When I went to see Darcy, I knew what to eat. I even knew when to eat it. I just wasn’t doing it. Two years ago I went from a single mother with a young son to a new wife with two teenage sons. I started cooking for the family and eating what they wanted to eat.
When Darcy and I finished our session, I said, “It wasn’t even about the food.” She said it never is. I asked how she came upon this wise way of approaching nutrition, and she said she discovered it through winning her own battles with weight.
Even in my own book, Power of Clarity, I talk about values and how we invest our time, money, and resources in that which we value. When Darcy had me look at my priorities, I saw my self-care was at the bottom of the list. I was even below caring for the dogs.
You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if self-care is not a priority then you are no better off than someone who does not know. In fact, you could be self-critical for not doing what you “should” be doing.
People have different patterns around food, and one of mine had been eating for stress. When you eat to deal with stress, there is little awareness around the food experience. Under that situation, there is very little pleasure and satisfaction in the food consumed.
If we do not get pleasure in our lives, a part of us will begin to rebel. However, when it comes to food, pleasure and satisfaction are not the same thing. The body feels satisfied when it receives the right combination of nutrients. Think of a time when you ate a salad with nonfat dressing. Did you feel satisfied? Or were you hungry again in an hour? The body feels the most satisfied when it gets the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Also, if you eat food lacking in nutritional value the body will continue to give you signals that it is hungry because you have not satisfied the body’s needs.
When I was looking at eating around stress, I realized I even took vacations to de-stress. One year I rented a condo on the beach by myself figuring that would be the best way to relieve the stress that built up over the last year. I also did massages to relieve stress. I have a toolbox full of tools to de-stress. In fact, you can check out my new app, Stress Neutralizers, in the iTunes app store or Google Play.
Darcy put a new spin on it by suggesting I shift from de-stressing to adding pleasure in my life. What a novel concept to think about doing all of these things for pleasure—eating, vacations, massage. I really am enjoying adding more pleasure in my life.
What tools do you have to relieve stress and add more pleasure in your life? Put them to work.
Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!”, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.