I am getting pretty good at ‘letting go’ or knocking down the walls of the model I have built up in my head. Letting go of where I should live, who I should be friends with, what I should wear, how I should make a living, how I should think and act… and this last week, I have been practicing at letting go of what I think I should eat.
(as a side note to self, I notice a lot of ‘shoulds’ there…. Does that mean I am letting go of ‘should’ too)
Food has always been something I could control. I always had the power to decide what I use to nourish and fuel my body.
When working away during the week in the so called ‘glamour’ of consulting, I would often eat in my room having bought lettuce, tomatoes and a tub of cottage cheese from the supermarket. I look back now and see that so clearly as a sign of misery, choosing not to nourish myself at all! Perhaps subconsciously knowing poor diet on top of long hours and work related stress would mean I would get ill, and I could stay at home?
The only time I felt relaxed about food, the quantity and food group, was when I was pregnant. I ate healthily, but allowed myself treats and it was the only time that guilt hasn’t plagued me, when I didn’t lie down at night and list every morsel that had passed my lips and chastise myself.
When starting to understand more about health, wellness and the importance that diet plays a part in it, my nutritionist advised I keep a food diary. A good way for most people to see where the little bad habits creep it, so they can work out why and manage the cause. For me, it was just a way to beat myself up again. And I probably didn’t need to.
With my back problems keeping me immobile, my food control habit mental reflex is kicking in. But this time I am ready for it! I recognise it, say ‘hi’ to it and wave it on it’s way as I indulge in ice cream, fish and chips, a bumper pack of mini eggs and watch my little belly grow.
The guilt I had been harbouring about food was just as toxic as the food I was putting in my mouth, just far less enjoyable.
As I drove to the osteopath this morning, so she could manipulate my locked joints, ligaments and muscles, I listened to a brief chapter of the Untethered Soul. It referenced a pendulum and that living on either side of the extreme used incredible energy to get there and also to sustain, hence the swing to the other side. The sweet spot, he said, is right in the middle, when there is minimal energy in movement itself, and therefore the energy around can be put to better use.
Apply the theory to a diet, or my imposed diet; a completely restricted diet caused me intense mental stress and energy in worrying about what I ate. So I have swung completely the other way and let all restrictions go and binge eating anything sugary, battery or refined.
I am guessing the sweet spot in the diet, is when you eat when you need it, not when you crave it. It is about listening to your body to find out what it needs, whether that be carbs, protein or greens.
At the moment, I am in full swing. And allowing myself to enjoy it, waving at the little voice of restriction and guilt … pelleting them with mini eggs.. as I fly by!