“Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
For as long as I can recall, I struggled with my body image. Food and weight was a loaded subject in my household growing up; a story that can be traced back several generations. Our bodies were commented on in less than empowering ways and complements weren't experienced positively when received. My father died at the age of 52 of heart disease and type II diabetes that stemmed from a life of obesity. I knew I wanted to be healthier, but without a model of what that looked like I was in for a long road of trial and error. I've struggled with headaches and IBS, PCOS, obesity, disordered body image and eating and an un-inspired, non- athletic, deconditioned childhood.
In the last two decades I've tried every style of "healthy eating" from veganism to paleo. I've restricted my calories and eliminated food groups, worked with fitness coaches, dietitians, acupuncturists and physicians... For a long time I hated preparing meals, I'm just starting to really embrace the preparation. How I made changes had SO much to do with learning about food and how it affected MY body AND also understanding the values surrounding food and nourishment, the ones I choose for myself and the ones that were passed down. I believe in the power of gaining awareness over our the stories and fuel that feeds us. With awareness we can find healing, we can re-prioritize, re-inspire ourselves and learn how to nourish ourselves fully.
I have learnt that what works best for me is to eat a diet rich in unprocessed whole foods. I don't stress the occasional treats or processed foods -- I practice mindful eating and enjoyment. I don't use a scale very often, I listen to how my body feels. I embrace my fluctuating body in all it's shapes and sizes and strengths.
Our relationships with food and the emotions we tie to eating have the power to free us of hold us back. I don't want to pass down the lessons about food and body image and nourishment that where passed down to me, I choose body freedom. I choose nourishment.
In Warmth & Wellness,