I have a deep and insatiable hunger. I used to believe that it was for food. Now I know that it was for life!
If, like me, you have struggled with food and feeling “at home” in your body, you may have spent what seems to be a lifetime trying to fill a hunger that never seemed to be satisfied.
For me, this expressed itself as a kind of emptiness or a void that I endlessly tried to fill. As I struggled with disordered, emotional, compulsive and chaotic eating, my life became a series of mathematical equations as I counted the calories, added up the points and indulged in “allowable” sins or treats.
Every Monday morning, I promised myself that I would be “good” as I began yet another diet. And every Monday evening, I berated myself because I had been “bad.” I seemed to live my life between these two polar opposites and judged myself accordingly. If I had been “good,” I had a great day, and if not, I simply didn’t want to leave the house.
What I failed to realise at the time was that this wasn’t about food, it was about the fact that my Soul was hungry. In fact, my Soul was starving. And instead of feeding my Soul what she wanted in terms of loving my body, feeling fabulous about myself and living a life that I truly desired, I fed myself substitutes and tried to placate my innermost dreams and desires.
I used to tell myself, “Here, take this biscuit. It’s low in calories and has no sugar. So, have that and be satisfied. It will give you what you want, and you won’t put on weight.” However, it never satisfied what I really wanted, which was to feel free with my choices, enjoy radiant health and feel unrestricted by “rules” or “shoulds.”
And so, instead of finding out what I was truly hungry for, I fed myself a bland and tasteless substitute in exchange for how I truly desired to live, be and feel.
Our relationship with food has changed beyond all recognition. No longer a simple way to fuel, nourish, replenish and satisfy our body, food has become a way of filling in the boredom, escaping our feelings, calming our anxiety, distracting ourselves from actually taking action on our dreams or simply to bury our emotions. We may find ourselves eating our feelings down or denying our talents and creative impulses. It’s so much easier to pick up a pastry than a pen!
We may say to ourselves, “Who am I to write that book, sing that song, go back to college, start a new relationship, climb a mountain, fall in love or start a new business at 60 plus!”And yet, who are you NOT to? When we ignore these inner callings, dreams or creative ideas we begin to feel hungry for something that no amount of food can ever fulfill.
However, at the fabulous age of 61, what I know to be true for me is that the courage to be authentic is at the heart of every hunger we have. Will we feed ourselves the things that we are really hungry for, or will we try to placate our passion with another piece of pie?
Unless we understand and truly connect with what will nourish, sustain and satisfy all of who we are, we will always go hungry. And at 61, I desire to live my days allowing myself to be full of all of the things that I love. I want to consume the things that make me feel loved, radiant, beautiful, sensual, wild and free. I want to romance my body with a life that lights me up.
I spent far too many years of my one wild and precious life trying to quell and subdue the whispers of my heart that desired to beat with excitement at just being alive. I grew weary of trying to reign in my dreams and lock down my body in order that I could fit in with a society that didn’t prize the stupendous magnificence of every single human being.
However, once I began to connect with what I truly desired to feel, be, have and experience in my life, my relationship with food began to change. It was subtle at first. I found that I just didn’t want to eat a whole packet of biscuits or a tub of ice-cream because I knew deep down that it wouldn’t satisfy me.
I knew that what I really wanted couldn’t be satisfied with family size bars of chocolate or endless pizzas. I knew that what I truly desired would still be there long after I had eaten all of the stuff that I really didn’t want.
There is a saying that goes, “We are what we eat.” However, a far more helpful saying is that “We eat who we are.” When you know who you are and what you desire to have, be, feel and experience in your life, your food choices begin to reflect this.
Life brings us endless opportunities to discover more about ourselves, and my own journey with my body and my relationship with food have been my greatest teachers.
Every day, in my courses and workshops, I meet the most amazing women (and a few incredible men) who have also struggled with food, their body and what it means to live their most authentic lives.
This is what I teach and write about in my courses and books. I teach people how to connect with what will truly bring them alive, how to find peace with food and how to discover what they are authentically hungry for and if it is food they are searching for or something else.
When you eat, bring your WHOLE self to the banquet of your life. Every time you eat, there is an opportunity to feed yourself more love, care, nourishment, joy and health. Select the foods that make you feel alive, fabulous, peaceful, energized, happy and totally nourished on every level of your being. My own personal mantra is “I choose foods that make me feel full of energy, radiant, alive and free!”
Here are my 10 fabulous nourishing questions to help you connect with what you are truly hungry for:
1. What is it that excites you, whispers to you, calls to you and has been there all of your life?
2. Does the food you eat give you positive, life nourishing energy, radiant health, wellbeing and vitality?
3. What brings you alive?
4. What are you really hungry for?
5. Where (or what) are you holding back?
6. What are you willing to change in order to ensure that you feel nourished, satisfied and content?
7. What truly fulfills you?
8. What is the story that you have not yet told, but must be told?
9. What have you learned about your relationship with food (and life) so far?
10. What are the gifts (in terms of who you are) that you want to pass on, share or leave as your legacy?
Have you changed your relationship with food now that you are in your sixties? We would love to know your own stories, tips and experiences.