Intentions and Making resolutions, we have reached the beginning of a new year – a time of reflection and rebirth. This is the time that we set our intentions for the rest of the year through the making of resolutions. Unfortunately, these resolutions can sometimes be unkind toward ourselves, focusing on perceived flaws. Or they can be unrealistic – setting ourselves up for disappointment, which is also unkind. I’d like to take the month of January to discuss realistic resolutions, that come from a place of respect and compassion for ourselves and for our bodies.
Self love is important to me, and I know that it is important to Neelam, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to Aradia as an instructor. I’m very happy that this blog series can find a home here, where people are passionate about breaking cycles and healing.
Intentions and making resolutions: Eat Intuitively
The second resolution I’d like to discuss is EAT INTUITIVELY. What does that mean?
“Intuitive Eating is an approach developed to help people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting. An intuitive eater is defined as a person who makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness, and enjoys the pleasure of eating.” – Be Nourished
I have personally suffered from eating disorders and health problems as a result of toxic diet culture, and discovering the intuitive eating movement was a life saver (literally) for me. We often make resolutions about healthy eating, but forget what healthy means. Mental and emotional health are part of our health, too, and they directly contribute to physical health. Also, wellness and diet culture promote a lot of ideas, fads, and trends about what is “healthy”, making it hard to keep up. And the information is often contradictory, or flat-out incorrect.
So I’d like to propose that you stop listening to the internet, and start listening to your body.
Intuitive Eating has 10 principles, which you can read about here. I’m going to talk about what’s worked best for me, in my own words.
Eat Only when Hungry
Learn to listen to your body. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that it needs fuel, don’t ignore it. Conversely, wait until you are actually hungry to eat, not just because it is a scheduled meal time. This may mean that you are eating at unusual times, and that’s okay.
Stop Eating When Satisfied
We often interpret “full” as a stuffed, uncomfortable, lethargic feeling. When really we should feel satisfied and energetic. Learn to identify what satisfied feels like, and stop there. Even if it means you are hungry again in a few hours.
Savor Your Food
Take the time to really savor and enjoy your food. What does it look like? Smell like? Taste like? Eat without distractions, like television, so that you can really stay in touch with how your body is feeling. Try not to eat in a rush, or when stressed, which has negative effects on your digestive ability.
Reject the Concept of “Good” or “Bad” Food
Food is fuel, there is no moral value attached. Instead determine – how does this food make my body feel? Does it make me feel sick and tired? Or energetic and strong?
Honor Your Cravings – Food shouldn’t make you feel guilty or naughty, or that you’ve cheated or splurged. If you have a craving, satisfy it. Food restriction leads to negative mental effects and overeating. It is better to fully enjoy one scoop of your favorite ice cream, than to binge on diet food and snacks without ever feeling satisfied (and then probably going for the ice cream afterwards, anyway).
Progress, not perfection – and self compassion, always.
Aradia Instructor Lady Curvicorn has spent years researching self compassion and intuitive eating, and has used that experience to create a list of compassionate New Year’s Resolutions. We will be sharing her blog series with you throughout the month.