Welcome to the 7th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: http://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/ and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)
Yesterday was all about your learning how to recognise an emotion by observing it ; how to learn from the emotion; andhow to process the emotion and let it go.
Today, I’m taking a slightly different tack and taking a look at food and the notion of “diets”. If you’ve been taking part in the 12 Days of Christmas project, you may be paying more attention to which foods support your eating pleasure ; you may have changed your mind about what pleasure means for you. You may be reconnecting with your body, with your appetite and with your emotions. You may even be developing confidence in your own ability to pay attention to your natural signals.
And there’s a powerful word : CONFIDENCE. As you’re developing confidence in your own body, as you begin to value and relate to your body in new ways, you might want to feed it in new ways too. How confident are you about making the right food choices for you?
How do you know what’s healthy for you and your body? Well, that’s a really good question. And there are a myriad of answers to be found in a multitude of dietary approaches. And whilst it can be helpful to keep connected to nutritional science’s latest conversation , it’s probably even more helpful to keep connected to your own inner nutritional guru.
Here are my suggestions to help you find a way of eating that works for both you and your body :
1. It needs to be pleasurable (look good, smell good and feel good in your body).
2. Be fully respectful of the signals and feedback your body offers to you.
3. Experiment until you have designed a way of eating that is tailored to you.
4. Acknowledge that your body is changing all the time (this means that what you eat may need to change over time).
5. Develop a style of eating focused on health / energy / vitality rather than weight loss. (Ask yourself : what do I want food to give me BEYOND weight loss?)
About Diets There is a whole heap of information about diet, eating philosophies and nutrition available – in fact, there is so much information around that it’s not always easy to determine what’s going to work for you or be healthy for you. New ideas come and go and researchers are discovering new things all the time. Because nutritional science is in its infancy , this means we have to be courageous enough to make our own choices (we have to evaluate the science and do our homework too!) and we have to be confident enough to experiment and find out what works for our own body and our own mind.
I’m certainly not going to be prescribing any diets here! Rather, I’m suggesting that it’s all about your learning to make food choices that support your health. I’m suggesting it’s all about your having the confidence to develop a style of eating (your own nutritional philosophy) based on your own body wisdom and on your own assessment of anything new that nutritional science brings to the conversation. Being your own best nutritional guru is not only GREAT for your mind-body but it frees you from being driven exclusively by an external set of rules.
It Really Is Up To You! If I’d been writing this blog post 10 years ago, you would have seen a picture of the UK Healthy Eating Pyramid (with cereals and grains propping up the rest of the diet). That’s how I was trained when I studied nutrition : low fat and whole grain carbs as a basis for a healthy diet.
Since then, lots has changed . When I trained in over 10 years ago, they were just starting to talk about the notion of Glycaemic Indices (the rate at which foods release their sugar into the body and affect blood sugar levels).Now they talk about Glycaemic Load (GL) (ie. they are learning more and more all the time) and diets higher in protein and higher in fat are now being recommended (protein satisfies you and fat doesn’t always make you fat! That’s the latest conversation :))
Confused yet? Who wouldn’t be?! I’ve checked out every diet over the years (and tried out most when I was struggling with my weight). In the end, I decided to put my own stake in the ground : I developed an eating approach that works for me based on my own body wisdom and my own views on the science. Here are the guidelines that I developed for myself that help me to make choices about my style of eating / food . As you consider my guidelines, what would yours be? (Write them down, chew them over and them give it a whirl : experiment! You might be thrilled at your growing confidence in the area of nutrition :))
1.Do I believe the science? (With the internet, well-qualified friends and a basic understanding of what constitutes “good research”, you can begin to get a feel for whether an eating approach is worth trying!)
2. Do I feel satisfied eating in this way? (If I am hungry and constantly thinking about food ~ it’s not working for me!)
3. Do I feel energised and healthy?
4. Am I sleeping well?
5. Does my skin and hair look good?
6. Am I achieving / maintaining a healthy weight?
7. Do I enjoy eating this way?
8. Can I find the foods easily?
9. Does it support my lifestyle? (Can I run on this food? Can I compete on this food? Can I eat out with friends on this food?)
10. Is it sustainable in the longer term? (I couldn’t detox, juice-fast or Slimfast “shake it” for the rest of my life ~ and I bet you couldn’t either!)
11. IS THE FOOD “REAL”? (I avoid processed foods whenever possible : my body doesn’t like them!)
All In Good Time! Your body may take time to adapt to a new way of eating. Give your body and mind a chance to digest what you are offering to it.
Well, I think I’ve served up quite a healthy portion today, so I’ll leave you to get stuck in. And I’m going to leave you with a smile too 🙂 . This quote from Erma Bombeck always makes me giggle : “I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food”. Puts me in mind of Indiana Jones and those Lara Croft boots again 🙂
If Indy (he’s my favourite after Barry Manilow, by the way) were sitting next to me , I’d expect he’d offer the following advice to us all right now :
Have an adventure!
You may get into some scrapes but you’ll sure learn fast!
Respect the magic : it’s powerful!
You’re more resourceful than you think!
If you find a puzzle, the solution isn’t probably what you expect it to be!
Trap doors aren’t so bad : if you fall down one, enjoy the ride (but remember where the trap door is for the next time)!
There is always treasure : follow the signs and symbols, crack the code and it’s yours :)!
Your enemy often turns out to be a great ally!
Gotta run 🙂 ! Oh – And do have a wonderful slide into 2013 tonight 🙂
JT ( If you are interested in 1-1 coaching or in attending a live Thigh-High Bootcamp event, please feel free to visit my website http://www.thighhighbootcamp.com for more info 🙂 The next live events are taking place in Northern Ireland – Portrush and Belfast in January and February ; and in England – Warrington in February).
© Jane Talbot 2012