First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your comments on my last post. The support I felt from this community was unbelievable and I am so grateful for all of you! Thank-you :)
Now onto the topic at hand…
I was recently talking with someone about discipline and I realized when it comes to eating/exercise if you are pro-diet, then discipline is seen as a good thing, and if you are anti-diet (say, an Intuitive Eating advocate) then ‘discipline’ with food is seen as a bad thing.
But in my conversation the other night, I realized that this doesn’t have to be the case. See, we tend to view discipline as being one-sided. And so dieters see themselves as having the discipline to start exercising and the discipline to stop eating. And for me, when I was recovering from restrictive eating behaviours and over-exercising, I committed to being disciplined to start eating and to stop exercising. But as you can see, both of these forms of discipline show an imbalance, and that’s because they are one-sided.
When you are disciplined to ‘stop eating’ you are forgetting (or ignoring) that you do need to eat. When you are disciplined to ‘start eating’ you are ignoring the fact that at some point you should stop. And the same goes with exercise.
And that’s when I realized that with the Intuitive Eating approach, it’s not that we give up discipline, it means that we embrace it – but, just like everything else associated with IE, we need to embrace it with a more ‘whole’ and balanced approach.
The Intuitive Lifestyle (which I often refer to, because I think it’s about more than just eating) is about balance. And balance is about discipline – just discipline in a two-sided way. Yes, we need the discipline to start eating, but we also need the discipline to stop. And we need the discipline to start exercising (lest we get sucked into the ‘couch potato’ cycle we are all too familiar with!) but we also need the discipline to stop, to let our bodies rest. The same also goes for work – in order to live healthy and balanced we need the discipline to work, but just as important, we need the discipline to stop working (which is something I still struggle with!)
Reflect on the ways you are disciplined – is your discipline one-sided, and therefore causing an imbalance in your life? or do you focus on starting and stopping? Are you listening to your body: Your hunger? Your fullness? Your energy? Your need to rest?
And so I encourage you not to give up discipline, but to embrace it – but to embrace it fully. Seek out that balance.Because that is what the Intuitive Lifestyle is all about!