Part 4 of a series on weight loss – Joyful eating and the wisdom of the body
Eating is one of the pleasures of life. The problem with diets is that they negate this essential aspect of our relationship with food, which we eat for joy as well as for nourishment. Putting a string of embargoes on what we may and may not eat saps the pleasure from eating, and encrusts our relationship with food with guilt. It can get to a point where we never put a thing in our mouths without first evaluating it as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Where’s the fun in that?
I watched a toddler the other day, whose relationship with food had not yet become complicated, eat one of those a large ginger biscuits from Woolies. She was engrossed in the eating of it, full of delight. And then, all of a sudden, she lost interest, and threw it aside, going off to play instead. Her body just told her it had had enough.
If we can make sure that we truly love and honour our bodies by nourishing them well with a healthy variety of nutritious food most of the time, and then treat our souls with joyful eating a little bit of the time, we will be able to recalibrate any dysfunctional relationship we have with food. The trick is to become like a toddler – tune in to what is happening with your body, and stop when it says, “I’m bored now, what else is fun?”
I’d like you to shift your relationship with your body from that of your mortal enemy out to sabotage you through its desire for “forbidden” foods, to your best friend, so that you look out for its interests. You want it to be healthy and to enjoy itself. So give it everything it needs for both. This means you nourish it properly with proteins, unrefined carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits. You give it treats. And you exercise it.
I was away from my dog for an entire day last week and so needed to lock him inside. My neighbor loves him, and I’ve given her a key to my home and she usually lets him hang out with her when I have those days. But she had a frantic day too, so Badger spent a long time indoors. When I got home, he ran around the driveway like a maniac. Sheer joy in movement. Our bodies are animals. They need movement to be happy too.
So I invite you to take back your power from the diet gurus, and make your own body your guru. Honour your guru with nourishment, joyful eating, and movement.
But listen to it when it tells you “Enough!”. If you tune in, it has great wisdom.
Part 5 of a series on weight loss
The worst kind of eating – don’t let yourself do this!