As many of you might know I had a history of struggling with my relationship to food. As a young girl I was a dancer and I believe because of that I did not hit puberty till 15. This was a blessing in some ways but in another way my journey into women hood came as a shock. One day I was the young innocent girl, the next day I was full of rage, frustration and anger. And what was I angry at- MY BODY. It was changing Ðrapidly -and I didn’t understand. And then there was my relationship to food.
Before hitting puberty ya know what I ate for lunch? 10 peanut butter cookies. Yes that’s right. My mom gave me $1.00 for lunch and they were 10 cents. I bought 10 and ate them all. I justified it because I danced 4 hours a day after school. Other favorite foods were artichokes, salads, sandwiches, boxes of cereal- Crispix to be exact, cookie dough, the brownies out of the chocolate fudge brownie ice-cream, mike and ikes and tuna-fish. The word dieting or linking my emotions and food was non-existent. Didn’t have to worry about it.
Well a few months after hitting puberty I HAD to think about and FAST. I was rapidly gaining weight, an emotional crying mess, could not stand the skin I lived in, I was eating everything in site and the 4 hours of dancing was not balancing me anymore
This went on for about 10 years. The only way out was the four letter “D” word. “DIET!”
Then when I was 26 years old I met a man who became my mentor and during the years that followed I dedicated to changing my relationship to food from a different angle. I used the principles of yoga and whole foods to end this vicious cycle. Today I want to share one of the main mental attitude adjustments I made and have helped 1000’s of women use to transform their relationship to food.
One of the top tools I use with clients is the ability to shift our attitude from will-power to warrior. Will power is a buzz word when it comes to dieting. How many times have your heard or said the following, “If I only had the willpower I would be able to stick to my “diet”.”
I think not, will power has nothing to do with it. Warrior ship is where it’s at.
The dictionary says the meaning of warrior is as follows: A person engaged in, experienced in, or devoted to war. Another definition is a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness.
Let’s look back at history. Being a warrior, and I like the image of a samurai, meant a life path. This was your destiny. Samurais were not souly motivated by violence. Instead they cultivated wisdom as strategy and much of that wisdom was based in Buddhism.
To me being a warrior is someone who decides she is in the game for life. The objective is not win, instead they were called to learn the delicate, compassionate and fierce ways to stand for what they believe in.
This is why people fought war? There was an injustice and they wanted a better way.
Now I don’t really like the word WAR but when you think about it, isn’t that what you’re dealing with on the yo-yo dieting? A war with your body and/ or food?
How many times have you felt the battle when you didn’t lose the 10, 20, 40lbs? Or when you hear the voices in your head saying- “This is good, this is bad. Eat the good food then you are good. Eat the bad food then you are bad.”
For me it got physical. I used to literally make fists with my hands and pound on my stomach saying I HATE YOU! CHANGE! Now if that’s not war, I don’t know what is.
I was angry, I was harmful. I lacked direction and I was “acting out”. The violence was unconscious.
A warrior is not unconscious. Every step, every strike of the arm, every thought, every turn is done with intention, there is a bigger picture in mind and it’s all connected.
It takes courage to go against the enemy, it takes vigor to stay in the game and the aggressive nature speaks to the power and intentionality warriors embody.
What attitude are you using towards your relationship to food? How do you embody vigor, courage, and aggressiveness? Are you attached to “winning” the battle? Or rather do you stand in the principles of health, loving kindness and compassion?
Freedom from suffering in your body is not about power over your will. Our will must carry us towards the warrior inside.
Your warrior knows. Your warrior is steadfast. Your warrior trusts the process and your warrior is always there for you.
Your assignment. Notice how your dialogue, your intentions and your actions are motivated either by will power or your inner warrior. Then with an open heart and open mind lean towards the warrior and ask for strength. Ask your warrior to show you the way into your body. Ask your warrior what to eat today and ask your warrior to support you towards your truth.
She is there. She is waiting.