The wisdom of pleasure
“The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence - the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had enough”. - Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
The above is a direct quote but I definitely want to unpack the “it will take much less food to decide you’ve had enough” part. The goal isn’t, ‘to have less’, EVER. But what the concept of satisfaction highlights is that when we have a satisfying eating experience, the moment of “completion” is usually a lot easier to identify & honour. We’re not only full physically, but also satisfied, so it feel okay to stop, we’re not longing for anything more, & we also know there’s plenty more eating experiences ahead of us where we know we can have a satisfying eating experience, once again, because we have unconditional permission to do so, too.
I think back to my body building days where all my meals were decided for me on a plan by someone else, (which was also far less energy than my body needed each day to function optimally (cue loss of period, decreased brain function (failed Uni subjects), & intense food obsession like never before) - I think back to this time & how I NEVER felt satisfied. After all, I wasn’t the one making the decisions - so how could I be truly satisfied? I was also just hungry.. Fish with bok choy & rice first thing in the morning 🤢 No wonder I’d spend most nights eating (in secret) all the foods that were “not allowed”. After all, there was something about these “off limits” foods I found satisfying. They brought me SOMETHING. That desire didn’t just magically disappear because the plan eradicated them. In fact, it actually made this desire so intense that sometimes it’s all I could think about.
Start thinking about bringing some satisfaction to your eating experiences. You might just find that it gets easier over time to honour the physical cues from your body when satisfaction is a part of this experience.
Think about those moments entrenched in dieting with silly rules & all you want is a chocolate bar. So you get every perceived “healthier” alternative under the sun & still want the chocolate bar, so you eventually go get it after everything else.. as you should! & deserve to It’s kind of like, just have the chocolate bar that you feel like in the first place, & move on 🏽 I promise that you will live. In fact, this IS living.