If there is one thing that the last few weeks has taught us during the pandemic crisis, it is that we have no control over most things in our lives. We thought we did. We thought we could control our lives, our jobs and careers, our weight and exercise and what we choose to do everyday.
We now realise that was all an illusion. We have no control over anything right now, except our own reactions to what is going on in this crazy out of control world. And often we can’t even control that, having swings of feelings and emotions from denial to acceptance, anger and frustration to joy and happiness, fear to peace.
We can choose to stay home, or we can choose to ignore the advice and restrictions and pretend that we can continue our lives as they were. For many, denial has been a powerful place where they have stayed stuck in indecision and reluctance to adapt and flow with whatever is happening day by day.
We feel this way with our bodies when we are dieting, we feel as if we can control them by restricting the food we eat, exercising obsessively and trying to punish our bodies into doing things our way. Yet the moment we take our eye off the ball and relax the restrictions, or go on a binge, our bodies tend to revert straight back to their set point and weight. And all feelings of control are banished in an instant, the moment we dive into that packet of chips, or cookies, or whatever that food is for you, as we struggle with the guilt of breaking our diet.
It’s an illusion of control we have, and the moment we stop, or we can’t do it anymore for any reason, it’s out of control immediately. It’s particularly true right now, when we may be limited in what food we can buy at the local store, gyms and sports and closed, we may only be allowed out for brief periods of exercise. We are closeted in our homes with our thoughts and our feelings and in many cases the overwhelming desire to eat and to be comforted in these difficult times.
So what if we gave up that illusion of control and started to love and respect our bodies, to embrace them exactly as they are, and eat for enjoyment and pleasure, and to nourish and cherish our bodies, rather than punishing them into submission? What if we started to listen to our bodies, to what they need right now in the present moment, to let go of the need to control them, just for now, and to lift that burden of always feeling the need to control everything we put in our mouths?
In this crazy coronavirus world, we are all learning to live in an out of control environment and just stay in the present moment and go with the flow, or otherwise we will drive ourselves crazy, just as dieting has made us crazy for years.
There has never been a better time to start on this journey of loving ourselves and loving our bodies. Practice intuitive eating and give up that illusion of control for good.
Intuitive Eating Coach
You’ve heard us say here at EveryBODYdiet that it’s not about the food. We are now going to begin to unpack what might be driving the thing you most fear: binge behavior. If that’s not about the food, what is it?
Some people like to call that emotional eating and label it a bad thing. Some like to make specific foods the demon and make heroic attempts to avoid them. Only to find themselves face down in a pie and beating themselves up for being so weak.
Breaking free from diet mentality is not a quick fix hit-and-run event. The path to Intuitive Eating begins with small steps that don’t freak out your nervous system. The first step is noticing the ridiculous diet culture we are all swimming in. It is everywhere - in us and around us.
The second step is deciding you don’t want to diet or feel shame around food or your body any longer. Our diet programming tells us the solution is to eat cleaner and work out harder. We are here to suggest a better albeit counter-culture solution.
Are you tuned in to your body’s cues, signals and language? Intuitive eating was developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Riesch as a response to dieting culture. It is defined by a simple philosophy: Listen to your Body and do what makes YOU feel good.
Feeling out of control with food never feels good to anybody. But the solution is not to restrict it. The solution is to lean in and love it.
I know you’re scared. I get it. I was too. Let me show you how this works.
Imagine for a moment one food you have placed off limits because you don’t feel you can be trusted alone with it. You know what I mean. You can’t stop yourself at just one. Or three. In fact, you can’t atop thinking about it as long as it’s in the house.
You manage to avoid temptation by not having it in the house, or not going where it may be served, or trying to fill your belly with approved foods, or drinking copious amounts of water hoping to fend off the desire.
When you succumb - either in public or in private, another stage kicks in. It’s called self-shaming. I call it the bully in your brain. It calls you names for being weak, or batters you with mental assault and verbal abuse. It resorts to name calling and body shaming. You feel beaten down, defeated, fat, lazy, weak-willed, insufficient, and unworthy.
Sound familiar? Would you let anyone speak to you or about you the way that relentless inner bully does? Probably not. So the question is how do we break the self-shaming cycle? It’s not about taking the offending food out. It’s about stopping the offending voices.
