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Saturday, October 24, 2009

eighth guideline - eat like a baby

... nourish your Self every three hours.

babies come with remarkable sound alarm systems that let everyone know when they need to be fed. in the process of learning more socially acceptable ways to signal others when we need to eat, we lose the fundamental connection between feeling hungry and knowing its time to eat.

frequently, in our busy lives, we feel hungry but suppress the urge, because it's not "time", it's not convenient, or it's not congruent with fitting into our skinny jeans. for me, as for many women, NOT eating was more of a problem than overeating. i can literally "forget" to eat for hours.

when i finally stopped to take a look at what i was doing to myself, i realized i was treating myself in a very mean way. i was literally putting my own needs so far at the bottom of my daily list of what was important, i was forgetting them. of course i needed to eat, i realized, i had just got really good at ignoring my body's own signals.

consequently, when i asked the Angels how often i should eat, or when i should eat, They gently suggested to "eat like a baby." as They explained it, all the needs of the baby i once was still exist. feeding myself on an "infant schedule" or every three hours reminds me to take care of myself. it provides opportunities throughout the day for me to stop and do something kind, something nourishing and necessary for myself. it also helps me stay mindful, not simply of the state of my body-mind, but of those of the beings and circumstances around me.

on the other hand, for those of us for whom not knowing when to stop is an issue, eating every three hours allows for more opportunities to pay attention to the signals your body sends when it has had enough. for some people, just knowing that they "are allowed" to eat again in less than three hours helps. One friend decided she didn't need to spend more than 20 minutes eating out of every three hours. Soon she was paying attention to the kind of food she was eating in those 20 minutes. Eventually, she began to make the choice, more often than not to eat a healthier alternative. Now, she's feeling better, eating less in total volume and making much kinder, gentler choices.

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