Listening to: This great voice (and the great trumpet).
Bliss: It may still be quite chilly here but we are so happy for the sun. And in the last couple of weeks, the gulls have been back, flying over our house a few times a day, en masse, and making gull sounds. I can't imagine not living near water, not hearing the sound of water birds.
You are what you eat.
What happens to our bodies when we feel hungry and see that as something to overcome? What happens when we turn a bodily function into The Enemy?
I have written about being put on my first diet around age three, and "dieting" for me was a normal state from that day on, but it was in my second year of college that my disordered eating got to its worst point.
Have you ever felt righteous and superior for being able to make it through the hunger? I'm thinking most women can say "yes" to that.
All these hungry women running around in a society of plenty. Picture it. How much time and energy we spend on talking ourselves out of food or into different food or calculating the extra time we would need on the treadmill if we ate this or that.
Picture all those women. Can you see the anger emanating from them? Look in their purses...do you see the bottles of anti-depressants and the anti-anxiety meds and the gums to chew and the appetite suppressants?
"Of course, she uses skim; look how thin she is."
I was in the cafeteria, putting skim milk on my small bowl of cereal when I heard this from right behind me, and as I walked away, I stood up tall and proud. But then I immediately thought of the next five or ten pounds I should really lose.
I would eat -- tiny, tiny amounts of food, just enough so I wouldn't pass out -- and then I would scurry back to my room and run in place, furiously, for twenty minutes or half hour and do leg lifts and sit ups. I would do this every time I ate anything.
I thought about food. I dreamed of food. I wanted food.
I ached for food. I hungered for food.
But I did not give in.
This Hunger Beast has been my constant companion in life. And I vacillate between being its best friend and its worst enemy. I starve or I stuff.
No more. As I recently said: to live our bliss we must be fully present in our physical bodies. (Check out the reader responses to that post and add your own via the Mister Linky.)
To be fully present in our bodies, we must nourish them. For everyone, this will look different. For some of us vegetarianism will be perfect, while others will need to eat meat. No more rules and no more judging others for their choices.
So here is My Eating Manifesto:
1. First and above all else, there are no rules. I will eat what my body wants. Cravings are messages about need and sometimes our soul needs a cookie and our blood cells need a burger.
2. Along with that, as I said, no more judging other people's food choices. Every body is different. Period. We can make good choices -- organic produce and grass fed cattle -- but no one choice is morally superior to any another.
3. I promise to never again Starve Myself. Never. Not for one minute. I will not count calories. I will not avoid any one food group. I will not follow any "type" diets. I will not follow fads. I will not forgo the pleasure of eating because it may allow me to wear slightly smaller jeans.
4. On the flip side, I will never again Stuff Myself. I will not emotionally eat. I will pay attention to my stomach when it is telling me that I am full. I will not fit in that last piece of pizza just because. I will not eat when I am upset. I will not eat because I am bored.
5. I will think of Thich Nhat Hanh and chew slowly and eat slowly. I will eat mindfully. I will, once again, make dinner a candle lit affair, a special time of the day.
6. I will only eat real, whole food. (I'm already pretty good at this.)
7. I will eat things that I love to eat and not eat things just because I am told they will lengthen my life. Food is not a chore and food is not medicine.
8. I will not simply eat to live but I will, as my French teacher would say, live to eat.
What would you add to an Eating Manifesto?