Greetings as we continue to ride this roller coaster.
A friendly reminder: nothing is constant – our bodies are constantly changing, our environment is constantly changing, EVERYTHING is constantly changing. And as a result, the ways in which we relate to ourselves – through eating and body image – will continue to evolve and change.
Like meditation, Intuitive Eating is a practice and therefore will be subject to different influences. The goal of Intuitive Eating is not to maintain a steady state, a flat line in how you relate to food and your body. It’s to be able to adapt, adjust, sense and respond.
When you are stressed – emotionally and physically, as many of us are now – your Intuitive Eating practice will be affected. The events of the past few months may be affecting the ways in which you relate to food and your body.
A few thoughts:
1. Notice – how has your eating changed? Are you more or less hungry? Is your desire to eat greater or less? How are your hunger and desire to eat lining up (or not)? What is your general level of mindfulness around eating? How are you feeling about your body? Have your feelings veered toward the extremes or wanting to clamp down with control or saying “F*ck it all?”
2. What is in the constellation surrounding these changes – what is in the big picture? How is your sleep? Are you able to move your body? Are you having pain? Is your food supply secure? Has your financial situation changed? How are you feeling about recent events and your place in them? Are you feeling connected to your support system? Do you have sources of joy in your day-to-day life right now? Do you have adequate skills to work with inner turmoil?
3. Could you normalize your own struggle – given the constellation of factors swirling about from #2 above, could you normalize for yourself what is occurring in #1?
4. Practice self-compassion AND remain engaged – Offer yourself kindness, understanding, and warmth: “Of course I’m feeling ____________, [this] and [this] and [this] and [this] are all going on simultaneously and I just want to feel safe and OK.” Do this as often as you need to, whenever feelings of struggle arise. Then take whatever “right next step” is available to you.
This is what practice looks like.
Remember: this is a life’s work. Meditation, Intuitive Eating, internal work, social justice work, all of it.