Thursday, January 24, 2013
When I was younger, I didn't have food a lot of the time. When I was in foster care, this was because of poverty, but when I was with my birth family, this was because my mother doesn't eat food. I was drinking Slim-Fast at age 9.
Just typing that sentence makes my stomach turn in memory of the artificial sweeteners. I still can't stand chocolate-raspberry flavored things.
I would skip breakfast, and often, for lunch, I would eat like the cheerleaders did. It wasn't cool to eat lunch, but the cheerleaders would use their lunch money to buy a can of hi-C and a bag of chips from the vending machine, so I did too.
By the time dinner rolled around, I was starving, because I hadn't given my body any real food yet.
After dinner, I was still hungry, so I snacked late into the evening. My sister and I drank caffiene free diet pepsi because that's all that was in the house, and "It might as well be water, right?"
I didn't understand what my body was missing, or how to meet its needs. I was just a kid!
But now I am thirty years old. A certified grown up.
And now, I understand what my body needs.
My body needs calories, but it also needs fat grams, protein, and carbs.
I know that when my body is hungry, that it is sending me a message that it needs something.
Now, I am learning to respond to that hunger by feeding my body vegetables and protein and nuts and whole grains. I am learning to drink water, and lots of it!
Every time I pay attention to my hunger and respond to it by giving my body something it actually needs: I am honoring my hunger.
I am saying to my body: it is safe to feel hunger now, because I will respond to that hunger in a healthful way.
It is like rebuilding a trust with myself, on a cellular level. I am telling my body: I am trustworthy. I am listening to your messages. I will take care of you.
I betrayed my body in the past. I did not respond appropriately to hunger because I didn't understand how.
With every meal, I am becoming more free.