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PRACTICING: Lovingly Parenting Myself

Posted Feb 06 2012 12:45pm

In one of previous posts about Green Mountain At Fox Run , I wrote about what normal eating  looks like.

In that post I also referenced an eating style quiz, which I took while at GMFR and concluded that I am mostly skillful, with a little chaotic and emotional eating thrown in. And when I compare my current eating behaviors to what they were five plus years ago, I am proud of how far I have come.

After having spent a week at GMFR, I am still proud of myself, and I also see that there is room for improvement. This is huge in and of itself because it’s not either/or thinking, it’s both/and thinking (and I will make a point about this at the end of the post…and it will relate to the title of the post).

While there all my meals were prepared for me using wonderful whole foods that I love (I filled out a form and checked off foods I don’t like and if the chefs planned a meal with those foods, they prepared something special for me so I wasn’t forced to choose between eat food I don’t like or going hungry), and all meals were balanced according to sound nutritional guidelines. The food was delicious, filling, and satisfying in every way.

I ate every meal at a table with up to three other women. I ate at set times: breakfast at 8 a.m., lunch at noon, snack time at 3:30 p.m., and dinner at 6 p.m. There was an hour set aside for each meal (and half an hour for a snack), so the schedule had a little wiggle room. If I showed up 15 minutes after the meal had begun, that was fine.

It was as close to ideal as you can get in terms of being a skillful eater, who is described at GMFR this way:

  • Goes to some trouble to ensure that she is fed
  • Accepts her love of food and enjoys eating
  • Creates a nurturing eating environment
  • Is flexible
  • Thinks before she eats
  • Is organized, structured
  • Eats in a mindful, focused manner, paying attention to hunger and satiety

And my body responded positively. When I say that, I don’t mean that I lost weight, although I may have. What I mean is that certain bodily functions…functioned better.

I think part of that has to do with something I discovered in the week since I’ve been home: I believe I have mild to moderate lactose intolerance. While at GMFR I did have a bit of dairy, but not nearly as much as I normally have, and since I’ve been home, those certain bodily functions aren’t functioning as well as they were while in Vermont.

(Oh, and by the way, I am still practicing “wheat-loss.” )

Another part of it was the fact that I was eating plenty of vegetables (more than I usually eat at home) and that each meal included the Holy Grail of Satiety: calories for energy, volume and bulk (fiber and fluid), and a balance between carbohydrates, protein, and fat. In every single meal and snack.

In addition to eating skillfully at GMFR, I also had a schedule for my days, which included the aforementioned meals, various classes (for both mind and body), and a little downtime. Not only did my body respond positively, but my mind and soul did too.

So, what’s the point? Yeah, there’s a part of me that wishes I could have brought the staff of GMFR home to cook for me, create a schedule for me, and provide opportunities for me to learn and move my body every single day. There is still a part of me that wants someone else to do it for me…to take care of me.

And that’s part of who I am and it’s okay that I feel this way.

In fact, acknowledging it and being okay with it is what, ironically, gives me the desire to want to do it for myself.

Something else I learned at GMFR is that people like me are used to sending in the (inner) rebellious child (aka “Resistant Karen”) to do what is better left to the (inner) loving adult woman. Kindly parenting ourselves can be tricky, for a variety of reasons, especially if we’re used to The (critical, not-so-kind, inner) Voice. But it’s worth learning how. And it’s something I am practicing.

Have you made the distinction between your inner critical parent, your inner loving parent, and your inner rebellious child? Tell me about it!

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