Emotional Eating, Breathing, and Finding Your Nutrition Intuition
Lost As Most
I spent years feeling torn apart by various nutrition theories and scientific studies. Eastern, Western, raw, vegan, high-protein, athletic, high card, high weights, yoga, walking… I kept reading non stop, trying different things out, thinking that if it worked for so many people it should work for me.
People came to me asking what and when they should eat, how to stop binging or emotional eating, or to cure an eating disorder. I wanted to help so badly but how could I if I kept changing my mind about my own diet based on every new article.
I kept craving nuts and sweets to ground when stressed and didn’t know how to control it. I was always at a normal weight and nobody would take me seriously if I complained of emotional eating. I was supposed to be an example but instead I went through the same things that other women wanted to resolve by working with me.
A lot of wellness coaches and health counselors go through this. They go into the field in the hopes of resolving their issues. They study the theory. Some of them even manage to work through their issues. Most don’t. They get focused on giving advice but find it hard to always follow it. Unfortunately, it just proves that knowing stuff is not enough to be healthy and well. There is something else that needs to be in place to make the whole wellness venture a success.
In my experience, this missing link is a strong mind/body connection that creates deep trust. It makes you less dependent on the outside advice and more in-tune with your own body.
Many people talk about listening to the body, about creating a mind/body connection but very few people do it.
I kept asking myself ‘why?” Why is it that this amazing tool is not being used as much as it deserves to be? Why do we focus the majority of our attention on telling people what to do and what to eat, instead of giving them tools to be able to make a good choice on their own?
At the end, I don’t know your body as well as you have the potential to get to know it. No doctor has lived in your body and can tell you what is best for it with more certainly than you can.
Push Until You Collapse
I don’t believe in teaching anything that I didn’t experience myself. My body forced me on this learning path and I learned every bit that I could through this experience. It was not always pleasant. Most of the times quite the opposite. Fortunately, the breakthrough often happens when we are exhausted, ready to let go, to surrender to the inevitable and then suddenly, something happens and things get clear.
I felt exhausted from self-inflicted crazy schedule, writing assignments, marketing, researching, studying, and experimenting. My body was tired of constant supplements, superfoods, new recipes, trying stuff out, and working out. At one point I couldn’t bring myself to write for a few days or do anything productive. My brain protested. I fought it but with no success. At the end, I decided to surrender, to give up, to allow for empty slots on my calendar, to allow for rest instead of hard works, to watch movies instead of starring in my computer. I let myself just be, instead of do. In the time that I used to spend writing, I focused on my breath. A cooling Sitali breath: in and out. Simple. With no goal. Just focusing on the process.
Right away a few things became clear: my breath was incomplete/shallow half the time. When even a bit stressed I stopped breathing. My stomach was always tight when I was breathing. Pretty crazy for a yoga instructor.
Breath Is Life and It Has Your Answers
If i am breathing half way, I can’t live fully. I decided to focus only on the breath and let other things wait. The world wouldn’t collapse if I write one blog per week or if I skip a week altogether. Most likely no one will even notice.
So what did I learn from a few days of breathing?
- First, is that I am just at the beginning of discovering the true power of breath. We tend to search for new miracle cures, new philosophies, superfoods, or workouts in the hopes of resolving the issue. We forget about the basics. We forget that ideal, amazing things are often very simple and straightforward. Breath is powerful but very simple. However, most people forget how to do it. Breathing fully and slowly is a commitment. A dare you to take 2 timed minutes to breathe fully before your lunch and dinner. Just by doing that, you will be able to feel your body more, to relax, and to reduce the likelihood of overeating. Yogis were right, breath can be used for rebuilding strength, health, and create deeper levels of awareness. Hope you join me on my journey of discovery!
- Second, is that hunger, energy level, and emotional state are very closely interconnected with breath. I will write a separate post about it because it is truly miraculous. Breath can nourish and satisfy better than a cake and re-energize more than a coffee. This is one the things that you need to experience for yourself to believe it.
- My feelings are my teachers and guides. If I don’t take time to acknowledge them, then I am missing out on the best most personalized advice. Instead I will be forced to look for the answer in the outside world: kitchen, books, Facebook. We may have heard it thousand of time that the answers are inside but to find those answers you need to take time to listen. to begin with need to clean the body and clear the mind. We are not created for multi-tasking. When we are running around, talking, eating, or thinking, it is almost impossible to process feelings and emotions. It needs separate time and commitment. Focusing on the breath with closed eyes starts to bring out feelings and emotions.
- Breathing brings on moments of clarity. During those moments of clarity and enlightenment you know what to eat, when to eat, how to move and how much, when to wake up, and what to do. Of course, before you get to the point of clarity, or when your clarity is hindered by stress or negative outside circumstances, you need some general guidelines that were created by people in the moments of clarity. It is good to listen to those recommendations but you have to test it out on your body. The only way and time to decipher the result of this experiments is to take time to listen to your body’s feedback.
I will leave you at this and hope that my experience inspires you to close your eyes and just breathe for a few minutes. It is worth it! You are worth it!
Share your thoughts on breath, intuition, and emotional eating below in the comment section.