I’m back, sorry it’s been so long! This post will explain why I’ve been away. Hopefully things will be more regular from now on.
These last couple of months have been the most stressful for a long time. I’ve moved, started a new job, a new relationship and finished a degree. I’m not very good with change at the best of times, and I have to say my relationship with food and myself has taken a bashing as a result.
It got to a point I was so anxious I was having over ten panic attacks a day, complete with palpitations, alongside an overwhelming constant feeling of anxiety. Something had to give, but I wasn’t sure what. I was scared I might die of all the stress, another classic anxiety symptom. I didn’t expect anxiety and food issues to go hand in hand, but they did. I was beginning to worry more and more how my body and eating weren’t good enough, that I would never manage my life.
Then, as if by magic, I suddenly rethought about intuitive eating. I know that on this blog I am a huge advocate of the principles, and I still am. I have just recently found that actually being aware and putting them into practice was another ‘until later’ job. I kept thinking ‘when my life is sorted then I can concentrate on sorting out my relationship with food’. Now, we all know that this way of thinking is the opposite of what is true! In a dawn of inspiration I realised that if I sorted my life out my relationship with food will follow and vice versa.
So I sat down and thought about what was making me stressed and anxious, and one of those things was being unable to cope with the food-related thoughts and babble. So I reread Intuitive Eating and made a conscious effort to put adopt the practices. And actually, as a start, it has been a huge relief. My stress levels have gone down. Not gone, but better. I keep thinking to myself when turbulent thoughts pop up, that it’s all okay now, I am dealing with myself in the most nurturing way possible. So I try to eat when I am hungry, and stop when I have had enough. If I feel the need to eat at other times when I am not hungry I walk or cycle really hard on my indoor bike. I breathe deeply and count my breaths. I’ve stopped judging the food I eat or my body. I am focussing my attention on my life, and getting through the backlog. I am offloading some work onto other people. I am thinking about tasks one at a time rather than trying to do them and think about them all at once.
I’ve realised that a lot more is manageable when you break it down into the core issues of what is going wrong, and getting in touch with what I really want on a food level has helped me do this on a life level. And I feel freer than I have done in a long time.
Have you had any similar experiences or revelations? Let me know in the comments below!