It's All Ok
Sunday, July 03, 2011
I've been struggling with a lot of things lately. This isn't out of the ordinary. I am a chronic over-thinker. Lately, the most prominent thoughts rolling around in my head are not just about my weight and body image, but about how I interact with the world, what my role is here and how I can be 'in service' to the planet and the rest of humanity. I think about how my dietary choices affect those things, especially in terms of clean eating and over consuming. I don't want to take more than my share and more than what I need. But, how do we know exactly what it is that we need? I read this week that we are now consuming about 500 more calories a day than we were 30 years ago. Not because we need them, but because of the way our food is processed and because of the increase in serving sizes. That's 3500 more calories a week than we 'needed' before. So, do we really need the recommended 2000-2300 calories a day? Or is that a figure calculated by the food industry to promote consumption and thereby increase their profits? I don't known the answer to this, but I do know that part of what got me to such an unhealthy state was consuming more than I needed. I was driving out to meet some friends on Friday and something washed over me that suddenly made me feel immediately peaceful and everything just kind of fell into place and made sense. I realized that another contributor to my weight gain was stress and thinking that because I worked so hard, that I deserved to eat that whole burrito, that whole plate of nachos or that entire bag of Doritos. I couldn't have been more wrong. The thing about it is that my body knew the right answers all along, and I just didn't listen. My weight gain was a red flag. I was doing something wrong. I was eating too much and because my brain wasn't sending the right messages, my body did. I was big. I was uncomfortable and it was getting increasingly difficult to move through the world. I still ignored all of the signs. I couldn't walk up stairs without losing my breath. I was too tired. I was eating too much and what I was eating was crap. I finally pulled myself together and now I think about food entirely differently. It's fuel, not a feast. Everyone needs fuel. Everyone deserves fuel for their bodies. I realized that I can make a difference every time I make my plate. I can eat less meat, drink more water, eat cleaner and eat just the right amount for me so that there is enough left for everyone else (over years). I can choose to just consume what I need and waste less. I can buy exactly what my family needs. No more and no less. I can buy organic. I can make two meals out of one when I eat out. I can listen more to my body, and less to my head, because in the end, my body really does know what it wants and needs... I just have to taken the time to listen and trust that it will all really be ok. Because it always is.