Helloooo! Cody Jenkins here again from Nutshell Nutrition. As I mentioned in my last post, I have a ton of change happening in my life right now. Holyyy change. Everyday is new and different! Maybe some of you can relate. Whether you are a new mom or you just moved to a new city or you are working towards a healthy relationship with food and exercise, everyday can be full of change and ultimately we are not in control. Wait…we aren’t? I have to remind myself of this daily. Multiple times a day.
More specifically, it can be really hard to trust your body. And especially as weight loss New Years Resolutions are annoyingly part of almost all conversations this time of year, it’s easy to get sucked into the belief that we can’t trust our bodies and we need to micromanage their size and shape. But we know diets don’t work. And the research shows an non diet approach is the way to long term health.
Intuitive eating is the opposite of a diet. I always tell clients that if you are not used to eating intuitively, it can feel really awkward and uncertain and wobbly in the beginning. Even scary. While it is OKAY to be afraid and you are not alone in that, we cannot let fear take over and drive our decisions.
Yes, your body needs to trust you that you will feed and move it in a healthy, nourishing way, but also YOU must trust your body and that it will do what is best for you. You have to trust that your body will tell you when it is hungry and when it is full (if you’re not recovering from an active eating disorder – IE isn’t appropriate at this time if you are) and that it knows the size it needs to be at any given moment in time. Your body knows best and is designed to serve you. Whether you are trying to restore your menstrual cycle, balance hormones related to PCOS, grow and deliver a baby, nurse a baby, or simply feed your body in a nourishing way – your body was made to do just that.**
Your body isn’t designed to be stressed out all the time. We put stress on our bodies when we ignore hunger cues, over exercise, or neglect mindfulness in general. Your body was created uniquely to you…and you are right where you are for a reason. Even if you are in a hard place. It’s hard and uncomfortable and you might want to fight it 24/7, but your body is really good at doing it’s job if you let it. If you stop fighting.
Maybe you are in a place of frustration and it feels impossible to trust your body. Maybe you want to be getting your period, maybe you are afraid of your body’s weight set point, maybe you want to conceive, or perhaps you simply want to be free from a diet mindset and find peace with food.
Why if you stopped fighting your body? What if instead you took a deep breath and asked, “What is my body trying to tell me? Your body may be begging for you to listen up and release the white knuckles. Trusting your body is really really hard when it feels arbitrary and theoretical and when we live in a culture that tells us we can be in control of everything and receive quick, instant results. I get that. I do. And I promise you are not alone.
When I was headed into labor, I was terrified. It was going to be painful and unexpected and I was going to have zero control over my body. I remember talking to a friend on my due date when I was explaining my fears. She encouraged me by saying, “Cody you are made for this. You were designed for this! Don’t let fear take over!” Her wisdom helped immensely when I was finally in labor a week later. I still had zero control of the situation and yes my life was about to be changed forever, but there was no reason to be afraid. My body knew best. I just needed to get out of the way of my body and let it do its thing. The same goes for when I found out I was pregnant or when my body was adjusting to nursing and settling into its post baby body size.
Your body knows best in any situation and I believe if we let go and trust it….it can do its thing and be healthy.
Maybe you’re afraid you won’t be able to fit into your favorite pair of pants again? Maybe you’re afraid of what life will look like when you don’t micromanage your body size or when you do not know exactly what ingredients are in a recipe?
I think everyone can relate to an extent, no matter what fear you are working to let go of. If you have just had a baby and you want your pre-baby body back, I get it! It can be and uphill battle to not try to manipulate your body size when our culture screams your worth and success is in your body size.
Your weight is supposed to fluctuate throughout your life. The body is dynamic. It’s suppose to change and that’s okay. Maybe you have been trying to honor your hunger and fullness cues for the first time in your life or eat enough to get your metabolism woken back up so you’re body stops compensating for an energy deficit. Or maybe you’re trying to let go and not obsess about exercise and instead discover joyful movement. This can all be very frustrating when you are going against the cultural norms and undoing years of diet obsessed thoughts.
Hang in there and know your body is capable of doing what it is supposed to do for the day. Take it one day at a time and trust the process even when you can’t trust your body right now.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “Okay, yes I get it but I simply can’t let go.”
It might be helpful to ask yourself what really matters to you? What are your values? Read this post by Robyn. Maybe call an encouraging friend you can trust like I did before labor. It’s okay to reach out for help. We have need help.
If you are frustrated, what about shifting your mindset and reaching deep inside for some gratitude?. If you can, be still, and ask yourself what you are grateful for. Maybe make a list everyday of 5 things you are thankful for each day. This mindset shift can be really helpful in realigning your values and defining what really matters to you in life. It may seem far off to you but little by little, I believe it is possible for your heart to believe in your body.
**For those of you in the trenches of trying to get pregnant and have a baby, I want to be sensitive and you to know I’m thinking of you. I know it can be hard to read about pregnancy, labor, when your heart aches for that same thing. There are really no right words to say but know my heart is with you. I believe in a God who is in control of everything and I believe He has a plan for you. <3