But how? One food experience at a time.
If Doritos are the thing you can’t control, buy 3 bags to make sure you don’t run out, Fire the food police, and give yourself full permission to eat and enjoy as much and as often as you wish.
Aargh! I can hear you screaming from here. Please give yourself the gift of opening your mind to the possibility I’m about to present.
When you get to the last bag, buy 3 more just to really affirm that you can always have them whenever you want. It’s okay. Understand that you may eat a whole bag at first because you have walking the tightrope of restriction and craving for so long. Trust the process. Make this a 2-week trial, one food at a time.
This is called habituation. Only after the “forbidden fruit” effect wears off can you move into attunement with your body and differentiate what foods you truly enjoy. You will feel suddenly satisfied and free of food cravings. This is not theory - I have lived it.
Unless people are fully committed to breaking the diet cycle, though, they will only do a limited trial and scare themselves because they didn’t become habituated by the end of the first bag. True Intuitive eating bring peace to body, mind, soul and spirit.
It’s worth a try, don’t you think?
Kim Halsey, MA
When my parents were growing up and even when I was a child, we used to say grace before every meal, bless our food and be grateful for it being on our table. I can remember it now as clear as day.
“Thank you for this food we are about to receive, may the lord make us truly thankful, through Jesus Christ our lord, Amen”
It was a simple pause before we eat be be thankful and appreciate our food as a blessing and to send it love and positive energy. Whether you believe in God or not, sending blessings and being grateful is a universal truth.
And no one went to the gym or really took any exercise over their every day incidental movement and life. I can remember my mum starting to go the classes in the early 1960s for the Women’s League for Heath and Beauty, where they would move around, waving scarves in the air, almost a dance, but nothing more than that. The gym was for boxers. My Dad never did “exercise” in his whole life, ate and drank what he wanted, not to say he didn’t work hard and always be on the move, but he never once went for a walk to exercise or go to a gym. He is now 98, healthy and still going strong!
We went for walks each weekend for pleasure, to get out into the country and explore nature, not for exercise. We ran around the in the garden for fun, rode our bikes and danced because we wanted to be ballerinas.
Diets really started back in the 1960s when everyone wanted to look like Twiggy and be super waif like thin, with long blond dead straight hair. Prior to that women in the 1950s were curvaceous, you only have to look at celebrities back then like Marilyn Monroe to know that was true.
Gradually the diet culture took over, exercise became something we did to be healthy rather than for enjoyment and pleasure, or just as part of our everyday life. We did it because we felt we should do it, rather from the joy of moving our bodies and being active.
Now we are obsessed with food and exercise. We look at foods as carbs, fat, sugar and protein, good and bad, healthy or junk food, clean eating versus pigging out. We refuse to eat carbs, go low fat, quit sugar, or go high fat, high protein, intermittent fasting, paleo. We stress ourselves out and beat ourselves up about going to the gym, working out, taking exercise for the sake of it all the time and feeling bad when we don’t, because we are too tired or just don’t want to and don’t enjoy it.
When did we stop being simply grateful for the food in front of us and eat it with love and pleasure and enjoyment ? Who said that we have to go to the gym to be healthy and happy?
Maybe its time to break the rules and just go back to the simple joys of eating for pleasure and satisfaction, being grateful for the food we are about to eat, moving our bodies, being healthy and happy because we love our lives and most of all loving ourselves.
The only RIGHT thing is in this moment. What do you most want to do now?
Learn to love starting over.
Our lives are not linear. It isn’t all uphill or all downhill, it’s a jagged mix of peaks and valleys, great successes and hard resets. There is no need to be in resistance to that. It’s the natural cycle of life.
You get to take the many experiences, lessons and skills from one opportunity to the next. In that sense, you never truly have to start over.
I Love My Body
I love my hair. It is beautiful, thick and curly. I love its greying colour, its wildness and refusal to be tamed.
I love my skin. It is smooth and soft. I love the blemishes on it, scars from wounds long gone, wrinkles from age, experience and laughter, and many happy days spent in the sun having so much fun.
I love my shoulders. They have carried so many burdens, yet are still so strong.
I love my arms. They have given so many hugs, held my babies, embraced my life.
I love my belly. It has soft jelly mounds that ripple when I laugh, curvaceous and feminine.
