2020: Here’s what’s missing in diets
Happy New Year!
I hope you have a gentle entry into the first few days of 2020 as well as a little time to consider how you’d like to feel this year.
Physical & emotional resilience might be high on your list of empowering goals.
So to kick-off 2020 I figured you might find it helpful to understand the nuances around eating that include the content of our diet and so much more.
My guess is, by reading through them, you’ll get a better clue as to what areas would be the most impactful for you. If you are a client, bring any helpful insights you have to a session.
Here’s what’s often missing when working with eating.
Solid nutritional information:
In a sea of conflicting information and trendy diets you might find yourself still feeling confused. Work in this area includes understanding the most supportive nutritional choices for your metabolic type, supportive timing of meals and eating, cooking and meal preparation, educated label reading, the wise use of medicinal plants, and understanding food quality and smart food upgrades that very much take into account your preferences and current lifestyle.
Without addressing this: Your body may not feel as well as it could. You may be dealing with physical symptoms like fatigue, bloating, skin and hormonal issues, or mood issues due to deficiencies. You might follow nutritional trends that actually aren’t right for your body type just because they’re popular.
Body awareness recognizes that your body has a brilliant feedback system that lets you know what foods and in what amounts work well for you. Work in this area includes understanding the language of hunger, appetite, and satiation in your own body. As a culture we’re very good at hanging onto ideals and ideas in the head and are not as great about dropping below the neck to really feel. Body awareness includes exercise and movement as well as recognizing signs of nervous system hyper/hypo-arousal (meaning physical signs signaling you’ve crossed your normal threshold for stress)
Without addressing this: You’ll never quite trust your body and appetite. You might overly rely on methods of control with your eating or find yourself frequently eating past a point of comfort. You might exercise too much or not enough or ignore your body’s helpful messages.
Acknowledging and working with social influences can help you understand the expectations and influences around eating, body, health, and weight from friends and family. It also includes influences from your workplace, gym, and any other groups you’re a part of of. You’ll often find many unspoken assumptions about weight, diet, body, and age in your social circles. Social media with it’s highly curated images/personas can also be a major influence.
Without addressing this: You’ll find your behavior and expectations of yourself predicated on what others think or who or what others expect you to be. You might often be trying to fix yourself or mold yourself into a specific type of person or frequently comparing yourself.
How can we talk about diet and eating without addressing pleasure? Many women feel pleasure is the enemy, the thing that gets them into so much trouble with their eating, however many women (even those that overeat sugar or treats) are actually deficient in pleasure. Work in this area includes practices in more fully receiving the pleasure of food, understanding relaxation physiology, sensuality and sexuality, pleasurable embodiment practices, and finding and honoring personally satisfying and beautiful aspects of life.
Without addressing this: You might speed eat certain foods out of guilt or multi-tasking too much. Food might become a substitute for real pleasure and sensual satisfaction in life, neglecting the fact that you are a flesh-and-blood human being with appetite and desire. You may feel like you have no control around sugar or carbohydrates or deal with a ravenous appetite.
One of unfortunate results of pairing eating with spirituality is using eating and food as a way to feel morally or spiritually superior. This is not a helpful role of spirituality in relationship to eating. Eating nutritiously can help our bodies and spirits feel fortified and resilient. Even more, when spirituality is included in eating, we can hold a deeper understanding of our relationship with the greater cycles of life and our place in them. Our spiritual strength also shows up in our ability to act out of our own volition, follow-through, and take responsibility for and believe in ourselves.
Without addressing this: You may often be looking for ways to purify or “rise above” the body. You may have periods where you feel listless or hopeless about your health or well-being not really seeing the point of caring for yourself. You might resent having to take care of your body. You might find yourself feeling like a victim. You might feel isolated from the world around you or not see how your actions make much of a difference.
We bring all of who we are to the table: our hopes, disappoints, overwhelm, stress, grief, joy, and contentment. Without understanding and caring for your inner life, diet at best (with enough constraint), becomes merely functional. At worst, you might act out painful cycles and habits with eating or expect food to a few too many jobs for you. Much of the work of the inner life in relationship with eating has to do with healing perfectionism, unburdening emotional wounds, working with body image, saying the truth, bringing severed aspects of the personality back online, and understanding the archetypal influences in your life. Counting macros does not touch this.
Without addressing this: You’ll find yourself on a wild goose chase looking for the perfect diet that will get things all cleaned up or figured out, and only find yourself falling back into patterns or habits. You won’t feel very skilled self-soothing or self-regulating. Your inner world and emotions will feel entangled with your eating, weight, and health. You may feel you are dealing with a kind of inner civil war much of the time.
If you’re really feeling inspired to focus on your well-being or goals in relationship to your body & health, I hope the above deepens your understanding of what areas might be most supportive to you. Over the years I’ve found that those that aren’t able to make the headway they’d like are often overlooking one or more of the above areas.
To start some good work together addressing anything mentioned here today, I am scheduling new client sessions this month – you can reach me here Best wishes to you these first weeks of the year!
With love and respect,