04 / 15 / 2014

Freedom: how do you want to feel?

by Rhona Kamar

butterfly on statue

There’s so much tension around eating these days, and I wonder if we are all growing tired of it. We are saturated with guilt and confusion and misinformation. We have an abundance of food like substances in our faces all day, and an abundance of experts telling us what we should eat, each in stark contrast to the other. Our food sources are also in the hands of others, mostly big corporations far, far away.

Our awareness , indeed, our instincts for what will really feed us has been muffled by all this commercial noise.

Letting go of the dogma of a hundred dietary theories means you could approach your choices from a different angle. Your choices could be defined, instead, by the revelations you find in these questions: How do you feel when you eat certain foods? How do you want to feel?

We must remember that we were born free. We’ve been told otherwise. We were not born to endlessly obsess over every morsel, to measure every bite. Instead, we were meant to taste and smell and linger and savor. We live in a world full of soul soothing, body-loving pleasures, and we deserve it. Eating is a source of pleasure and not just because we eat to live. We create community around food. We create art. When we grow our food, we feel a connection to all life. It arouses all of our senses, brings us back home.

The act of eating is so much more than a numbers game or a strategy to be hyper-managed. We were born to slurp up the pleasure that wholesome food brings to us. And to enjoy the blessing of vibrant health.

We must be radical and sharpen our instincts and liberate ourselves from this noise so that we can enjoy the genuine pleasure of food, with our sanity unscarred.

The first step on that path is to take a deep breath in and out. Relax. That’s where we start. We are not getting anywhere with all this anxiety. So, no more striving. That means nothing is off limits. No more diets. No more keeping track of numbers of any kind.

This idea will terrify anyone who has spent years measuring and obsessing and following someone else’s way. But it’s all these restrictions that are making us feel imprisoned, limited. And then we only want that thing more. Stripping away the restrictions and allowing ourselves the freedom to want whatever we want is liberating. Want what you want. Own it.

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Then decide how do you want to feel when you finish a meal. How do you want to feel when you wake up? When you move around a room? Do you want to be filled with regret and a stomachache? Or do you want to feel full of energy and unstoppable?

Pay attention to how particular foods makes you feel and then decide: is it worth it?

These are powerful questions whose answers will bring you back home to your intellect and to a way of eating that makes sense to you and eventually what brings you pleasure will metamorphose into a beautiful, balanced way of eating. And to a life where, finally, green juice and pizza can live in harmony.

It is a process worth exploring. Each one of us must study for ourselves what makes us feel full of life (a wonderful marker of freedom) or what drags us down. What works for some will not work for others. Let go of the doctrine of the magic bullet.

The goal is to feel amazing. Nothing could be more liberating than that.

 

Authors’ note: The inspiration for the evolution in the way I make food choices came from The Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte. Applying this philosophy to my diet has been liberating indeed.

 

 

 

 

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