For the last twenty years I’ve assisted clients who have also lost sight of the natural connection between food, body, and self. My book, Nourish was born out of a deep desire to integrate work that I’ve done both personally and professionally (more about that later).
I’m in nutrition field, which contributes to many people’s skewed relationships with food. We contribute to people asking themselves, “What should I eat? What is the most nutritious?” Have you ever stood agonizing over a menu, wondering what is the “right” choice?
We tend to use our minds to make food choices and leave our bodies out of it.
Like you may be, I was once a person with a complicated relationship to food. I grew up in the Diet Pepsi 1970s, with almost daily ballet classes and the message that I should be careful not to eat too much or my stomach wouldn’t be so “dancer-ly.”
I was unused to making food decisions based on my body’s requests. The more I tried to eat less, the more I encouraged binge-eating.
My body knows what to eat?
Fortunately, I stumbled upon Ellyn Satter’s work in 1992.
She blew me away with her message: Your body knows what to eat.
What? My body knows what to eat? I don’t have to agonize over my choices and constantly be thinking of food? That was a revolutionary idea.
But eventually, I got there. I can say that I’ve worked my way to a having a healthy relationship with food and can say that my body truly does know what to eat. And I want you to have that kind of peace too.
That’s where my book, Nourish comes in. The book consists of ten chapters (or steps), but they’re in no way meant to be linear. They’re not meant to be fixed or rigid. They were certainly cornerstones in my own journey and in many who consider themselves to have worked on and obtained a healthy relationship with food.
Now, that doesn’t mean I never struggle with self-compassion or body acceptance anymore. It means that I now have ways to deal with issues when they come up instead of restricting, dieting, or overeating.
It also doesn’t mean that we never under- or overeat. We sometimes eat mindlessly or in an un-attuned way. But when we do, we get curious- not critical about it. Instead, we notice it happening, check in, learn from the episode of funky eating, and ultimately let it go.
What are these steps?
So, how can you get to that place of having a healthy relationship with food and body? The ten chapters in my book outline steps that can be taken to repair your relationship with food to once again put food in it’s proper place.
What are these steps? Let me explain…
The book begin by introducing the fundamentals of intuitive eating. The next portion of the book focuses on body acceptance, health-at-every-size, and developing awareness about your relationship with food.
After that, I speak about the importance of body trust and tuning into your hunger and fullness. That’s followed by a chapter on mindful eating choices and nutritional common sense.
Following that is a section on how to develop conscious, joyful movement of your body. The rest of the book speaks on ACT principles of values clarification, how to build sustainable self-care practices, and self-connected eating styles.
The book finished by encouraging you to build a tribe of support around you during the healing and growing process.
My wish for you…
My wish is that these steps will help guide you on your journey to balance and wellness. It is my desire that all people learn to identify their deepest needs, wants, and hungers and to feed themselves in such a way that they feel nurtured, loved, freed up, and ready to take on the world.
You don’t have to spend so much time agonizing about what to eat or not eat.
But you do need to devote some time and attention to feeding yourself well, on many levels. Of course, this book is not a substitute for the incredible healing power of therapeutic relationships and professional help if you need it on this journey.
Lastly, please read my book and approach the healing steps with a grain of sea salt. As with any advice from a health professional or other, assorted wisdom-imparting human beings, I invite you to take the information, exercises, and anecdotes to heart that work for you and leave the rest.
You are in charge of your journey. No one knows more about what you need than you do.