Trust your gut.
How many times have you heard that? Do you know what it really means? Some people think it means to trust that when your belly says it’s hungry, that it’s telling the truth. It’s so much more than that though.
Trusting your gut means trusting your intuition, which is hard to do sometimes, for our head gets in the way. Haven’t you found, at least in retrospect, that your intuition is usually right?
In my counseling, I am learning to literally listen to what my gut tells me. Why do you think people say that? Our intuition is intimately linked with our emotions, which are tied directly to the gut. When you are scared, sad, angry, your gut “speaks” first. It is effected by the nervous system, which is set off in any number of ways by our emotions.
We all know that some people are emotional eaters. Is it any surprise that some are trying to quell the gut with food, or lack thereof?
When we overeat, it is often to, literally, stuff down our emotions. When we joke about eating a pint of ice cream after a break up, we are really showing how women want more sweetness (intimacy) in their lives, and that instead of feeling the pain of the loss, they choose to numb themselves with food.
When we restrict our food, it is quite literally to starve our emotions. There is always something behind that drive to be thin, and it’s strong emotions that we often feel we can’t deal with. So, we starve them rather than feel them.
I am reading a book called Eating in the Light of the Moon. It talks about how women’s relationship to food has changed over time, and many of the reasons it has changed that have much more to do with emotions, societal pressures, and the nature of the feminine than the type of diet or exercise we partake in.
I found one excerpt in the preface very telling, and I wanted to add it, for I feel that many women fall into this category, not just ones with eating disorders.
The author spoke of women that came to see her in her eating disorders treatment program, and that they came from all walks of life and backgrounds, but that the common thread seemed to be…
‘…a pervasive sense of not quite fitting in, of not quite seeing things the way others did, of being a misfit.
…as very young girls, these women were bright and gifted and had an exceptional ability to perceive subtle realities. More often than not, a woman who struggled with disordered eating was once a girl who saw the invisible, who read between the lines, who sensed when things were not right. She noticed when people said one thing but did another. She could discern certain patterns of behavior and anticipate what was to come next. She knew when someone was being insincere or dishonest.’
The author continues on to explain that this gift was not appreciated by the family, and that in order to fit in, the girl stifled her gift, maybe even started using food to control her feelings.
Do you resonate with the description above of a girl who ‘reads between the lines?‘ Or do you know someone like that? How often, when you have that gut feeling, do you listen to it?
Next time you get a gut feeling, stop and observe your inner dialogue. Next time you voice your intuition, observe other peoples’ reactions.
Then, Trust Your Gut.