Tag Archives: Question

‘Normal’ Eating

2 Jul

Have you ever wondered what ‘normal‘ eating is?  Yeah.  Me too.

This question comes to my mind a lot both as yoga teacher and as an advocate for eating disorder recovery.  What is ‘normal’ eating?  What is nourishment?  Can eating and nourishment be (de)coupled?

Registered dietitian Ellyn Satter is quoted in the NYtimes for her definition of normal eating.  Below are some exerts:

  • Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
  • Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
  • Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life

I appreciate these.  There is not a carb or -ism or rule to be found.

And, yet, is it really THAT simple?

Is ‘normal’ eating really about listening to our needs in the moment and honoring them with compassion?  The yoga of eating if you will…  (<—READ IT! :P)

Having spent time investigating my own nutrient needs (in good times and bad), I’m quite certain that there no STANDARD PRESCRIPTIVE DIET for ‘normal’ eating.  But, what does exist is a ‘normal,’ or better said, nourishing eating for every individual person.

Because my needs (raspberries please!) are uniquely my own, what is normal to me most certainly will not look or feel normal to you.  

And, why should they?!  

But.  

We can practice making nourishing choices in our daily diets and then ‘normal’-ize these choices.  

The question then begs:  How do you find your nourishing choices?  What do you listen to?  And, how do these choices manifest in your (normal) eating?

Let me know!

Fear

27 Mar

I once worked as a fitness intern at a retreat center somewhere in Vermont.  Along with the other interns, I led hikes every morning and assisted in classes.  Because, the guests cycled through the class dialogues remained cloyingly staged.  One liners and hollow motivational nuggets abounded.

But one of the lines stuck in my head…

FEAR:  False Evidence Appearing Real

Now, yes, that line is cliché.  And, yes, there is always an exception.  (Guns are pretty much just plain scary…)  But, fear is not narrating your story.  At least you do not have to allow it to.

One of my favorite Buddhist takes on fear speaks about how we ‘battle’ Fear by respecting it, acknowledging it, and simply (HA!) not ‘doing what our Fear says’.  The idea is not to bully it but rather to notice and experience our fears (real or imagined) and not take their bait.  That’s how we ‘slay’ our fears.  Or just kitty-ize them.

(Source)

EXCEPT.

This is not what we are doing…

Warning:  RANT ahead!

We are yelling, fighting, starving, and patrolling neighborhoods with weapons.  Yes.  We sadly are…

Why?  What’s so terrifying about a smile and a pause?  What’s so scary about being wrong?  Or, at least OPEN?

Laughs aside, I DO think fear is a problem.  Especially, when it leads our lives.  Whether it keeps us in doors (literal ones or ones of our mental constructs) or it unhinges our experience of this AMAZING world outside our doors, fear must be acknowledged but never act as knowledge.  Life is too big for that.  And, we do life and ourselves a disservice when we have it any other way.

I wanted to share an exert from an article reacting to the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting (may we all take a loving pause) and how it relates to our consciousness on fear.  I find the writings scarily true.

We live in a terrified age. You can’t ride a bicycle without a helmet. You can’t knock on your neighbor’s door. You can’t go on the Internet and talk to strangers because the People You Don’t Know are Bad and Dangerous.

Not as dangerous as you are. You stab and stab at the shadowy Beast and discover it is nothing but a scared boy running along the beach.

Nice people don’t have racism, these days. What they have is something else. Localized fear. Fear of the life outside the gates. You go here. We’ll go here. This is your street. This is my street. This is my school. This is your school. Stay where you don’t look Out Of Place to George Zimmerman, and you’ll be safe.”  (Source)

When did we decide not feel safe?  Oh right– when it got scary…  When we collectively decided to honor our Fear above all.  Could we stop? 

Together? 

Remember Vermont:  False Evidence Appearing Real(ity).

Or, it could be!  Anyone else think it’s kitty-ize time? 😛