How can something so small have so much power. It can cause anxiety at a meal. It can consume all thoughts throughout the day. It can dictate our mood. Food has a lot of power in this culture. Step into any bookstore diet section and you will see how much power it has first hand. Should I follow Eat Right for Your Blood Type? What about the Zone? You on a Diet? Atkins? Acid/Alkaline? More protein? Less protein? No sugar? No dairy?
It’s all so over-whelming. And, if that weren’t enough, watch tv for ten minutes and again you’ll find some sort of advertisement for some diet. Nutri-system. Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig.
All of it promoting “health” with a subtle (or not-so-subtle) message that says, “You aren’t enough.”
I could go on about this topic for days, but I won’t at this time. This article is about food and your relationship with it. There has been a lot of discussion about food in our country. Our obsession with convenience. Our instant gratification culture. How obesity rates have sky-rocketed. How large corporations are manipulating food product far from it’s original state.
So, how do we know what to eat and who to listen to?
Well, I have a slightly different take on what many “experts” would tell you. I believe only YOU can determine what works for you. What causes your body to THRIVE…not just survive.
Now, I’m not saying disregard all the information that’s out there and eat ho-ho’s all day because you believe that works for you. First, I doubt you would feel your body alive, full of energy and thriving on ho-ho’s all the time! Second, there are fantastic resources out there. Be it a book or a person. My only suggestion is to consider that no one can know what is best for you. Because they aren’t you!
By all means, read the information, see the dietician or doctor. Listen to their message and then try it out. See if it fits. See if it works for you. Does it make you feel alive and energized? Does it cause your stomach to ache? Your head to ache? I mean, you wouldn’t just walk into a clothing store and buy the first pair of jeans the sales clerk says would fit you best. Imagine, you walk in. She says, ”these jeans would look great on you.” And, you say, “Perfect. I’ll take them!” Highly unlikely, right? Why? Because you didn’t see how they fit. You didn’t get to try them on. And, we all know jeans are the second most difficult item of clothing to fit – swimsuits being #1. (Men, I do believe you have it easier here! J)
I realize a sales clerk and doctor aren’t in the same category, but you get my point. For some reason, our society buys into the belief that someone else knows what is best for us. We let others make decisions for us all the time mainly because we believe they are the experts.
What I’m proposing is that we make that the abnormal. I’m proposing we consult with whoever we feel is qualified to assist us, but then we make the decision based on what we know to be right for us. You are the CEO of your body. You can consult with as many experts as you need, but ultimately the choice is up to you.
A great example of this is a recent experience I had at my annual physical. I mentioned to my general practitioner that I’ve been experiencing some migraines recently. Her immediate response was to offer me a prescription that would treat the migraine. I told her I wasn’t interested in “treating” the symptom. I wanted the cure. She flat out said that didn’t exist. And, I laughed. I don’t believe that. I know my body and trust it will lead me to a perfect healing of this situation. I just have to continue trying out new methods from acupuncture to nutrition to see what works. (PS – an acupuncture herb formula has helped a lot!)
So, what does all of this have to do with food?
I believe the best way to determine what “diet” or way of eating works best for you is by getting to know your body. Develop a relationship with her/him. How do you do that? Simple. By paying attention. By demonstrating love, care, communication, trust and respect. Your body is communicating with you every second of every day. So, start to notice how you are feeling after you eat protein or wheat or sugar or dairy. Are you tired? Does your stomach hurt? Do you feel guilty? These are all good questions to ask. And the answers that follow will provide you with a new understanding and possibly lead you on to a new course of action.
You only get one body in this life. Why not get to know it.
If your goal is radiant health, then let your body lead you. It has an inner wisdom that knows. All you have to do is listen and follow.