How well fed are you? You might be thinking…well, I just had lunch, so I’m feeling pretty well fed. Or...perhaps, it’s almost time for lunch, so I’m pretty freakin’ hungry.
But, I challenge you to think beyond just your physical hunger or satisfaction and consider your life in general.
How well fed are you?
For a lot of people, the answer is first tinged with a bit of confusion, then landing somewhere in the neighborhood of probably not feeling very well fed.
Perhaps you’re incredibly busy and in addition to not having time to focus on your nutrition or health, you also don’t have time to read a book, or take break, or take that much needed vacation to escape life for awhile.
Perhaps you’re craving love and attention, or support and friendship.
Whatever you’re craving, you deserve to have it. But, a lot of times, we don’t even know what we’re craving!
So we grab a bagel, or a bag of chips, or a brownie, or whatever happens to be closest and most convenient.
Regardless of whether we know what we crave or not, we tend to turn to food as a means to self-medicate ourselves, tune out of our life and stresses, and soothe our inner child.
But, what if you could learn to feed yourself…all of yourself, and not use food as a means to feel better or more whole?
While I am a pretty happy, positive, go-getter that can’t really complain about too much in my life, I’ve spent years on the yo-yo dieting train. Counting calories eaten, counting calories burned, measuring every ounce of food that I planned to eat, journaling it and running stats. All of this was in the quest of getting myself down to a ‘perfect’ size.
I got there…multiple times, in fact. But, I never stayed there.
You know what I’m talking about, right?
And every single time I traveled back to where I started, I beat myself up in the process. I never learned to accept who I was, where I was, or know that I was just fine regardless of the size on the label in my jeans.
What is Feast?
Last summer, I heard about Rachel Cole’s 3 month intensive program called Feast. Her mission is to teach women to accept and love themselves while becoming an intuitive eater.
No more dieting, no more killing ourselves at the gym. Instead, it’s all about listening to our bodies and eating what nourishes us and makes us feel good.
It’s about discovering where we're feeling unfed and dealing with that so we don’t use food to fill that hole.
It’s about moving…every single day…because it feels good and it’s good for us.
What we eat and how we move is no longer tied to the number on the scale or the size in our jeans. It's all about feeling good and being healthy.
It’s about learning to set your own rules and boundaries instead of trying to live your life according to other people’s rules (i.e a diet program). That means we have to learn what makes our bodies feel good. You have to start paying attention to what you’re eating, why you’re eating it, and how it makes you feel.
It’s about not beating yourself because you want a cookie. Eat the damn cookie and enjoy it!
It’s about accepting who you are and learning to honor your hunger, your feelings, your needs, and your overall health.
Feast is NOT about eating cupcakes and ice cream to make yourself feel better. It’s not about zoning out in front of the TV every night to numb yourself from whatever is going on in your life.
It’s about getting real with yourself and dealing with all the crap you’ve been avoiding.
My Feast Journey
When I read about the program…I knew instantly it was what I needed and it had come into my life at exactly the right time.
So…I applied and was incredibly grateful to be accepted into the program.
I started my Feast journey in September 2015 with about 25 other brave women. We were all sick and tired of the dieting, the restrictions, the pressure we put on ourselves, and the inevitable disappointment we’d feel when yet again, we’d fail at a diet. We stuck together through the 3 months and got to know each other’s struggles.
Rachel was a calming and supportive leader throughout the process. She was there to pick us up when we felt like we had fallen (which we hadn’t). She was there to encourage us to dig a little deeper and try something different. She was there to lead us on this path to a new way of living.
It wasn’t easy and after 'completing' the program in early December, I’m still not there because it’s a work in progress. Rachel doesn’t promise for you to be ‘healed’ at the end of the program. In fact, she’s quite open about the fact that it takes time to get there. It takes continual effort and practice. It takes falling off the wagon and hopping back on again.
She doesn’t promise perfection because perfection is a damaging illusion. She promises love, kindness, compassion, and if you really put in the work, life long change.
For me, it was life changing. I will never go on a diet again. I will never wear Spanx again. I will never think I’m not good enough because I’m not a size 6 (and let's be honest...I'll never be a size 6 and that's perfectly okay!).
Am I where I ultimately want to be with my relationship with food and exercise? Nope. But, I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was in September. I’m dedicated to getting there and I’ve made honoring my wellness one of my goals for 2016.
This year, I’m approaching my health with a completely different mindset. I’m not trying to get to a certain size. I am definitely not trying to get to a certain number on the scale…I threw out my scale, so I don’t even weigh myself anymore.
My goal is to move every single day by listening to my body and what it needs and craves. Sometimes, it’ll want a hard core cardio workout to blow off some steam. Sometimes, it’ll want a nice long yoga session on my mat. Sometimes, it’ll simply want a 15 minute walk around my neighborhood. I’m going to honor what it wants and not make myself do what it doesn’t feel like doing in the name of ‘being healthy’ (I don’t feel that’s being healthy.)
I’m also going to eat whatever the hell I want, but again, my plan is to listen to my body. I know my body doesn’t feel good if I eat too much sugar or processed foods. I’m going to plan to limit those, not because I’m trying to lose weight, but because they don’t make me feel good. But, I’m also not going to deprive myself from enjoying a yummy dessert if I’m out to dinner with my best friend. That’s part of life and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t have any interest in losing a few pounds, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to live according to what my body needs, love my body as it is, and allow it to decide where it wants to be.
It won’t be easy, but it'll feel soooo much better than hopping from fad diet to fad diet.
I got to this place because of Rachel Cole and Feast.
Are you ready for Feast?
If you love being on the hamster wheel of fad diets, yo-yo dieting, weight loss programs, or anything of that kind, then keep doing what you’re doing.
But, if you’re sick and tired of living that life, I encourage you to check out Feast.
Applications are currently open for the Spring session which begins on February 1st.
The deadline to submit your application is this Friday, January 15, so don’t wait too long to jump on this!!
It is an investment, but it's an investment in yourself, which is the best kind! You deserve to love yourself and live your best life.
If you want to learn more, check out Rachel’s website by clicking on the button above. You can also listen to a couple of Q&A calls she's hosting to answer questions from prospective students (Note: the recording for the January 2016 call started a little bit after the call started, so the beginning is cut off. Check out the beginning of the August 2015 call to hear her talk about the program).