Mindful Eating: A Melon

The first thing I notice about the beautiful melon I am about to eat is the color. It reminds me of the creamsicles I used to eat as a child. As I stab my fork into one of the chunks, I can feel the resistance as it slides down into its flesh. I bring the fork up to my nose and inhale deeply. I close my eyes and try to pick out the individual scents that make up the whole. I can feel the coldness of it against my skin as I bring the fork closer to my mouth. There is just a hint of sweetness on my tongue because this one isn’t very ripe. I place the melon into my mouth and slowly chew. I am aware that this melon tastes much like it smells, like summer. This experience reminds me of my youth and hot, hazy days when I spent more time outside than inside.  As I swallow, another deeper taste lingers on the back of my tongue, sweetness, and even a slight tartness. I breathe in and savor the experience.

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The Trickster Diet

different-diets5I have been on every diet under the sun. I would tell myself that these “diets” were for either spiritual reasons or health benefits, never to lose weight. If I did lose weight, then that was just a bonus of being on a diet. Those were the lies I told myself time and time again. If I told myself these lies, I could continue to diet and “hope” to lose weight while appearing to like my body. I have never felt comfortable in my skin. Until recently, I have never liked my body, which is an unfortunate thing to admit.

I began dieting after my son was born. When I was pregnant with my child, I had low blood sugar regularly. Hypoglycemia was a physical manifestation of being an unwed single parent. My whole life was out of control. Low blood sugar showed up as anxiety,, fatigue, weakness, tunnel vision, and extreme hunger. I was constantly afraid I wouldn’t have enough food, and the symptoms would return. To this day, I carry food in my purse just “in case.”

After I gave birth to my child, I went to a nutritionist to learn how to “manage” hypoglycemia—thus started my journey of diet after diet after diet. I became obsessed with each diet I tried. In one year, I went from being a vegan to an all-meat carnivore diet.  It was insane.

I once heard that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. The name of the diet would change, but the results stayed the same.

As my diet changed, so did my reasons for being on a diet change. My body began to have “sensitivities”. I became sensitive to gluten, carbs, sugar, dairy; you name it. I could no longer eat it.  Underlying it all was this belief that my body was somehow flawed.

Rigidly adhering to strict eating rules caused me to binge eat. Binging would send me down the well of shame, which would start the cycle all over again.

I eventually surrendered. If you are familiar with the first step in any recovery program, you will recognize this one. We admitted we were powerless over _______—that our lives had become unmanageable.

My “diets” were no longer working for me. What began as a path to manage hypoglycemia evolved into something altogether different. If I could control my diet, then maybe, I could control my life. At least, that is what my ego led me to believe. That’s what I mean by the trickster diet. The ego, unconscious self, or inner child, whatever you want to call it is a trickster who will tell you any story to keep you on the insanity train.

Once I surrendered, the need to control my diet died with it. I was able to recognize the triggers that led to my emotional and binge eating habits. I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. With that permission came food freedom. I also realized that I didn’t want to eat bonbons all day long. I became more aware of what my body needed versus what my mind or emotions wanted.

I am still new to intuitive eating. Every day is a day of discovery and recovery. I hope to inspire you with my story, and I want to learn from hearing yours. Please feel to share your journey in the comments below.

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