I love my hands. They have written so many words, created art, made cakes, soothed my children, opened so many doors and held other hands in mine.
I love my hips, board and strong, They gave birth to my daughters, supported me and gave me the flexibility to bend.
I love my legs. They are long and sturdy. These legs have held my weight and moved me forward, standing strong no matter what.
I love my knees. They flex, bend, and even when they are injured, never give out on me.
I love my feet that have walked so any miles and carried me all my life.
I love my weight. It is the perfect weight for me today and is luscious, curvy and sexy as fuck!
I love my brain. It has never failed me, given me a life long love of learning and always gives me the answers I need.
I love my heart. Giving and receiving so much love, leading me and showing me the way to go and to live in my heart every day, even though it has been broken so many times. Keeping me alive and pumping so strongly.
I love my voice. So strong and loud, articulate and clear, giving me the words to speak to shine my gift on the world.
I love my eyes that see the beauty of the world around me and those I love.
I Love my body. It is perfect for me in every way.
Is there a part of your body you can love and appreciate ? Write it a love letter and tell it how much you love it. And if you cant find a part you love, find a part you don’t hate, even if its your little finger and love it wholeheartedly.
With thanks to Kerry Spina for the inspiration from her Children’s book, I Love My Body
One of the biggest joys of learning to love yourself and embrace all parts of you is letting go of what other people think about you and knowing that their opinions of you is a reflection of who they are not who you are.
But in revealing our true identity to the world, living in our truth and our light, we make ourselves vulnerable. It takes courage and love to be vulnerable, and not matter how much we love ourselves, there is always a fear lurking ready to surface that those close to us will judge us.
When we published this page a few days ago, I went to invite my friends on Facebook to like the page, but found I couldn’t bring myself to Invite All, just select ones who I knew would love and support our new adventure.
The truth is I was afraid to be seen as I really am, here and now, by many of my so called “friends” on Facebook. I was afraid of being judged by people I work with, family members, and other people who don’t know that spiritual side of me and haven’t seen my blog and videos. So many people to whom I haven’t truly revealed that part of me and who only know my work persona or who I was a few years ago.
Whilst I am happy to post videos and content to my tribe on Debbie Reeves - Perfectly Imperfect page, I realized there was still a part of me afraid to be seen by the people who knew me in a different part of my life.
It made me ask myself why am I even friends with them if I am afraid to be seen for who I am?
So, after some reflection, sitting with my feeling of fear and allowing them, I pushed Invite All. Some of them will like/love our work, some of them will hate it, some will ignore it. But it’s a huge step forward to being seen by everyone in my life and letting them know, this is me, this is who I am, love me or hate me.
I’m going to let my light shine on everyone and stop hiding it from those I think won’t accept me.
And yes, I have culled my friends list on Facebook, the time had come to let some people go.
Questions have already begun rolling in about what we are, what we do, what we charge, and what’s the plan.
The first thing missing is the marketing funnel. We don’t do that here. If we say it’s free, it really is. We’re not collecting your email for an upsell later.
It’s unusual, we know. And it gets better.
We are also not planning to charge exorbitant rates for coaching. It is not in anyone’s best interest for us to profit from your pain. We didn’t like it as consumers and we won’t do it as providers.
It is not anyone’s job to fix, change, convince, convert, or even heal you. We are not doctors, psychiatrists, clergy or shamans. We are simply called to hold the sane middle ground that allows you to be you at your own pace.
If that means breaking the norms and pissing outsiders off, we are up for the challenge.
This is a collaborative effort of inspired action so only the universe knows how it is ultimately going to unfold. And we love that!
“Kim Halsey is living in the leap from the life she was programmed to live to the joyous expression of living in the moment.” Learn more about Kim here.
We frequent a photoshopped, monetized, online world of before-and-after body shots trying to sell you some latest greatest plan to get the body of your dreams (which promises the life of your dreams by association.)
As we approach another new year, we have to admit that our past attempts to mold our bodies into this decade’s version of health has not been sustainable.
When the $73 billion diet industry can make you feel like their dismal 5% success rate is your fault and not theirs, you eat more and they cash in with repeat business. Win-win, right?
Not so fast. Let’s look at a few facts.
TO BE CONTINUED...