Sunday, January 30, 2011
I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, mostly because I get tired/lazy/bored of my original idea and it is kind of a lot of work. My friend Kristi makes yearly "intentions" instead of resolutions. She writes her intentions down and sticks them on her fridge, so that she is mindful of them throughout the year. She said she has almost always accomplished most of her intentions since starting this process a few years ago.
I've been thinking about intentions for my year. I've been reading the book Women, Food, and God, and the author, Geneen Roth speaks a lot about intention as it comes to eating. Her book offers tips to eat mindfully, through eating what your body really wants when you are hungry, paying attention to the food and savoring it, and then stopping when you are full. This requires patience, curiosity, and thoughtfulness, since it is work to ask your body what it really wants and to be aware of when you are satisfied.
Geneen also talks about living purposefully, feeling all of your emotions fully, and fully occupying every inch of space you take up on this earth. I've been thinking about what that might look like.
Lately I've been feeling like sometimes I live life on autopilot. I think my intention for this year will be to live with more intention. I see this playing out in a variety of ways:
1) My body needs proper fuel. I've been thinking a lot about how foods make my body feel on the starch free diet. I know that starch makes me feel heavy, bloated, weighed down, groggy, itchy, and nauseated. However, I've been interpreting starch free as many nuts, meats, eggs, and dairy. My produce intake has been seriously lacking. For starters, I want to be intentional about eating more produce, trying new recipes especially for veggies, and trying new fruits and veggies that I haven't eaten before or haven't really liked in the past.
To help in this effort, I've been meeting with girlfriends every other Sunday to share recipes and plan out some dinner ideas. I'm also considering incorporating raw recipes into my diet a few times a week, mostly because every time I eat at Thrive, a raw restaurant in Seattle, I feel awesome. The problem is I've never cooked raw before and don't really know much about it, so I'll have to do some research and experimentation. I think more fruits and veggies is a good place to start.
2) My body needs exercise. I thought about which exercise my body enjoys the most and I really like high impact cardio, hot yoga, and the occasional weight lifting class. Therefore, I purchased a ten class package for my local hot yoga studio, have been hitting up weight lifting, step, and spinning classes at my gym, and have a goal to do at least one race (5k or more) per month from February to August. I have always wanted to be a better runner and I think having a competitive run each month will help keep me focused and motivated.
3) I need to work on fully experiencing my emotions. I have known I use food as therapy ever since my parents divorced when I was 17. That year I quit all of my after school activities. Instead, I would come home after school, camp out in front of the tv, and eat. Coincidentally, this is also when my struggle with weight first reared its ugly head. Until I figure out how to feel my emotions without blocking that emption through food, tv, shopping, drinking etc, I am not living a full life. I am also prone to weight cycling. Allowing myself to experience emotions for what they are is going to take a ton of effort and patience and is so much easier said than done, but it is something I realized I have to do if I want to experience my life to the fullest.
4) I need to be aware of my tendency to over-consume. This ties in so much to not fully feeling emotions. Basically, I shop too much and eat too much, usually when I am stressed/sad/annoyed/bored/wanting to prolong feeling good. I know that the excess shopping and excess eating stems from wanting some sort of rush, and I always think it will make me feel happy. These habits are toxic though. They're wreaking havoc on my wallet and my waistline. I'm saving for a new car and it's the first time I've really had to save for a big purchase. It is a good exercise in questioning if I really should be spending money, and I'm hoping this newfound awareness will be applied to multiple areas of my life.
Well, that's all I have for now. Here's hoping for a great 2011!
ps- apparently I'm not the only one with this idea. Read this blog for even more great ideas about eating with intention: http://glutenfreegirl.com/apple-fennel-slaw/