Body Love – 2/8/11
I can’t always trust my brain. I am learning new ways of standing and moving in my Qigong classes. I notice that when I put my feet together parallel, my brain tells me it isn’t right. I feel as if my feet are pointing inwards. When I look down at my feet, I see it isn’t so.
The feeling is different than the reality. My brain has become habituated to my feet turning outward, and this is why when I stand parallel and aligned, it doesn’t feel right.
This makes sense regarding food, too. Sometimes, I still serve more food on my plate than I can comfortably eat. My brain hasn’t accommodated to seeing the right serving. When I look at a serving of rice for example, ½ cup, it doesn’t look like enough. When I eat it along side my protein and vegetables, it’s actually just right. That’s why the goal of intuitive eating is an intermediate or advanced way of eating for people in recovery.
If you have habitually under eaten, a portion may look monstrous, and feel like too much.
If you’ve been an over eater, you may see not enough food on your plate.
To be successful in intuitive eating, you must stay conscious while eating, and keep checking in to ascertain when you are satisfied. When I first began the process of intuitive eating many years ago, I would stop when I was full. I was very proud of myself. Over time, I began to realize that I really didn’t like the feeling of full. I learned to eat to satisfaction.
Our bodies need to readjust to different ways of being.
Sitting on my balance ball in the office doesn’t feel right although I’m sitting close to perfect alignment. My brain needs to re–establish these new neuropathways that says, Yes, this is how it feels to sit correctly.
When I practice the Three Center Standing Meditation in my Qigong class we are instructed to place our feet pointing inward, our tail bones tucked in, our navel pulled into our core, our chins down and toward the back of our neck, shoulders rolled back and down, and the top of our head pulled upward. Standing in this way is as close to perfect alignment as we can get, but it sure feels odd! Mingtong Gu, our teacher, has us buddy up so our partner can correct our body’s alignment.
This is a good metaphor for life. Whenever we are learning new skills, it helps to have trusted friends and family to support us. If your brain has been telling you that you are not alright the way you are, you may need the reality check of a trusted friend. That’s why I invite you to join the Love Warrior Community. It may help you see yourself with more loving eyes.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. She created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Michelle is finishing her book, Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works, and her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the Self-Love Movement!