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Dynamic Range, Eating & Weight Gain

I was talking with a friend yesterday about weight gain and some of what we're seeing online about weight gain. She had gained some weight, and so have I- about a year and a half ago, I gained about 30 pounds after quitting a year of smoking. Because yup, even though I knew better, even though I'd been an herbalist, nutritionist and kinda sorta identified as a health coach, I started smoking! And then gained weight! Not exactly behaviors we'd expect from someone with my background.

But for me, the weight gain was the right thing, at the right time, because it was a step away from the harm of smoking cigarettes, and, because I know and trust the resilience and wisdom of my body. It's rare that you hear someone say that weight gain was the right thing because we are so enculturated to fear it. But I trust my body and the connection I have with it above almost anything else. That connection to my body (and soul) is a direct connection to the indwelling presence of the divine. But that is a topic for another post. Suffice to say, I trust my body, I trusted the weight gain.

I'm not ashamed about the weight gain and I don't hate my body with the extra weight. My body is my home! It is so so good to me. I am really grateful for all it does and holds for me. As for the smoking, I'll talk more about smoking, resilience and health in a different post. I'm not ashamed of it either, but.... regretful? maybe a little. The reality is we are all doing the best we can at any given time. Smoking was a coping mechanism that I picked up for a year and then (THANKFULLY) was able to put down.

Back to my friend and I. As she and I were talking, I shared that whether you are in a tight management and control relationship with your body, or you are in a neglect-ignore-rebellion-apathy cycle with your body, you are 1) still very much in relationship with your body and 2) have absolute free will to keep doing what you're doing for as long as you like- your body, your choice.

But both of these opposite ends of the pole miss the big fat middle where there is an option that is easy, mostly effortless once you've opened the channel of connection and requires no tough schedules, discipline, shame or rebellion.

This third option when it comes to relationship with our body is a balance point. One where we aren't the dictatorial tyrant, but we aren't the neglectful parent or pissed off rebel*, either.

It's a relationship where you and your body get to be peers, of sorts. Where, like any good relationship, you listen, you provide care, reciprocity and compromise. It means you might sometimes do things you don't always want to do, like going to bed early or eating vegetables or slowing the F down. Your mind doesn't want to do any of those things. But you do them because that's what's best for your body- and what's best for the body is always what's best for you.

But the "you" that lives inside your body doesn't have to restrict or control to be the good girl, either. You get to have a dynamic range and dance- maybe you say no to the pastry this morning because last night you had some crazy amazing ice cream party. You eat in ways that have you feel good- physically feel good- but also mentally and emotionally feel good. Not a "I feel good about myself because I ate grilled chicken and steamed broccoli so I'm a good girl" but good as in "I am a deeply satisfied and nourished because I choose foods that not only tasted amazing but also nourished my body and soul". And girlfriend, sometimes that deeply satisfying and nourishing food is gonna be a donut and sometimes its gonna be kale. THAT IS DYNAMIC RANGE.

And it's hard wired into you, I promise. It's just so rare that we hear anyone talk about it. People are either cheerleading clean eating or rejoicing in indulgence. Both of which have a place in dynamic range, of course. But neither are the full picture.

But I'm starting to talk again. And I live this range. But you don't have to listen because it works for me. I hope you'll listen because you'll start trying it and find it works for you, too.

**Rebellion is quite fun and can actually be a way of feeding yourself in a whole different way, which I'll talk about in a different post, too!

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