One of the fun things I have been playing with is the many voices that live inside us. In facing my recent health challenge, My coach asked me to name a few of my voices. Ha Ha. Let’s see, the naturopath voice believes food is medicine and the diet should be organic, alkaline, anti-inflammatory, etc. in order to allow the body to heal itself. Of course, the nurse and allopathic voice just wants the diagnosis and drugs that will solve the problem by suppressing the symptoms. The spiritual voice believes if we have enough faith and can get in the right consciousness it is possible to heal spontaneously. The voices were battling whose way was best. But the voice that seems to be winning is the child voice that seems to be having a temper tantrum that we have to give up all the foods we love, the social aspect of food, and use food like medicine. The child is letting me know in no uncertain terms that it is NOT FAIR!!! Now if you force a child to do something he/she does not want to do, what happens? Right, it rebels.
Well, funny my coach made me add another voice—the parent voice. It seems when I was talking to her I would say I made a smoothie with all of these oils, vitamins, green powder and then negate it with, “But, I had coffee.” Then I would juice vegetable juice with spinach, celery, carrots, cucumber and negate it with, “But I had a sandwich with my juice.” She asked me if the sandwich and coffee really negate all the beneficial effects of the smoothie and vegetable juice. I thought about it and realized it did not. I was still benefitting from those choices. But the thoughts negated me. I have heard others call it the self-critic.
Really, if you look at it, any time we go into shame, blame, could of, should of, would of, we place ourselves in a negative feeling place. Remember, the closest pharmacy is the brain and when we are in a negative emotion we are pumping out stress chemicals that damage our bodies and take away our access to the creative and problem-solving aspects of our brain. With that said, we will not choose to act in a way that will best support us. What if we treated ourselves with acceptance and love? We would be in a positive feeling place—from there we are pumping out different chemicals that allow us to be more creative, better problem solvers, and make better choices.
The first step is to accept things the way they are. Then practice self-awareness around eating. Luckily for me I have had years of practice in self-awareness in other areas and could easily transfer it over to this area. I had a million rules on how to eat (lots of knowledge, big rule keeper, parent). Now I have just one rule and that is to be aware of when I am satisfied. In order to be satisfied, you need pleasure and fuel. I notice when I drink the smoothie and vegetable juice I feel “alive and energized,” where other foods make me sluggish and tired. My goal is to practice self-awareness until I can say, “I feel so good when I take care of myself. Why would I do anything else?”
So remember, pleasure plus fuel (nutrition) equals satisfaction. Some nutritional knowledge is important to give the body the right fuel. Equally important is to notice when you are truly satisfied.
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.