I’ve been in the dark. And I’ll admit that writing, sharing has been hard lately.
Not only has the world turned dark, and cold, but so has my body. When I took on the healing process to find my intuitive eater, I was told that emotions might arise. And they have erupted.
There is an interesting thing that our bodies do when they experience emotional and psychological pain and we don’t process it. Our bodies manifest it. Into our bones, our muscles, our nerves.
My body, like so many, holds all sorts of trauma. Over the years, the layers have built up, some so deep I have forgotten all about them. I’m in pain alot. A sore back from an old injury horseback riding. A twisted hip that won’t let go since cradling the growing life of my first born 7 years ago. The achy feet from an imablance in posture, cracky shoulders from a back that tries so hard, a weak wrist from picking up my kids over and over and over.
When first learning about non-restrictive eating in The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner, I read that it is time to feel. “Feel what?” is all I thought. She instills a practice of body attention everyday. Taking five minutes to notice what you feel in your body and to look at it, study it, notice it. Not fix it, never to fix it, but to simply feel it.
In the Intuitive Eating workbook, there is an activity where you sit quietly and try to feel your heartbeat within you. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this is the first time I consciously felt it inside of me. I now do it often, it is actually quite grouding to remember that this muscle keeps on pumping no matter what’s happening around it.
I’ve also learned that I emotionally eat at times. Food helps me to feel better when I’m frustrated, sad, or even bored. This is not an uncommon practice, and not necessarily even a bad one. But I’ve noticed it and worked to find other ways to self-care in these moments.
I mention all this, because when you stop to feel your body, listen to what it’s saying, and you take away a numbing comfort, you start to feel.
And these feelings have been erupting out of me. I am in a lot of physical pain as this body screams at me what I have silenced for so long. I am exhausted, all the way to the point that the thought of movement feels overwhelming most of the time. My body needs rest, rest for all of the missed moments of rest. My body needs rest, for all of the pain it needs to heal. My body needs tender care and love, warmth, massage, showers, essential oils, all that I can offer it as it heals.
And my heart has been healing. These past two months have been an overdrive of emotions. I have remembered and felt through trauma, and I’m talking little things I have beaten myself up over for decades.
So I haven’t been writing.
I have been parenting. And my kids are brilliant. I haven’t had the best words to share with them why my emotions are so up and down, but I have had the love and care to apologize when I need to, to explain when I feel frustrated before I act, and to ask for moments by myself.
Returning to intuitive eating is so hard. I so often want to walk away. But I remember that I am untangling knots from decades of diet culture, centuries of generational trauma, and years of painful dieting I have inflicted on myself.
I can say many things about why I’m still in, but here are a few.
- My daughter eats with more confidence than I have ever seen, trying new things and communicating about her fullness and needs.
- I am letting go of the need to have zero waste with all food.
- Food is becoming nourishment instead of comfort.
- Dinner time is a place of deep and loving inquisitions instead of food battles.
- I love this body more now than I ever have, and it’s a body I have feared for so much of my life.*
- This body, although working through so much, is startimg to feel like home.
Until I write again…
*I need to acknowledge something here. I have always been afraid of gaining too much weight and I am now in the body that I used to fear. And this is still a straight-sized, highly privileged body. I can’t say this without also saying that this journey is a constant unpacking of my fatphobia towards myself and this world. When we, or I, fear a body for myself that is still not like the body of so many others, we marginalize those bodies. Both in this world and in our minds. The love I am working on for my own body is a love inclusive of all bodies no matter what size. I am releasing the fear of all body sizes as I embrace my own. I am standing in the belief that all bodies are worthy of love, praise, admiration, care, joy, and humanity. I invite you to do the same.