I can almost still taste last weekend. Tacos, tequila, BBQ, sausages, mimosas, ceviché, beer, benedicts, ice cream…Two of my best girlfriends and I spent the weekend eating around Austin, TX. Sure, we caught a little bit of live music, did some window shopping, and took a walk around Lady Bird Lake — but mostly we just ate and drank, and ate some more.
This week I decided it was time for a cleanse. Yep, time to clean out the ol’ intestines with a reset elimination diet. For the past 7 days I’ve ousted wheat, meat, booze, dairy, sugar, caffeine, most grains, legumes and nightshades. Side-effects of this elimination experiment have been a heightened sensitivity to flavor – good morning, tastebuds! – and an awareness of my tendency to comfort eat.
It’s now clear to me that most of the time I put food in my mouth it’s for a reason other than true hunger. Maybe I’m bored, lonely, or feel that I need a reward or entertainment. And stopping at 80% full as recommended? Rarely.
Thankfully, my bloodline passed on to me a raging metabolism so overeating is not as detrimental to me as it is to some. What’s actually more harmful is my tendency to over-schedule. I’m one of those (you may be, too?) that fill any gap of free time, more comfortable being hyper-busy than having chill time.
This 100+% full, whether it is from overeating or over-scheduling is:
- What happens when we ignore our bodies’ messages of “I’m all filled up, please stop now.”
- A choice to inhabit a body that is anxiety-ridden, erratic, shameful and stressful rather than a body that is calm, stable, regular and at ease.
- A way to fill the God-shaped hole within – or in other words, using food, alcohol, sex, shopping, busyness, etc, etc, etc, to take the place of our spiritual connection with the Divine.
The reframe for “overeating” or “over-scheduling” is “underloving.” We underlove ourselves and those around us when we fill up so fully that we have room for nothing else. We ultimately suffer when the God-shaped hole, yearning for connection with the primordial nature of humanity and the universal synapses with spirit, is instead stockpiled with distraction, quick comfort and busyness.
As the season for overeating and over-scheduling nears, let’s all play the game of 80% full. Let’s eat only when hungry and tend our the emotional emptiness in other, more honest ways. Let’s make the time for the most important things in our lives no matter how much we have going on around us. Let’s trust that there will always be enough food and time and that by simplifying and cleansing our palates – and our schedules – we will be better able to taste the fullest flavors of life.
**Interested in the elimination reset cleanse? I’ll be leading a group through it in February 2018. Contact me to reserve your space now.