There is a French term for little snacks and pastries, called “amuse-bouche”, which translates to mouth entertainment. That’s essentially what my relationship with food was, and sometimes still is. Transforming my habits surrounding food, are transforming my habits surrounding self-care and self-compassion
Welcome to day 8 of #31daysofselfcompassion.
The theme today is Man vs. Food
My most difficult times times in my relationship with my body are almost always related to food. I can’t remember a time when a meal didn’t begin and end with fear and shame. Whether I was eating for fun, eating for fuel or eating to bury my pain, it always ended with shame and terror that I was ruining my efforts to lose weight.
Then I remember one day when I had to go on a fast, in solidarity with my Muslim colleagues. It was challenge for me but it taught something really important, which is how much of my eating habits were just “amuse-bouche”. I ate for entertainment, I ate out of boredom, I ate from sadness. During the fast, I was able to rebuild a different kind of relationship with food. I learned to check in with my body, to know what hunger meant, to recognize when the hunger was actually thirst, and to make mindful decisions about what I ate.
Beautiful summed up by Deepak Chopra, practice this mindfulness exercise:
Am I hungry?
How hungry am I?
What am I hungry for?
This simple practice will help you change the way you relate to food, and to your body. You will learn to stop eating simply for entertainment, and start eating for fuel, for nurture, for love. And still when you decide to indulge in an amuse-bouche, the mindful choice will help you quiet the shame that tells you that you are a failure just for wanting to enjoy some ice cream.
What are you hungry for?
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.