I have to shoot you straight. This topic is so big, I am a little nervous about trying to summarize it in a couple paragraphs.
The relationships we women have with our bodies are complicated. I don’t want to get too preachy or feminist on you, but safe to say that if you are walking around Mother Earth right now with a pair of boobs, a set of ovaries, or otherwise identify as a woman, lots of people have opinions about your body… and I don’t mean your, as in your particular body, but rather women’s bodies in general.
We are judged, admired, ridiculed, questioned and more at every turn about our bodies, and the cues on how to judge ourselves come from everywhere–well-meaning family members who make an off comment that sticks in our head for decades; advertisers, who would have us believe our bodies should resemble those of a 14-year-old boy on the bottom with Dolly Parton on top; and more.
We learn to use our femininity, but often are stung when boundaries are crossed and we are violated. The appreciation we have for the amazing things our bodies can do (hello, giving birth) is whittled away as we take in all of the barbs and opinions and sometimes outright assaults that society at large is eager to dish out about how we look.
Add together all of this–all the mixed signals of what we are, what we should be, and whether or not we are worthy–and it’s understandable that one might begin to lose touch with what her body truly needs, what it wants, and how to tell the difference.
It’s no wonder so many women struggle with eating, and lose the ability to do so with intuition–to really just listen to their body’s needs and go with it. And that’s why we are talking intuitive eating today with the amazing Shanna Windle, of Shine Wellness.
Mastering Intuitive Eating: Why Is It So Hard?
Outside signals (see above) can get in the way of us truly being able to ask, and answer, What does my body need right now to not only survive, but thrive?
She teaches them the concept of visceral intelligence. This is the ability to truly hear what our body needs. It starts with re-establishing the connection to our bodies.
Okay, I Get it, so How Do you Master Intuitive Eating?
In our interview, Shanna says she will take her clients through an exercise where she asks them to close their eyes, and feel what an Intuitive Yes and an Intuitive No feels like.
Shanna suggests spending a period of time–maybe a week or two–asking yourself some questions you intuitively know the answers to, and starting to pay attention to how you body feels when the answer is Yes, vs. No. This will help to train your mind to recognize what a true Yes and No feel like.
You can begin to apply that knowledge to the moments when you’re asking yourself what it is you want to eat.
It All Starts with a Question, an Honest Answer, and Practice
Because many of us have become disconnected from what our body truly needs and wants, Shanna says this process takes practice.
The next time you get a pang to eat and aren’t sure if it’s stress, anxiety or habit talking, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and run yourself through your intuition exercise. Eventually, she says, this will come naturally and without prompting.
Intuitive Eating Doesn't Always Mean Saying "No"
Sometimes the honest answer you’ll get when you ask yourself, “Do I really want that ice cream?” is Yes!
Just because you’re beginning to truly understand the connection between your mind and body doesn’t mean you’ll always be making the healthiest decisions all the time. You’re human! You’ll need to veer off course once in a while, and with intuitive eating, you’ll learn to trust yourself enough that you can get over those times when you have an unhealthy moment.
How Long Does It Take to Start Working?
The short answer is, however long it takes. Shanna says she’s worked with clients who have seen positive changes using this technique in as short of a time as a week; but it may take several weeks of practicing listening to your intuition before you feel like you nail it.
Here’s the episode where we break it all down:
This is just one of the ways that Shanna can help you get in touch with your mind, body and spirit. And if you didn’t catch our chat about rapid transformational therapy; what it’s like to be an empath in this crazy world; and how to tell if you need to stay in or leave your current relationship, catch up on our first chat HERE. It’s SO chock full of goodness.