The beginning of a New Year is often a time when we set goals to lose weight.

Yesterday, I was speaking to a friend and our conversation turned toward cooking.  She said something that really intrigued me.  She said that she wants to feed her body in a compassionate way, and not in a New Year’s resolution kind of way.

I immediately felt the difference between these two kinds of eating in my body.  My whole being relaxed into the thought of what it would be like to feed my body in a compassionate way.  

Can you feel it in your body – the difference between compassionate eating and eating in a New Year’s resolution kind of way?

Feeding your body in a compassionate way invites you to cook the foods that your body desires because the food is healing and fills your body with life-giving energy.  Compassionate eating might include:

  • Eating healthy vegetables,
  • Eating less sugar and other foods that throw your system off,
  • Eating nourishing foods,
  • Flavoring your foods in natural ways so they are tasty and savory,
  • Eating only how much your body wants,
  • Eating when your body needs the fuel,
  • Reducing caffeine and other stimulants that are hard on the body.

For me, compassionate eating means that I avoid gluten, dairy and other inflammatory foods.  Feeding my body in a compassionate way means taking the time to make myself food that agrees with my body in every way.  It also means taking time to have actual meals and to set the table and sit down to eat my food slowly.

These things come to mind when I think of eating in a New Year’s resolution kind of way:

  • Feeling deprived, and managed,
  • Counting every calorie,
  • Feeling driven to lose weight because there is something wrong with how my body looks.

Compassionate eating makes me think of providing my body with the healthy nutrients it needs to feel its best.  Compassionate eating feels like it nourishes the whole of me and turns eating into an adventure of loving myself with tasty, nutrient rich foods that delight my taste buds AND allows my body to naturally shed extra weight I am carrying.

Compassionate eating makes me think of being kind to my body because I want to treat it like a dear friend.  It means eating in a way that gives my body what it needs to feel vibrant, alive, and full of vitality.

What comes to mind for you when you think of feeding your body in a compassionate way? 

How might you begin to practice compassionate eating?