Pushing Away The Plate

plate_with_leftovers_of_roast_dinner_-_print_versionWere you told to eat everything on your plate before you could leave the table? On my intuitive eating journey, one of the hardest things to do has been to push away my plate once I’m full. I grew up believing that wasting food was a sin.

Many of us received a similar message growing up. How do we change our habits and free ourselves from food guilt? Permit yourself to “waste” food. You heard me correctly. We all need a place to start our journey, and this is a place to do just that. One of my practices is composting. Knowing that the food is going back into the Earth to nourish Her makes me feel good. We also have chickens on our property, and they love the goodies we leave on the compost pile every day. Our chickens give us the most glorious eggs you’ve ever seen or eaten in return.

Not everyone can compost or has chickens to give their leftovers to. An alternative way to keep you from creating food waste is through using a smaller plate at your meals. A smaller plate helps you to manage the amount of food you are consuming in the first place. Know that you have permission to get more food if your body needs it. I find that waiting 5 minutes before I go for seconds helps. It takes a few minutes for the satiety message to hit the brain. We often eat with our eyes and, in so doing, can not hear the fullness message from the stomach.  Intuitive eating takes practice and you will have days that will be hard.  Be gentle, and kind to yourself along the way.

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The Joy of Eating

Raspberry adhara mudra (1 of 1)Have you ever eaten raspberries right off the bush?  Do you remember how it feels to risk life and limb (and scratches!) for each plump berry?  This was my experience today as I reveled in the joy of each delectable bite.  I even emitted little piggy sounds as I gleefully went from bush to bush picking the ripe berries and popping them into my mouth.  Each berry had its own unique taste depending on its level of ripeness.

As I listened to my body I found I had eventually had enough.  I kept on picking berries to savor for later.  It had been so long since I had actually savored my food.  It had been even longer since I had experienced joy around eating.

Eating has had, for the longest time, so much baggage attached to it for me.  As I continue on the path of intuitive eating joy and freedom are returning.  More importantly, the inner voice of my body wisdom is becoming more clear.

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My Journey To Intuitive Eating

Mind-body-wisdom-300x207I have had a life long battle with dieting and disordered body image.  My journey with intuitive eating began with surrender.  I had reached a point where “dieting” no longer worked.  If I am honest, any diet I have ever tried only worked for a little while.  I would momentarily feel better in the short term but it was never sustainable for long.

In the past 30 years, I have explored the extremes of every fad diet imaginable from a raw food vegan diet to the carnivore diet.  I told myself these diets were either for spiritual or health reasons, never to lose weight.  If weight loss occurred than that was a bonus of being on the diet.  That was a lie.

Where did my body criticism begin?  I was a healthy child at a healthy weight until I began to develop at age 16.  This was much later than my peers.  One day I was flat-chested and practically overnight I no longer was.  As I got older my breasts got even more generous and my self-degradation grew.  As my breasts became larger my perception of the size of my body increased.  The reality was much different than what I saw in the mirror.


Intuitive eating is a way to align the mind with the body’s natural hunger instincts.  We were all born with innate body wisdom.  As infants, we cried when we were hungry and we pulled away from the nipple when we were full.  As we got older the messages we received from our caregivers were often the exact opposite of intuitive.  We were told to, “Eat your vegetables!” Or, “Clean your plate!”  Food was often withheld as punishment or pushed on us as a form of love.  As a result, our natural body wisdom was suppressed.

Our fundamental hunger instinct is still inside of us.  How we awaken our body’s intuition is through trust.  When you hear that, you might begin to cringe and tell yourself,  “There is no way I can trust myself!  If I am left to my own devices I will eat whatever I want whenever I want to.”  I am here to tell you that is exactly where to begin.

When I first started with intuitive eating I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to.  I ate a lot!  I ate chocolate.  I ate fat.  I ate evil carbs.  This craziness went on for a good week and a half.  Then the crazy began to taper off.  A dialog within myself began to unfold.  It looked like this.

“I want to eat chocolate.”
“You can eat as much chocolate as you want.”
“I really can?”
“Of course you can!”
“I guess I really don’t want any chocolate right now. If I want it later I can eat it?”
“You have permission to eat chocolate or anything whenever you want.”

That permission was all I needed to begin to trust the process of intuitive eating.  I still give in to emotional eating over the needs of my body.  When that happens I am gentle and forgiving with myself.  This is a journey and not a destination.  I hope you join me on the path.

To find out more about me and my healing services click here.