Kripalu Guest Stories: Susan S.
Think Before You Eat
While I love to cook and eat healthfully, I’ve wrestled for many years with the desire to keep eating throughout the evening—from after dinner until I go to bed.
Food equals love for me, and I’ve often used food as comfort. Recently, I was eating more than I needed to, and not really listening to my body. There was sometimes a panicked feeling to my eating—and I would keep eating without feeling satiated. Also, in recent years, exercise hasn’t been a priority for me.
I was careful enough to not go so overboard that I didn’t fit into my clothes, though, so my weight wasn’t what brought me to Dr. Susan B. Lord’s Healthy Living immersion program, Women and Food. It was the feeling that food was in control of me. Susan created a safe space in class for us to express our feelings about our respective relationship with food. I became aware that there are many ways that we relate to food, and that often there are often larger issues involved.
Susan explained how to eat mindfully, and I tested her methods on the delicious food at Kripalu. I learned that certain foods had a “hook,” which kept me wanting to eat more, while I could eat others and feel satisfied. It was fascinating.
Being at Kripalu was an oasis for me. It’s a nurturing, growth-supportive environment in a beautiful setting, filled with people who are extremely kind. I was able to experiment with a variety of approaches to meditation and accessing my feelings about food, to see what worked best. I also tried noon dance—what a blast!
Among Susan’s many helpful recommendations was to shake things up a little; to simply try something new. As she says, “There are no mistakes.” We can learn from everything that happens—choices that make us feel pleased and those that don’t.
There are no quick fixes, and I think I’m a work in progress. It’s still challenging to focus on myself and my feelings in any given situation, but when I can, I see that I have the opportunity to make better choices.
I’m also trying to do less and to be more present in the moment. This provides much richer moments, and I don’t feel like my life is falling apart for delaying other things. And I’m also learning to say, “No, thank you” more often. As I continue exploring my relationship with food, more questions arise and I get more information that helps clarify some of my earlier confusion. I’m grateful that I have Kripalu to guide me when I stray.
—Susan S., Washington DC