Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eating Differently Nudges Recovery Issues

Let's face it. Changing anything you do every day can change your whole life. Or put another way, if you want to change your life, change one thing you do every day.

If you are mindful about changing the way you eat, there's an uncomfortable ripple effect to be dealt with ~ not unlike giving up booze. For those who are carb sensitive, the experience is darn near identical because the carb addict craves sugar ~ be it Dewar's scotch or donuts!

While physically you may be feeling better, other familiar patterns may begin to fall away, too ~ and that can leave you feeling emotionally unsteady. That's when it's most tempting to scurry back to what's familiar, however bad for you that might be.

I'm finding that to be the case since I cut out meat and dairy two weeks ago. It's been so much a part of my grocery shopping, meal prep, and eating habits for so many years, I see it's not an emotionally simple adjustment to make. Perhaps this is the detox phase, not unlike what a cigarette smoker experiences who's decided to quit, or the alcoholic who's decided he's taken his last drink.

You start to feel edgy, like you need to DO something or GO somewhere. Meal planning is definitely simpler and less time-consuming, and so I have more time. But it's a bit disorienting, because I think: What shall I do with it?

Of course, doing NOTHING means we sit with ourselves. Initially, that's a very tough place to be because we don't think we like the company.

Within that new time and space, we start to get to know who we really are. For most of us, coming face-to-face with ourselves, we have to learn to accept, to forgive and to love that person.

But before us is a chance to live differently ~ more mindfully ~and it's a golden opportunity if we can leave the ego out of it.

This Lenten season is a perfect time for mindful eating ~ but then so many religions have prescriptions for eating mindfully because our bodies truly are temples for the spirit.

In that respect, how we eat is a spiritual practice in itself!

1 comment:

Sheri said...

I believe my body is my temple for my spirit and how I treat my body is SO important in my spiritual practice.

In the past I've written down everything that I put in my mouth during the day to better monitor what I'm eating. Talk about getting mindful!!

I also liked what you said about making just one small change and how significant it can be when it ripples through your life.

Paula, thanks for your gentle reminders and insights.