By having an understanding about the mind-body connection, you are better able to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. When you have a sense of body wisdom, you are better equipped to make peace with food rather than feeling smothered with constant “food worry” thoughts.
What often happens is that we use our mind to make decisions for us without checking in with our body’s cues. Our body is a pretty good indicator of what it needs. It tells us when we are hungry, when we are full, when we need to rest, when we are thirsty, when it needs its next breath, when to go to the bathroom and even how to birth a child. Our minds don’t tell our body when we need to go to the bathroom or how to birth a child right? Then why do we let our minds tell us when to overeat or deprive or self-sabotage?
Toxic thoughts that become toxic beliefs.
First we must reframe the word “mind” into “ego” because that’s really where our mind comes from when we are not factoring in the body connection. Our ego is filled up with whatever toxic beliefs we’ve allowed into our psyche since the day we were put on this Earth. We have taken this toxic fuel in and embedded it into our own belief system we carry with us throughout life. We then project those beliefs outwardly in the form of destruction and in this case on the body.
Perhaps you were brought up being told you needed to be pretty and thin in order to be accepted, or perhaps you were told at the dinner table if you didn’t eat all the food on your plate, you were a bad person. Perhaps you were deprived as a child of certain foods and were told they were bad. Maybe you were told you were fat and that fat people aren’t normal or significant enough to get anywhere in life. Perhaps it’s the opposite and you subconsciously don’t want to be thin or pretty or people will stare at you and you don’t like the attention; you’d prefer not to get noticed. These are just a few reasons why we might choose to vandalize our body in these ways with our excessively unhealthy impulses surrounding food.
It sounds crazy right? You’d think we would be able to pinpoint these beliefs or triggers and put an end to it. If only it were that easy. This toxicity we carry around is buried so deep within us that it takes a lot of soul searching to peel away each toxic belief layer by layer. It’s all about being able to read your body and create that body wisdom before your mind gets its way.
I had a love-hate relationship with food.
I had thoughts like these at one point in my life. It led me to a place I thought I’d never get out of. It was a dark place filled with self-hate, self-sabotage and destruction on my mind and my body. I chose to listen to my ego over my body. I chose to take every negative belief into my current state and project it out into the world and onto my body in the form of overindulgence, which then led to deprivation, starvation and over-exertion. It first started with me overeating. Eating when I was sad, when I was happy, bored or simply because it was there. I had a love-hate relationship with food, which caused me to have a hateful relationship with my body as I started to gain weight. That then led to deprivation. I thought if I ate, I would gain weight. If I gained weight, I would not be accepted. If I was unaccepted, I would feel unloved and lonely. Little did I know I was headed towards a much lonelier place. I felt my life crumbling. I couldn’t find that happy medium, that happy place. If I didn’t accept myself, as I was, why would anyone else? It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom and almost lost my life that I was led on my journey towards health and happiness and even better, self-love.
Our minds play tremendous tricks on us. All you need to do is simply reverse your thought pattern and let your body take over your mind. Let your body give you cues and then decide what it needs. It’s about befriending and loving it rather than treating it like a rival. Your body is not against you! It is YOU… it wants to be nurtured. The more you practice listening, the more you will understand its language.
Let’s start one step at a time. I suggest for the next seven days be committed to witnessing your body’s cues. Place a piece of paper on the refrigerator or your mirror with the word “Mindfulness” to remind you to quiet the mind and listen to your body first. See what your body says. Maybe write it down. Does it need rest? Is it thirsty? Does it want to go dancing? Play with this!! Have fun with it! The more attuned you become, the more connected you will be and the easier it will be to hear your body in order to make healthier choices in life. You CAN do this!