With the first few weeks of 2020 behind us, we’ve had a little time to consider how the resolutions or intentions we set for the new year are working for us. One intention for this year that we would like to suggest is to intentionally reconnect with our bodies. This includes taking time to appreciate the incredible things that our bodies do for us and to become aware of the ways we disrespect our bodies through negative self-talk and thoughts about how our bodies aren’t “good enough.” It includes slowing down, listening to the ways our bodies communicate with us, and nourishing our bodies according to its unique needs.
The theories of “intuitive eating” and “intuitive movement” are alternatives to the many diet and exercise regimens that are on the market today. These approaches say that just as our bodies exhibit exhaustion and thirst to communicate to us when we need sleep or water, our bodies also communicate to us regarding our needs for movement and nourishing foods, if we will listen.
Traditional diet and exercise programs promise quick and “easy” fixes to our weight, diet, and exercise concerns, but they don’t address the deeper issues at play in our habits. Our disordered relationships with food and exercise are often symptoms of deeper issues in our lives, including disconnection from the things our bodies are trying to tell us about our needs. We have lost connection with our hunger and satiety signals, so we overeat or skip meals. We don’t make time to sit down and savor a homemade meal, so we scarf down whatever food is most convenient, barely even tasting it. We listen to the voices of others telling us how our bodies should look and what foods are “good” or “bad” for us instead of listening to what our unique bodies are telling us we personally need. We use exercise as another means of forcing our bodies to look a certain way rather than finding activities that we enjoy and that invigorate us.
After years of ignoring what our bodies are communicating to us and being told repeatedly that health has to look a certain way, it is time to reconnect with our bodies’ signals and relearn the art of listening to and loving our God-given bodies. Below are some resources that can help us on this journey to reconnect with our bodies. Learning to appreciate and honor our bodies helps not only our physical health but also our mental health and overall well-being, and we invite you to join us on this endeavor!
· Nourishing Wisdom: A New Understanding of Eating by Marc David
· Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food by Susan Albers
· Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth
· Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
· The BodyLove Project with Jessi Haggerty
· Food Psych Podcast with Christy Harrison
· Body Kindness with Rebecca Stritchfield