
Every time you put something in your mouth, YOU MAKE A CHOICE about how you will fuel and treat your amazing body. How we nourish our bodies is one of the power centers for our entire wellbeing. While we know that total self-care is far more than just what’s on our plate, our physical bodies are sustained by everything we put into our mouths. There is an opportunity to nourish ourselves both physically and emotionally each and every time we eat, drink, or take anything.
My philosophies around feeding our bodies are not about calorie coaching, and I don’t subscribe to any one particular way of eating. The foundation of my work is steeped in a concept called BIO-INDIVIDUALITY. This philosophy supports the idea that there is not one single way of eating, or one formula or process that is right for every single person. For instance, maybe you heard about a particular way of eating that sounded great in theory, and your best friend was getting great wellness results by eating that way, but when you tried it for a week, you started to feel weak and bloated. Obviously, that way of eating isn’t right for you.
We are all unique.
We each have subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture, and environment. All of these elements can affect our food preferences and what is “best” for us at any particular time. Your food choices and eating habits are impacted by many factors. These include your personal history, family history, and culture; your schedule and time constraints; whether or not you work; your personal or family budget; whether or not you have kids; your preference to cook for others or for yourself, and whether or not you even like to cook; your age and activity level; as well as whether you are pregnant, nursing, or training for a sport; and what season of the year it is. How in the world could I tell you what you should eat with all those factors to consider? And this is not even a comprehensive list! What works for one person absolutely may not work for the next. Even if you get a rhythm and flow going around an upgraded way of eating that feels supportive, that way of eating can change over time as well, depending on the same factors noted above.
It’s time to start connecting to what you and your body REALLY NEED. If you can connect with the signs and signals that your body emits, you will realize how incredibly smart it is. Trust it and allow it to guide you to the foods that best support your health. It actually knows what to eat. It’s our brains that struggle. When we get stuck in dietary dogma, we tend to ignore and dismiss what our body really needs. Remember, your body wants to feel good and it sends you messages through discomfort or food cravings that need to be decoded. The real issue is whether you’re willing to listen and love your body in return.
No one “diets” when they work with me.
In my opinion, “diet” is a naughty four-letter word, the “D-word.” I spent a significant amount of time dealing with dieting, namely, when I was competing, which landed me smack in the middle of disordered eating that took me years to recover from. I know that the connotations around the D-word can create a mental crap storm of negativity and it can be a very touchy subject for some of us. However, you can’t deny that what you eat is one of the most obvious ways to nourish your body. To figure out what serves you best, where you are right now at this moment, a little self-experimentation is needed. Think of it as creating a way of eating that is tailor-made just for you and your body chemistry.
Commit to start small and try on new approaches to an upgraded way of eating until you find something that you enjoy and that you can stick to for long enough to truly evaluate how your body, and emotions, respond. For instance, it might be eating a fresh salad of mixed greens for lunch during the weekdays or drinking your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. In considering you, your lifestyle, your body, and the many factors noted earlier, here are some questions to be mindful of . . .
- What might be a better way for you to eat that supports your body?
- What way of eating makes you feel energized?
- What way of eating makes you know you are taking care of yourself?
The best way to eat for YOU is the one that gives you the desired results you seek. It is also the one you can stick with long enough that you can actually track some progress. I trust that you already have good ideas about where you might start. Spend time connecting with what’s right for you, given your goals and your life circumstances. Find a starting point, take action, and adjust from there as needed. Do not overthink this. Treat it as an experiment.
As a revolutionary in the art of self-care, Shelley Hunter Hillesheim founded A Nourished Life where she is a self-care coach, published author, inspirational speaker, workshop leader, sisterhood builder and maverick for ambitious, driven women. She rescues depleted high achievers from overwhelm and helps them create the spaciousness and simplicity needed to nourish themselves with sustainable self-care habits.
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