Monday, May 13, 2013

Intuitive Eating, learning to love yourself right where you are

During the month of April I took part in a 21 day Intuitive Eating Challenge

Intuitive Eating, learning to love yourself right where you are. Eating what feels good, what sounds good. Silencing the voices of society. Silencing the magazines that scream this food will fight your belly fat. This food will pack on pounds. Rather eating what you are hungry for, what you want, and stopping when your full. No longer feeling guilty, no longer holding yourself back from enjoying something but rather indulging in the goodness that is food and no longer being chained by its entangling effects.

I was both excited and anxious for this journey. Most of all I was excited to rediscover my relationship with food that was not bound to pre conceived notions about what a specific food may or may not give me. Admitting my own broken relationship with food was hard. But it was time to do something about it. I was constantly thinking about what I can and cannot have...."Have I eaten enough vegetables? Have I had too many carbohydrates? Oops cant have that piece of cake it is had too many calories."

I was ready to be free. To gain freedom from the lies that tell me who I should and should not be, but rather be totally and completely in love with my own skin.

 So now that it is complete and I have spent some time learning more about myself I am ready to share.

How did it work you may ask? Each was given a charge or a task about how to pursue intuitive eating.  The challenge sent each day was a new message to my email that I was to try and accomplish that day. In addition to the emails I was invited to share my thoughts and reflections on a facebook page that was shared by all the challengers in the group. (ended up being one of my favorite parts).

Messages like "eat what you want today, whatever you desire, what are you craving and eat that". Challenges like, "Enjoy the setting, create a space that makes eating more of an experience. Perhaps light a candle, read a book and eat a meal". Other things like, "Stop eating when you are full today, are you just eating because it is in front of you or are you really hungry." Another day that read, " What if you told yourself you are allowed to eat whatever you want when you want, perhaps those foods will loose their value." Each day was different and offered a new challenge. 

I found myself eating things I would normally not allow myself too. As well not eating nearly as much as I did before. I found myself eating when I was hungry and not just because it was a certain time of day, nor was I stressing about when I would get to eat next.  I found new joy in meals.

This challenge asks that we start listening to our bodies more, less of what culture has created and what does your body truly desire. Believing in the truth that your body, if you are listening to it, tells you what makes it feel strong and good, as well what foods leave you feeling fatigued or sick.

I wrote my reflections for the Studio Eats webpage, simply to offer my thanksgiving for the challenge, for Jamie and for the women that I journeyed alongside. You may visit the page here and see my reflection. I wrote my reply below:

"Where do I even begin to talk about the Intuitive Eating challenge? Simply with words that sayThank You. Thank you for reminding me that at the end of the day, I am a beautiful person and should love myself exactly where I am at. I have always known this truth but yet was unable to accept it. Currently living in Honduras, I'm humbly reminded each day of how uniquely special and incredible our bodies are and that we should treat them as such.
The most noticeable difference I have experienced since the challenge is how I order food. Just last evening as I ordered a chicken burrito at a restaurant. While ordering a friend said out loud to the table "Gosh don't you just love the new Kristina? Remember how lame she used to be?". This comment brought a smile to my face. I am no longer made fun of for eating "rabbit food" or simply not attending a dinner because of the food on the menu. It feels good to see people notice how much more relaxed I am about meals and the food that's being served.
What I did not anticipate to gain from the challenge is the mental and emotional cleanse. 
I am no longer on an emotional roller coaster of what to eat and what not to eat. I am simply living life. Living life with joy and incorporating that same joy into the way I approach food. Food is something to be excited about, to be passionate about and not something that meant to be controlled.
As part of the challenge, you are invited to a community of women that are sharing the same pain and struggles with you. It is as though you are welcomed to a dinner party with your close friends to drink wine, cry tears, laugh and share stories about how much of a blessing it is that we are alive. A true celebration that we get to do this thing called life. That we have bodies that are capable of bearing so much and that we should love them. We only get one body so why would we not? 
So thank you Jamie. Thank you for offering up your wisdom, being real and listening. I would recommend this challenge a million times over to everyone I know."
If you have any more questions about the challenge or doing the challenge yourself  I am more than honored to answer. I know that I am not the only one that has developed an unhealthy relationship with food and I would highly recommend the challenge to anyone.

Click here for access to the Studio Eats Page, The Intuitive Eating Challenge Page.

You may ask if am I cured now? Nope of course not, it is a journey, that I will be on for a very long time. Did I loose weight? Nope I did not, but the best part of all the emotional and mental cleanse I gained.

So there you have it. Please don't hesitate to email me to ask questions:

Lots of Love on this Monday. As well a full Tegucigalpa Girls weekend recap soon.....

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