I wanted to talk about an area that I didn’t really cover for #SelfCareSeptember but feel is really important so I’m glad I’ve found a space for it! Food! Many people will know, from reading my blog or knowing me personally, that I am in recovery from an eating disorder… something that is undoubtedly a part of my life. I’ve spent years waging war against my body, seeing food as the enemy… but a couple of interesting ideas have been really helpful to me. Obviously the Self Care ideal would be to eat healthily, what your body needs and balance out your eating with adequate exercise. In the eyes of a ‘normal’ person, food is something to be celebrated and enjoyed and is often the centre of social occasions… food is good! But obviously finding that balance can be really difficult and is different for so many people, so I didn’t want to preach about how much you should be eating or exercising… I’m not a dietitian!
I wanted to talk a little about Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating, two interesting ideas! Both suggest that there is no right or wrong way to eat… but that you can find what your body needs by listening to it and really thinking about what you are eating.
Some of the basic principles of Intuitive Eating are:
- Reject dieting mentality as it really doesn’t work
- Honour your hunger– if you go past the point of excessive hunger primal instincts to overeat will kick in
- Challenge the food police… unless they are a qualified professional, people don’t have a right to tell you whats right or wrong for your own body
- Discover satisfaction and really understand it
- Respect your fullness
- Honour your feelings without using food
- Respect your body
- Try gentle nutrition– honour your tastebuds with food that keeps you healthy and keeps you well
Mindful eating takes a mindfulness approach to food and gets you to focus on being present and really noticing what and why you are eating. It helps you to work out your true needs and develop a different relationship with food.
Perhaps it’s worth having a look at your own patterns and relationship with food and have a look at either mindful or intuitive eating.