Well, the past few months have been crazy awesome busy, and hopefully I’ll be able to unveil my secret project later this week!
Also, with this underway I’m planning on posting regularly again, so stay tuned for regular spouting from McKella’s fountain of wisdom. Ha.
Ok, with housekeeping out of the way, it’s time for me to share with you one of the most important things I’ve learned in this year of tremendous growth. Just two little words, a special mantra I’ve used to keep my head on straight through stress and fear.
This is actually one of many mantras I’ve used over the past few months, but let me tell you why this one is special.
- It’s reminds us that we are the masters of our own lives, and that we are powerful. If something isn’t working out for us, if we’re struggling to overcome a harmful habit or if we feel trapped, we can always choose something else. We live in a free country where we always have options, and you can always make a choice to change.
- Knowing we have a choice changes our mindset. Instead of thinking in terms of “should” and “have to”, we can see our abundance of options. Instead of feeling overpowered to binge or let people walk all over us, we can choose to listen to our bodies, to stand up for ourselves. Having a choice sets us free.
On Monday, my American readers and I will celebrate the birth and independence of our wonderful country and thereby, our freedom.
Today (or pick another day) I’d like you to celebrate your own freedom and independence.
What have you freed yourself from? What independence will you celebrate?
Bad self-talk or thoughts?
A harmful relationship?
A job that didn’t/doesn’t suit you?
Or maybe today you’ll begin a journey to seek your independence from something that doesn’t serve you. Whatever it is, acknowledge it, seek support, give yourself a hug, and pass through it. Feel your freedom and celebrate it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
I’m a slow-learned sometimes, especially with intuitive eating. I first discovered IE in October 2008 and I’ve just recently gotten the hang of actually obeying my body’s signals more than 2 1/2 years later.
I knew the principles, I ate when I was hungry, but I struggled with actually letting myself get hungry and most of all, emotional eating. For a long time, I chose to focus on the emotional eating while refusing to deal with the underlying issues. I believed eating was the problem either because I had a physical addiction or because I was just hard-wired to eat when I felt bad. I never actually thought about why I felt bad. (By the way if you’re stuck in this place, that’s perfectly fine. It was a few years before I was ready to deal with the real issues. Don’t pressure yourself to jump into anything you’re not ready for.)
Recently, I left a situation that wasn’t working for me. My creativity wasn’t flowing and my depression and anxiety got out of control. Now that I’m in a better place (physically and emotionally) I discovered that I was ready to deal with my issues.
The amazing thing is, once that barrier of emotional eating started to disappear, I couldn’t believe how much more myself I felt. I could finally connect to my emotions and work through them. Emotions and creativity flowed through me, unhampered by my former tendency to block them out with food.
I rarely feel compelled to overeat and I usually don’t want to eat if I’m not hungry, but if I do (like when I know my blood sugar is low but my tummy’s not hungry) I eat. No biggie. I actually feel hunger at least once a day, which is a miracle because I used to go weeks without ever letting myself get hungry.
This is the other half of the gift of intuitive eating. On one side, IE frees us from food obsession, but on the other side, it allows us to replace that obsession with something incredible: our potential. Without those unhealthy thoughts and feelings towards foods, we free up so much mental energy and clear so many channels. We gain full access to our true desires, interests, and goals.
Here’s some questions to ponder:
- What could you accomplish with the time you spend thinking about food in an unhealthy way?
- What underlying potential could you have access to if you overcame emotional eating?
- How free could you be if you accepted your body rather than striving for an unrealistic ideal?
- How much more energy would you have if you learned to feed your body the healthy food it craves?
Intuitive eating takes a lot of work, time and emotional digging, but the rewards are innumerable, and I’m only in the beginning. Whether you are still in the preparation stages or if you’re well into your intuitive eating journey, remember why you’re doing this and what it will do for you.
Uh, what if you don’t know? I guarantee you that five years ago, I wasn’t planning on being married by now, but you know what? Five years ago I wasn’t the same person! I may not be the same person five years from now, so how can I possibly decide where I want to be in five years?
Instead, I ask myself “What do I want to do now?”
What if you’re still not sure? Do you want to travel? Stability? A dream career? A family? Make a list of possibilities.
Then I realized that it’s ok to want more than one thing. I may want to travel for awhile, then settle down and live in the same place for awhile. I might want to move around and try new things.
Instead of stressing over being indecisive, why not accept that desires change and your best lifestyle will change too? See the forest instead of the trees. Obviously, I want to be location independent, whether that means traveling or staying put. I want to set my own hours so I can work if I want and also pursue other interests. Hooray! Now I know what I want!
Seriously, this is one of the hardest decisions, but indecision is decision. If you don’t know what you want, it’s a sign to try new things. If you feel stuck, get out of it and try something else.
Now, dear reader, what do you want?
A school counselor recommended the Intuitive Eating book to me in October 2008 after I’d appeared in her office, yet again struggling with restrictive eating and self-hatred that tainted everything I did.
So I bought the book and read it. I read it again like I was reading the final Harry Potter book, and my mind opened to the novel idea that I could actually rely on my body to tell me what it needs. I was intrigued, but at first I treated it like every other diet book, with the same obsessive hope “This is the one. This one will set me free.” So I threw myself a little donut and cheesecake party, followed by a Reese’s and Lucky Charms party that lasted a few months and I got frustrated that things weren’t happening just as the book said they would. Wasn’t my initial experimentation with forbidden food supposed to taper off, then shrink to a minimum while I intuitively chose to eat salad and oatmeal? After about a year and a half, I realized Intuitive eating is not a linear process. I know the book mentioned that somewhere, but my brain just said “yeah yeah, whatever, now get to the part where I don’t diet anymore and I still lose weight.”
I’ve “started over” a bunch of times, because took me awhile to let go of the dieting mindset and make peace with food, and I still struggle, but finally I learned that IE is more to me than learning how to eat again. It created a spiderweb affect in my mind, connecting to a hundred other things I needed to deal with that I had no idea were there, such as my issues with fear and anxiety, my deep-seated self-esteem issues, my resistance to change and my inability to let go.
IE was the first domino that set me on my journey of putting myself back together and building myself up, thinking for myself and learning who I really am. It was the first step in learning to love myself and my body the way I am. I haven’t gotten any smaller since starting IE, and I never weigh myself, but weight doesn’t matter that much to me anymore. IE was the beginning of my new life, because I learned that I can trust myself and that change is in my own hands.
Have you ever had a turning point like this in your life? I’d love to hear about it.