Self-Care Series Article #1: Mindful Eating
Author: Audrey Byker, Health Coach
Audrey Byker, local Health Coach, runs her independent business in West Michigan. She meets clients where they are at on their health journey then guides and empowers them to find true health and wellness through one-on-one coaching. 2017 marked the launch of her first “Nutritionally Fit” cooking class series where she merged her creative drive with her speaking, teaching and fuel for athletic performance experience. Her love for people, movement and real food is contagious! Audrey offers free 30 minute consults to all who are ready to change.
A Word from Audrey:
I don’t know about you, but when my mother birthed me, held me in her arms the first time, kissed my sticky head and brought me to her breast, she wasn’t weighing the colostrum just beginning to flow. I didn’t hand her my measuring cups and spoons. The nurses weren’t calculating calories, macros or god knows what else then attaching them to the discharge sheet.
My pal the scale wasn’t waiting for me in the bathroom on my first day home.
As humans, we were created from two single cells. Those cells united and developed into one incredibly intricate human, explained for the most part by science, yet still a bit mysterious like a cat’s purr or the illusion of the moon.
When I was a baby I didn’t give myself “cheat days”. I never decided “not to care”. The milk wasn’t “good” or “bad” and I didn’t think “I’ll start tomorrow” when I made the “wrong food” choice. I knew what I needed. The milk, sleep, hugs, kisses, her calming voice and beating heart all instinctual and provided every single detail to not only sustain my life, but allow me to grow, develop, and thrive for a decent amount of time.
Which I did. I did not have to think about it.
When babies are hungry they begin to turn their heads, open their mouths and root in hopes to find a nipple to suck. Science tells us this is when their blood sugar begins to drop, which for me is when my ADD kicks in. A baby will scream and cry if you wait too long to feed it, while an adult will begin to scour the pantry and raid the fridge, er, turn into a hangry dinosaur. It was telling for me, once I became a mom, to watch my babies push their mouths away from my breast when they were full—no question nor doubt, they were done.
Their mind-body connection firmly in place, is a strong reminder to me—even now—that I needed to make a shift in the way I’d been living. As an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I help people take these cues.
Breastmilk and skin-to-skin aren’t going to feed me in the same way they do a baby, but the earth can, and—wow—sex, connection, creativity, spirituality, and pretty much everything else that’s not food and satisfying is nourishing goodness in my life. ALL I need is already mine.
I’m continually shocked by how the world complicates these basic things. My body, mind, and spirit were always in close kin with the essentials yet the crap concocted into food and marketing schemes had convinced my cells and me otherwise.
I have to stop and pay attention. Real food, mostly plants are my natural fuel. Science says “calories-in, calories-out” while nature says the process is more mysteriously detailed than that! When I focus on what makes my body feel good I never have to think about what I weigh or if my pants will fit the next day…a freedom I thought I’d never find.
Releasing the control was not only liberating back then, but now is making a sizable impact in my coaching space today.
Trusting myself to listen and respond was difficult, but paved the way for an incredible healing most people can’t begin to comprehend they could have.
I’m so thankful that Audrey took the time to create this post for my PYM readers. I think mindful eating and listening to your body is imperative to living a healthy and happy life. As Audrey touched on, your “diet” should not be an inconvenience thing of measuring, weighing and worrying. It should be natural! This self-care tip is to listen to your body’s needs and be mindful but do not overthink your eating.
You can follow Audrey on Instagram to learn more health tips.
Thank you for reading the first article in the PYM Self-Care Series. Stay tuned for more!