Two of my most read blog pieces were about dealing with food and my kids. See them here and here. Writing is a way for me to put to paper, to the world sometimes, what is going on. And it’s a way to show my learning. Both pieces I wrote feel out of date, and ages ago. Both pieces show some of my own ignorance around food. And my own enticement by the food and diet industry.
Today, I am exploring, even choosing to do it differently. To see how this goes. I’ve found the movement of intuitive eating, which really is just eating. When I understood what it meant for me, I was in. ALL IN. The idea is simply that we eat to survive and that any type of restriction causes the body to go into stress and famine mode. It explains my deep obsession with ice cream, pizza, and “they take forever to bake” brownies. Seriously though, I may not be on an active diet but I restrict and enact rules about the food we eat every day. Here are some examples…
- Food waste is unacceptable, finish your plate or eat it later…there are starving children in this world and we won’t waste when others don’t have. TRUTH: my eating has little impact on the food access for the rest of the world. We need changes in policy, capitalism, and humanity. And our composting gives this food back to the earth.
- Meat and dairy are bad for you. You must eat less of them. TRUTH: My genetics, lifestyle, and environmental circumstance will kill me before any steak or glass of milk.
- Sugar is a treat and is to be limited, controlled. TRUTH: sugar is energy, all of your cells need it to survive. And sometimes your body craves it because it’s fucking starving and needs energy to get through the next 10 minutes of it’s life.
- My kids don’t eat enough…of this..or that…or in general. TRUTH: their bodies know better than mine after 37 years of restriction and obsession. Obsessing over their food is simply displacement for obsession over my own.
- Weight equates health. TRUTH: I am now seeing how this is not true. That health indicator variations are found throughout us as humans no matter our size. That only 25% of health indicators are a result of our choices, the rest are out of our control. That the stress we put on our bodies through restriction is far worse for your health than Cheetos. Or Chips Ahoy. Check out Health At Every Size if you’ve never heard about it.
So here’s where I’m at…
Desperately trying to unplug all of the restriction I place onto my own body. And to do so, I’m eating unrestricted. And, I’m eating a lot. Normal amounts according to the healing process. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s terrifying. What if I gain all of this weight? Society might hate me, but I can love me. What if I get sick or have bad health indicators? Then I can look to my stress level, lack of sleep, and genetics.
As I eat, I’m deflecting restriction to my kids. And I’m trying to hold the fact that my restriction of them also makes them want to eat, a lot, right now too.
So what’s next? I’m healing this body of mine. And I’m letting things go for these kids right now. It’s ever present in my mind how to teach them better, but I’m giving myself a break for a bit. I know myself. If I let myself obsess over parenting, I’ll ignore the whole point of this…to heal me.
Which in turn sets the example for their own healing and a life hopefully free of food restriction.
Don’t worry, you might about my health or theirs. But know that we are simply allowing ourselves to eat. As Caroline Dooner says in The F*ck It Diet, our body doesn’t know we are dieting to fit into absurdly small jeans, it just knows to make you eat to live. And that means you should listen.
If you’re still worried, here are my parenting to dos for the upcoming months….
– make sure this house is in fact body neutral.
– never talk about bodies, talk about people
– use the word fat as a descriptor not as an insult, and absolutely not as a self-insult.
– to talk about food as neutral, food has no morality so it can’t be good or bad.
– shift our talks about food to discussions on lifestyle and nourishment, what fuels us.
– eliminate the notion of exercise for weight loss and emphasize movement and only in ways that we enjoy it and it makes us feel good
– wear whatever the heck we want.
– laugh, a lot.
– love ourselves deeply – These bodies are amazing. Our feet help us to walk everyday. That’s evolutionary magic. Our body fuels us to live, love, laugh, move, experience joy, pleasure, anger, sadness. Your skin feels the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the rain and the tickle of your toddlers kisses on your check.
*So many resources are teaching me. Here are a few…