It seems like every second person has a food sensitivity or intolerance these days and it doesn't look like reversing anytime soon. While allergies are responses of the immune system, intolerances or sensitivities are chemically based. It's not for me to say if it's 'true' or not. The bottom line is, people are experiencing unwanted symptoms and it's connected to food. I'm much more interested in the big difference between those that adjust their diets and those that don't...
For those that have listened to their bodies, noticed poor reactions and identified foods to avoid, the big issue is what have you done with that information?
Did you use the information to adjust your diet?
Did you get additional support (if needed) to work out exactly what was going on?
In other words, do/did you care for yourself completely?
OR could you be not be bothered? Does it not really matter? Is it too annoying or too hard?
DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU'RE WORTH IT?
Worth the effort, the planning, worth the potential discomfort of refusing food a friend has made, worth cooking for yourself more often...? Worth not feeling like rubbish after every episode of eating what your are sensitive or intolerant to?
For the many of us that have food sensitivities, there is one real question to ask.
WILL YOU CHOOSE TO ACT IN A WAY THAT FEELS LIKE LOVE?
Now I'm not asking this question from outside the arena.
I'm talking about how we deal with food sensitivities because I've been dealing with my own sensitivities pretty poorly for at least two decades. I'm only just getting consistent with my eating and really tuning in to care better and better for myself. To treat my body like it deserves, rather than be irritated, ignore it or hope things will change. They aint changin'!
The big difference for me, is a shift in my thinking and how I'm approaching self-care. I really used to take one of two approaches. 1) Ignore it. Too hard, too embarrassing. Do do do... 2) Get annoyed with my weak, annoying body.
Wow. Those options both sucked.
Option one left me feeling horrible, pretty unwell. It left me kicking myself and promising myself I wouldn't do it again.
Option two meant that I attacked myself and so I felt unwell and weak, high maintenance.
When I examined my thinking, I realised that I had got the story really wrong on food sensitivities. Somewhere along the line, I'd internalised those times people rolled their eyes, or put down people who were being 'fussy'.
I confused strength and self-care with weakness and fussiness.
Because good self-care is actually counter-cultural. It's cultural rebellion. It takes strength, patience, commitment and going against the crowd (unless your crowd has a host of sensitivities!). It takes dealing with the comments, sighs and rolled eyes.
It's not cool to show vulnerability, that we have needs, that we are attending to those needs.
So to truly love yourself and care for yourself, from tip to toe, you need to develop serious fortitude. Fortitude to care for yourself, completely. To never abandon your needs.
This is big.
Can you choose to love yourself each day through food?
To have food options you can eat?
To eat regularly enough to avoid binging or eating food that makes you unwell?
To be a cultural rebel?
You can choose to empathise with your aching gut or your fuzzy head, instead of getting annoyed.
You can choose to accept that caring for yourself with food takes time, probably more than you'd ideally like to give to the task.
You can choose to plan lots of simple meals each week.
You can choose to make time each week to do your groceries.
You can choose to eat food that makes you feel great.
You can choose love and strength.
You can choose to be gentle with yourself and instead of despairing when you slip, just tell yourself you're learning to care for yourself more all the time.
You're worth it. Always. Every day. Forever.
It will become habit, so easy.
You'll feel good.
You'll free up energy for other things, bigger things.
Let's do it!
P.S. Melbournians! If you've been looking for a chance to Revive your mind and body, join me and Chafia Brooks, dancer and dance therapist to help you work through fear and achieve your goals, as well as to get back in touch with your body! Click here for more details. Places are limited, so book now. No dance skills needed and no solos ;)
P.P.S. Canberrans! Save the date, I'm coming to you on the 15th October for a beautiful two hour workshop on overcoming fear and making and achieving big goals!
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.