I’ve been hearing about ‘Biggest Loser’ competitions, inspired by the popular reality show, popping up all over the place, at fitness centers, schools and workplaces and I can’t help but think that these competitions offered under the guise of motivation and support just take us another step away from what most of us really crave; peace and freedom in our relationship with our body and with food.
The battle, the unending battle, the constant obsessing, worrying, comparing, complaining, the daily decisions ‘should I – shouldn’t I?’, the counting, the combining, the calculating, the ‘am I allowed to have a happy day’ trip to the scale, the late night incessant rummaging through the cupboard, the guilt, the shame, the blame, the new resolve, the ‘this time I am going to do it’…ladies, it is exhausting, it is defeating and it is soul starving.
Women everywhere are becoming hungry for a new kind of paradigm, there are whispers from our soul saying ‘this isn’t right…there has to be a better way’ and yet we are caught in a paradoxical trap. We want freedom in our body and to end the battle with food and yet we are enveloped in a culture that praises and rewards us for keeping up the fight and beating our fellow bulge battler and conquering our own body.
What if it didn’t have to be this way at all? What if you could reclaim the freedom and joy you took in your body when you were 3 years old? What if you believed that food was both for nourishment and for pure pleasure and when you ate for pleasure you took full joy in every bite and experienced nothing but satisfaction? What I now know to be true is that this is the path to health, freedom with food, true joy in moving our bodies and learning to seek out and accept the wisdom of the present moment.
In The Deeper Craving Path™ I distinguish between 3 types of eating: emotional eating, nourishing eating and pleasure eating. If you, like me, have been embroiled in a long held battle with your body you may be have begun to believe that pleasure eating is for them; the skinny ones, the healthy ones, the kids, the men, whomever…but not for me and so we learn how to sneak, how to eat without eating, how to get it all in NOW before the diet starts tomorrow.
Which brings me to emotional eating; eating out of shame, out of guilt, out of boredom, out of ‘job well done’, out of self-soothing, out of giving up. We tell ourselves we are eating because it tastes so good or ‘we just like food’ but there is no true joy in this kind of eating. It is truly soul starving. Nourishing eating allows our bodies to soar and pleasure eating allows our senses to soar. If neither of those is happening in most of our eating experiences we are into a different experience all together one that requires conscious healing to move out of.
When I had my watershed moment years ago that told me that I’d rather be overweight than obsessed with weight, that the weight itself had not robbed me of joy it was the way I thought and felt about the weight that took precious energy and power from me, everything changed. I was able to clearly see for the first time what I was losing through my obsession with weight and food. Yes I often was successful in losing pounds on a diet but I also managed to lose connection, lose faith, lose self-worth, lose joy, and lose the experience of so many moments.
By giving up the battle, by losing the obsession we gain freedom, gain peace, gain connection, and gain authenticity…and it frees our body to arrive at our natural healthy weight. The 70 odd pounds I’ve lost since quitting dieting have come off because my body was freed to do what it needed to do, it had what it longed for; acceptance, freedom and joy.
Life is happening NOW, only now and every moment we spend living for the body of tomorrow means that we eclipse the beauty of the body and the moment that is here today.
Wishing you peace and kindness in your beautiful body,
Peggy Farah, LMHCA
Life coach, Therapist and Founder, Deeper Cravings
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/136236914/”>Ed Yourdon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>