I bet you’ll probably have heard or read somewhere that some foods are healthier than others. If you’ve ever been on a diet then you’ll probably have had these made into lists of foods you can eat and foods you can’t. And even if you’re no longer on a diet, you probably have all this swimming around in your head every time you feel the urge to eat, whether through hunger, boredom, sadness or whatever.
This is why it’s so hard when you’re choosing what to eat because whilst your body craves mashed potato and stew followed by crumble and custard, your head’s telling you to eat a salad followed by fruit.
One of the biggest issues I see when I work with women is that they simply aren’t reading the signals that their body is sending them or if they are, they are completely ignoring them. Hence the battle between brain and body.
You see, you were born with an innate ability to know when you were hungry, know when you were full and know what your body needed to eat but in the years since birth you have constantly eroded this intuition to the point that now, you struggle to know what you want to eat and you often overeat.
It starts when, as children, we are required to clean our plate or eat ‘one more mouthful’ and continues when, as adolescents or adults we start our first diet where our portions and food types are strictly controlled.
Your head regurgitates all the messages you have received over time; clean your plate, potatoes / bread / carbs are bad, don’t give in to your ‘cravings’. And your body intuitively sends those messages but because you are so used to ignoring them they have to get stronger and stronger and stronger… until you finally give in and binge.
Getting back on the path to a healthy relationship with food means ending the constant battle. It means putting aside all the things you think you know and listening to your body.
It means taking a kinder path towards nurturing your body and not punishing it because it doesn’t conform to external standards. It means trusting yourself to know what’s best for you. Because when you start listening to your body, really listening and stop trying to tell it what it needs, then the battle is over and yet, you’ll probably find you’re eating better anyway.
After a lifetime of ignoring those signals it can be hard to learn to get back in touch with your body so it’s one of the key areas we focus on in the Beautiful Swans programme. Click here to find out more.