how your fuel your body + mind; includes exploring your unique complex relationship with food, navigating challenges with weight + body image, tackling emotional eating struggles, + designing + implementing habits for health-driven nourishment that fuels your fullest life
consider the definition of this verb:
1. to take into the mouth + swallow for nourishment; chew + swallow (food).
2. to consume by or as if by devouring gradually; wear away; corrode:
3. to make (a hole, passage, etc.), as by gnawing or corrosion.
now, take a look at this word:
1. to sustain with food or nutrient; supply with what is necessary for life, health, + growth
2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.
3. to strengthen, build up, or promote
if you were to select one of these two verbs to describe the function of food in your own vision for your most vibrant health, which would you choose?
clearly, there’s a striking difference between the act of eating + that of nourishing. it’s this tension that’s central to the struggle many of us feel when it comes to nutrition.
i’m sure you’ve already begun to notice that i am kind of bewitched + utterly dazzled by the power of words. i love peeling back the layers of the language we use to characterize ourselves, our unique experience of the world, + our relationships in it, because i know that words have the capacity to define our reality.
so i choose words deliberately + with great care, trying to precisely align them with the meaning i’m aiming to capture + convey. needless to say, with my commitment to this project, i spend a lot of time inside the dictionary, unpacking definitions.
to eat + to nourish. taking the a fine-tooth comb to these words reveals two worlds-apart ways not just of doing, but also of being.
food lives at the heart of our anxiety as women. our relationships with food often offer us profound reflections about our relationships with our core selves.each of us has her own food story; it has all of the dimensions of any great drama: a range of compelling secondary characters— lovers, teachers, friends, etc.— along with a bewildering blend of humor, trauma, intrigue, betrayal, adventure, failure, triumph, temptation. there’s a whole psychology to this tale-telling. + what gets tricky is that when we women talk about food, much of the time, we’re really talking about our feelings about our own self-worth.
i’m not a nutritionist, i’m not a dietician; i’m not trained in food science, not even in the culinary arts. but i am always seeking + learning, + along the way, i’ve gained a pretty robust wealth of knowledge about this vast field, at least enough to begin to realize just how much i have yet to explore + discover. + that’s half the magic. for my own part, though, i’ve figured out ways in which to fuel my particular body that align with my spirit, + it’s through cultivating a hard-won compassionate awareness to + curiosity about the “nutrition” that i’ve recognized this:
that the “how” + the “why” behind my eating are just as central to my relationship with food as is the “what.”
in my work with clients, i am not in the business of telling anyone how or what to eat; my values about what it means to nourish + be nourished have been shaped by my unique needs + choices, + i fiercely believe that each of us is the expert about her own best prescription for thriving. what i offer are some tools, some ideas, to help each of us tap into her own innate nourishment wisdom. + sometimes that means redefining the terms, + revising the story.
so an intention in action for this week:
take twenty to thirty minutes to write your own food story; get curious about your own complex relationship with your food-life.
explore the influences upon your food choices, + also upon the way your think about the function of nutrition in your life.
consider some central “whos” + “whens” + “wheres” + “whys” + “whats” that come into play when your look at your relationship with this essential element of health.
ask yourself: in what ways do i “eat” + in what ways do i “nourish” myself?
+ then, think, “hmmmm, how might i invite more peace, lightness, more nourishment into my fullest, most energized self?”
“how can i redefine + rewrite my own food story?”
(note: many of my clients surprise themselves by just how much they find themselves wanting to write about this topic! feel free to expand this practice to extend over multiple days, or return to it again somewhere down the road.)
for nearly a decade, greta nelson has worked with women + girls in myriad capacities; she brings this kaleidoscope of skill, experience, + energy to active voice. she is a graduate of duke university's integrative health coaching program + holds a master's degree in english education from columbia university teachers college. in addition, she is a practicing educator, writing clinician, + e~ryt 500 certified yoga instructor. greta synchronizes expertise with passion to be a guide, an advocate, + a sister in support to each every one of her clients.