The other day my new favorite Yogi tea - Raspberry Ginger FYI (so good, you must try it!) - provided a huge dose of wisdom in 7 words: "There is nothing more precious than self-trust."
It may sound simple, but the idea of "self-trust" is HUGE.
Let's think about what the diet industry, media, and conventional medicine teaches us about our bodies...
- We have to count calories...because we can't trust our bodies signals for hunger.
- We have to use portion sizes...because we can't trust our fullness signals.
- We can't let go of 'food rules,' diets, or workout plans until we reach the 'ideal body/weight'...because then we'll be happy and healthy.
- We have to go to doctors and specialists to 'fix' ourselves because our bodies are broken...instead of allowing us to be part of the healing process.
- We have to set food rules and create 'off-limits' foods...because we don't trust ourselves around our favorite foods.
- Diets give us meal plans and rules with exact calories and measurements...instead of allowing our bodies to choose.
Believe me, I fell for these lies too. As a dietitian, I was taught to teach clients to count calories, which is totally opposite my approach of eating intuitively.
When you become a normal or intuitive eater, you LISTEN to you body.
In order to truly listen, you need to build SELF-TRUST first.
Otherwise, you'll use intuitive eating as another diet and only trust it, under certain circumstances.
What do I mean?
If you only listen to your body when you're craving 'healthy' foods, you ignore the chance to explore your body's cravings and desires. These may have to do with food, or they may have to do with something completely different. You know, like a desire for comfort or pleasure.
If we only listen to our body when we're feeling hungry at meal times but not an hour after lunch or in the afternoon, then we ignore the chance to honor our hunger at anytime. Our body deserves the chance to be heard and fed, regardless if we're physically hungry at noontime for lunch or at 2 pm for a snack. We also deserve to listen to our emotional, mental, spiritual, and so many other hungers we have in life. By listening to your body, you can learn about what you crave and desire.
You have to trust your body at all times. Not only when you're doing well based on your standards of health or wellness (hey, maybe it's time to let go of the conventional standards of health - like weight, anyways).
You have to trust your body...
- even when you're craving REST instead of another spinning class
- even when you're hungry an hour or two after lunch
- even when you've gained weight (or feel like you've gained weight)
That's where the magic happens. When you can trust your body to give you natural cues for hunger, fullness, foods it's craving to feel nourished, movement, rest, and more, you'll get to know this beautiful part of you.
Instead of treating your body like an enemy, it becomes a friend. A partner. When your body asks for food, you honor that hunger. When your body feels full, you honor let, and let yourself know that there's always more if you need it. When your body asks for rest, you sleep in instead of getting up for a workout.
Self-trust is an essential nutrient. Your body will begin to relax when it knows it's being listened to and respected. Your stress levels go down. It knows you're not in a famine or at risk of being starved.
You'll be able to distinguish physical hunger versus emotional hunger. When your physical body is fed and nourished, you'll have the space to explore emotional hungers. You'll have time to explore if you're craving chocolate...or if what you really desire is comfort, connection, or pleasure.
Trusting your body opens the door to fulfillment beyond food. You can learn how to satisfy you true desires for comfort, connection with others or yourself, pleasure, rest, freedom, openness, expression...
Depth and richness exists in this space. I dare you to dive into this space. I'm not saying it's 'easy' to explore the darkness, but when you can bring light in, it's worth it. You'll learn about what makes you tick, what you're craving, and how to honor and love yourself even more.
Trust your body.
It's a precious resource.
There ya go - 700+ words of inspiration boiled down to 7 words from a Yogi tea bag.
PS: If you want to explore how to build self-trust with your body, check out my ebook - Hips, Hunger, and the Pursuit of Healing - for practical tips, personal stories, and lessons on intuitive eating and body image.