Since the beginning of March, I’ve been exploring a new way to live and eat. It’s an ongoing discovery, without shame and judgements as I explore what’s right for me.
I am so blessed to have robust health and a strong body. And yet as I’m now mid-40s it’s definitely ‘time’ to create optimum health and wellness.
There’s been several pivotal steps along the way so far. The first was a strong inclination to detox. We eat vegetarian, mostly organic food with high vegetable content, minimal wheat etc. And yet there were other foods and eating habits that I knew weren’t supporting my health. So I’ve increased natural ‘live’ foods, added in breakfast smoothies and generally have smaller portions.
At the same time, I created an online Joyful Food group with some Feminine Power sisters. We meet weekly and support each other – this is not a diet group – we’re diving into our beliefs and habits around food as well as exploring our lives as a whole. That support has been crucial to me – firstly as women sharing together and also as the self-appointed leader/facilitator, it’s lovingly forced me to show up and reflect each week.
Here’s some of my ‘findings and enquiries’ around food, health and being ourselves:
* What’s the truth about who we are?
* Be curious about your personal food story, letting it go and creating a new story filled with joy and freedom
* We are Sacred. Our bodies are sacred. From this viewpoint, gratitude flows and we naturally choose the foods that support us
* We celebrate ourselves and our precious life
* We must first connect to ourselves and then choose what to eat. Checking in to see what foods and how much and when
* Noticing where we’re judging ourselves or shaming ourselves for who we are and what we eat. Noticing the societal/cultural influences here especially around the ‘perfect’ body. Letting it go.
* What does ‘diet’ mean to us?
* Being aware of our natural cycles and our food/nutritional needs throughout the month as well as the need to rest.
* Noticing our basic survival needs around food – is that triggering us to overeat? Being curious about how to meet that need. For example I know I have low blood sugar so it nurtures me to know that I have good foods in my bag to eat should my blood sugar drop. Incidentally, as I’ve changed the foods in my diet, my blood sugar has remained stable.
* Connecting with our food – taking time to choose foods which call to us in a wholesome way. Taking time to prepare it lovingly, arrange the plate. Sit and eat slowly in silence, savouring each mouth full.
* Being curious (without judgement) if we don’t feel we have the time to prepare and eat food slowly… what’s stopping us?
* Only eat when physically hungry!
* Is food replacing a need within us? For example I was substituting food for fun! Being aware that we can be using food to ‘fix’ a hunger for something else… are we using food to give us a chemical ‘high’, to ‘fix’ tiredness, to comfort us when we feel drained by others or to give us comfort and a warm feeling?
* What are the real desires beneath the food?
* Are we using food as a ‘rule’ in life to keep us small, contained? What happens if we break the rules and barriers? For me there was a fear here that I’d overeat even more but actually the opposite is true – food is a joy to be savoured and there’s no charge around it anymore.
* What happens if we choose to take up all the space we need in life? Being curious – am I using a big body to take up space? Do I need a big body? For me this is the realisation that I can claim this space without a big body.
* Taking time and getting support for the emotions that food has been suppressing. Being in enquiry with this led me to creating the food group and seeking coaching to support myself as well as being present to myself
* What’s your pain? What are you trying to bury with food?
* I love Geneen Roth’s ‘Women, Food and God’ – in it she says spiritual hunger will never be solved on the physical level, love yourself with food: ‘your body is yours and you can eat as a way to be yourself’
* How can we truly be ourselves? Do we value ourselves for simply being ourselves rather than for what we can ‘do’. Sadly, most of the time this is NO and we have lots of false beliefs that cause great pain.
* Are we connected to ourselves and the Earth? How does being connected influence our food choices? Do we then naturally want to eat ‘alive’ natural foods?
* How can we step into joy for all of our life? So that food is an expression of that and a celebration? Celebration of food, of life, of ourselves – a new way of being.
For me, this food enquiry is about food and it isn’t! It’s about who we’re being as a person in the world. The foods we eat are a reflection of our inner landscape, our values and belief systems and all the things we’re suppressing too.
Have I got this totally sussed? No not yet. But I feel so much better in myself – I’m in alignment – the food choices I make are personal to me – they’re not from a book telling me what to eat, how to exercise etc although I research nutrition a lot. This is a lived experience… every day I connect with myself, I listen to what my body wants and I use food as a doorway to my desires and thoughts. I try to sit down quietly with my food and be present while I eat and I’ve had some deep insights on issues in my life which aren’t food related. By releasing the pressure of food and ‘ideal’ weight, I’m allowing my energy to fully flow and for other things to emerge.
On an outward level, I’ve lost 9kg easily. I’m choosing to exercise a lot more. My skin is glowing. On an inner level, I’m ‘me’ and that’s being reflected by the people I meet and coach. They can feel my energy and the space I hold. And I know that sounds like hippie talk but the truth is we’re energetic beings, we have an electromagnetic field. I’m sure that the high energy living foods I’m eating are adding to the energy I already have as a healer/coach and as ‘Sam’.
At the core of it all is who we are as sacred beings. That we each have the right and need to claim our space in the world and to be ourselves fully, in all our Radiance. By being ourselves, we support others to truly be themselves, to shine and be radiant too. Food is a gateway to this and I’m honoured that I can use this for my own self discovery and to support others with theirs. Because we’re in this together. It’s so not about the food, it’s about the JOY of being yourself, which is why I call it Joyful Food, Joyful Life. It’s a beautiful circle with our true selves.
So let’s start a revolution to discover ourselves, our desires, our passions and our potential. Let’s live that Joyful Life one mouthful at a time!
Please see my Joyful Food, Joyful Life coaching programme for information on one to one support