When I was little my uncle taught one of my sisters to make the sound "mmmmmmmmm" the whole time she was eating something, if it was really good. My sister LOVED food and I've diagnosed myself with misophonia (a VERY REAL kind of rage some people get with certain sounds - like the ones my sister made while eating) so I basically spent most of my childhood trying not to stab her with a fork at the dinner table.
But before I finish that endearing little tale, let's check in: how was yesterday?? Were you able to take a few moments while eating to get present? A few breaths? A few CHEWS?
Again, let's not gloss over the tiny victories. Every step in this direction is a step away from diet culture. And for that, you deserve a medal. A chocolate one.
Okay, so there is no important moral to my boring story above. I was just kind of a jerk that hated eating noises and my sister understood the importance of the PLEASURE of eating.
Day 6 - Find the Pleasure in Food
"In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence - the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself you will find that it takes much less food to decide you've had "enough" - Tribole & Resch
I work with so many women, caught in the obsession to be thin and perceived as super healthy, that they spend their lives forcing down boiled chicken, steamed broccoli, protein shakes, and bars. And then they can't figure out why their appetite and cravings are out of control. Why they've lost their zest for food (and often other things in life!).
A true intuitive eater understands that food is NEVER just fuel.
The emotional, pleasure-filled joys you can derive from food are just as valid as your nutrient requirements...sometimes even more so. There have been so many studies (think The Blue Zone research, The Roseto Effect, etc) into communities that live long, healthy lives...and even more important that WHAT people in these areas are eating is HOW they eat. The social, connected, pleasure filled way in which they eat appears to have a pretty strong effect. It has also been documented that micro-nutrients (like iron) are absorbed up to 50% MORE from a pleasurable, deeply enjoyed meal.
How do you like them apples?
This is not to say that wholesome, unprocessed foods are not important. Of course they are! It's just to reduce the hyper-focus typically placed on what we should be eating......To get away from the obsessive, reductionistic approach so many experts currently take with regards to our nutritional requirements and start to recognize that health is a deeply complex thing.
Let's bring the focus back to pleasure.
Make ALL of your meals today exceptionally pleasurable. Think about what it is you most want to eat and do your best to make it happen. Try to eat somewhere beautiful: a well-set table, your bed, a park, by the water, your front step....wherever. Light a candle. Put on some music. Have a glass or wine (maybe not for breakfast) or some lemon water.
See how you change, how your appetite changes, how your mood changes, when you eat pleasurably.
One little thing: I feel the need to mention that eating pleasurably doesn't mean eating junk food. I often ask myself: what food would be MOST pleasurable right now - and the answer is usually "a really good Greek salad with chicken" or "roast potatoes with rosemary".....but that can happen but I am equally open to the answer being "chocolate mousse". And if the answer is, indeed, chocolate mousse than I do my best to get it and eat. Because I've made peace with food, all foods are neutral and equally acceptable. Junk food doesn't have extra power/pull so it doesn't call out to me as often as you'd think.....but when it does call, I listen. And I enjoy every minute of it!!!