Welcome to How to Love Your Body on Today’s episode we are going to be talking about how to tell if you are listening to your body or listening to your head. There are so many tiny nuances in IE and this is one of them.
This is actually a really important distinction between the two. Yes our body and our brains come together and make decisions - so really we are using both when choosing what we want to eat.
But if we skip our body's input when choosing food that is when we most likely hear “I’m so full, why do I always do that, I’m allowing all food but this doesn’t feel good.” Of course there is nothing wrong with any of that - you can be full, it’s okay if you “do that”, and it’s also okay not to feel good - yeah it’s not comfortable but it doesn’t mean you're horrible and a failure.
So we talk about this often but really how this came to be is that I experienced this first hand just a couple of nights ago- I kinda had an off day with eating, I ate enough but it just wasn’t as satisfying because xyz and all the things that don’t really matter - when it came to dinner time - I was feeding the kids and also sitting to eat myself and although I was eating something I enjoyed my brain was grazing. I was wondering if I should eat more of the same thing or get something sweet or when the kids go to bed to make myself another snack or something - I was searching and searching and was quite annoyed because this isn’t something that usually happens to me after dinner - usually after dinner I feel complete - I’ve eaten enough that satisfies me, i get the kids to bed, and after that I usually have some chocolate or ice cream and that feels great. So when my “typical” night wasn’t happening - I was annoyed! I was checking in and asking myself what I need? If I need to go eat something sweet right now - just go and do it. I can also have something after the kids go to bed - I was allowing but it still didn't feel “right” - I was in my head. I also realized that i was feeling a little off that night - I was home with the kids alone - I was feeling certain emotions about certain things - which is fine - and then I was like okay well maybe I’m feeling some feelings and I just need some food to comfort me - I then said, okay well if you need to eat that’s fine - go ahead and do it! There’s nothing wrong with that - I was giving myself full permission to do whatever I needed to do - and then I asked myself how does my body feel? And that was the shift right there. I literally felt myself drop from my head into my body. I realized all the chatter was all going on up in my head. I wasn’t considering my body at all. When I dropped into my body I could tell that I actually felt content and wasn’t actually hungry - I still gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted / emotionally eat if I wanted to but since I was back in my body I realized eating something wouldn’t “fix” anything - because I wasn’t actually hungry - it would have not made me feel good in my body because actually my dinner was satisfying and filling.
This may seem like a story that has an intention of getting yourself not to eat something - that’s not the case here - because later when the kids went to bed I went and got an ice cream because I was ready for it (taste buds and body!)
So why share this - I felt the shift between my head and my body so intensely - like it was a visceral AH HA moment that I was like “ohhhhhh wooooow I didn’t even realize how stuck I was in my head” - dropping into your body is so important when Intuitive Eating…
I vividly remember one time when I was at Starbucks - of course and I was in line (pre pandemic) and I was waiting thinking … ugh I don't feel like a coffee but I want one,,, and I was debating if i should leave or stay. Starbucks is my favorite and I did want a coffee but it was like my body was screaming at me, no thank you that would not feel good.
But I stayed in line, my mind thinking hmmm what's going on here and then when I thought of an iced coffee my body was like yes ok I can get on board with that.
I was hot.
I was too hot and thinking of a coffee made me feel a little ill but when I switched it to an iced coffee in my thoughts my body eased into it.
This work is so intangible in so many ways so these stories might sound like we’re being imaginative but my body literally leaned into it when I thought of an iced coffee and my stomach felt queasy when I was thinking about a latte.
So here are 3 steps to drop into your body and not live in your head when choosing food/ eating food.
Step 1: Pretend like there’s an off switch and from the head up you turn it off - it goes dark - and from the neck down you have an on switch - and the light is on - you are only focusing what is going on from the neck down.
Step 2: When you are choosing to eat / want more of something / feeling grazy - instead of listening to your thoughts - ask your body some questions.(Remember your head is “dark” the switch is turned off - you can’t be in there for the time being ) - Your body is the only thing powered on- What sensations do I feel in my body? What is my stomach feeling like? This step it to get aware of what’s going on in your body and how you are feeling.
Step 3: Pretend as if you are eating the food you want - imagine tasting it. Imagine what it would feel like in your body - do you have a sense of - yes that feels good or hmmm I don't think that will feel great. It doesn't matter what you choose to eat! This is just getting you to really tune into your body.
Can you relate to saying -- I just can’t have X in my house - I can stop when I eat other things but X is impossible for me - We’d have to question that - next time you eat this thing - go through these 3 steps and drop into your body while eating them. Before/ during/after you eat - DROP in and see what comes from it!
Keep reminding yourself of the 3 steps and use it as gaining more awareness - it doesn’t mean this will make you eat less - it may mean you want to eat more! It can be anything! Also, you can absolutely choose to eat something even if your body is saying im full - emotionally eating is absolutely acceptable too even if your body doesn’t want the whole pint of ice cream - if you choose that - it’s okay!! This is about helping you make empowered choices - instead of being unaware - you get to have full awareness of what is going on in your body and your brain and make the choice - and whatever that choice is - is YOUR choice.
Our app, The UnDiet Collective launches in the app store on Feb 1 ! We can’t wait to share it with you - we’ll be rolling out more details in the next few weeks but think easy access to intuitive eating, body image, mindset, and community support at the tips of your fingers - OFF Facebook, that gives you small actions steps and tips without making it overwhelming or confusing. It’s a one stop shop for all your needs when continuing the process in becoming an UnDieter - not to mention it’s affordable and high value.