What I Ate Before My Photo shoot...

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It was the day before my photo shoot.....

and yes I chose to order the chicken enchiladas.

I booked my photo shoot 3 weeks prior because I wanted to get some professional shots taken of me. In the past I would have booked my photo shoot 3 months prior so I would be able to take fitness pictures, with a super lean body, washboard abs, and little clothing. Not to mention I would have been on an extremely strict meal plan that consisted of shakes, chicken, veggies, and little complex carbs. Also a ruthless workout regiment. This photo shoot was for my Body Love coaching business so this was not going to be a fitness shoot. I'm not going to get into all that because that's for my next blog... I want to write about what I ate, how I ate, how I felt, and why I'm so liberated.

First of all, I did not put myself on a strict diet or exercise regiment. I told myself that I would eat the same as I had been the last few months. I would eat with my intuition and without restriction. I also would workout with my intuition, which ended up consisting mostly of walks, jogs, (with Chai) and short circuit workouts at home. I worked out way less than I ever had and gave myself permission to eat way more things than I ever would in the past.

You may think that this is silly. How on Earth can you eat and workout with your intuition without gaining massive amounts of weight and feeling gross? Well let me tell you. I chose to listen to my body. To tap in and check with my hunger. To ask what do I really want to eat right now. How do I want to feel after I eat? That's how I would decide. A lot of the time I would make healthy choices because I actually do enjoy healthy food. But along with the healthy food I'm giving myself permission to eat that 1 piece of bread, add feta, have a bite of someones food that looks good, get froyo, truly order what I desire.

Not one meal, not one day of eating, not even a couple of days of eating will ruin you. Your body is determined by the consistency that you have. In the past I wouldn't ever allow myself even a bite of something that I marked as "bad," "wrong," or "unhealthy." I remember putting food in my mouth chewing it up with so much anxiety that I spit it out before I swallowed. I truly felt as if one meal and even one bite would ruin me. The feelings, the emotions, the overwhelm, the suffocation, the downward spiral, the hate was in that one bite of food and I wanted nothing to do with it, so I decided to stay away from everything that would trigger these feelings. Most foods were the enemy. So you could imagine the healing process to unlearn everything I proved to myself to be true was a journey. So when I write about being able to eat a whole bunch of varieties of food and feel at peace is a breath of fresh air, it's life, it's love, it's joy, it's happiness, it's recovery, it's freedom.

So the enchiladas. Why write a post about enchiladas? That plate of food, every bite was recovery, was healing. In my past, especially the day before a photo shoot, I would have gotten either a salad without any of the "good stuff", fajitas without tortillas, or not anything at all. Don't even think about putting a chip in my mouth. So on this day as we arrived at a Mexican restaurant coming down the mountain from big bear I felt stable. I knew I would be okay. As I looked at the menu I considered the chicken fajitas because I knew they would be the "healthiest" thing to order. But I decided to check in and see what I really wanted. I knew I was starving. I knew I didn't feel like fajitas. I looked at the enchiladas, one of my favorite meals, and knew if I restricted I would have been moving in the opposite direction of my healing process. So I chose to get them.... as I was waiting for them I even had some chips. I usually would have none or a million. That day I had a handful while in great conversation with people I love.

When my meal was placed in front of me I made sure to be present to each bite. I ate slowly. I tasted every bite. As I dove into the second enchilada (there were 3) I got half way through the second one and checked in again and realized I was full. I was satisfied. I was done. I only had 2/3rds of the beans and a small amount of the rice. In the life of someone who use to have an eating disorder this was huge. There wasn't restricting, binging, guilt, hate, axiety, sadness... it just was. It was just a meal. Just a plate of food. I do believe if I got the chicken fajitas that I didn't feel like that day I would have eaten more rather than just sticking with the enchiladas. My body knew what it wanted. Since I gave it what it wanted there was no need to over eat. I ate until I felt satisfied. I stayed present, I checked it, I honored my hunger, and honored my body when I was full.

Let me set something straight as I'm hearing voices and questions through the computer as I write this. I'm not saying to eat enchiladas every meal, eat froyo in massive amounts, eat sweets all day long, eat a whole pizza "because you feel like it" etc etc... I'm saying that when you check in with your body and use your intuition you satisfy yourself. If you feel like a sweet every single day maybe if you don't have guilt over it every time you go to the freezer your body might just be telling you that it want's a couple bites of the ice cream. Telling yourself that it's wrong and bad will interrupt your intuition and out of anger, guilt, and stress you could possibly finish the whole pint. If you really tapped in, your body is not screaming for massive amounts of anything that would harm you. It's asking for nourishment, fuel, love, happiness, peace, joy.

Over eaters, under eater, binge eaters, stress eaters, emotional eaters....would you think I'm crazy if I said it has nothing to do with food! Food is comfort, food is a distraction, food is easy to control, easy to be uncontrollable, it's accessible... most people aren't even present when they are eating food. They are in their emotions, in their head, thinking, worrying, stressing, obsessing over the newest fad diet. It's overwhelming. It's exhausting.

Breathe. I encourage you at your next meal to sit and eat without any distractions. No Tv. No phone... only good company. Be interested in the person across from you at the table. Eat slowly. Eat with intention. Breathe. Taste. Tap in. Check in. Send love to every cell with each bite. Eating with love will change your love. Let love flow while eating, no need to trap anymore guilt.

Food is love, food is life, food is energy.

The Body Love Project starts January 4th. Join the body love tribe of women<3 https://www.facebook.com/events/1674201399531502/ Laure.Cherry.McAulay@gmail.com

Peace, love, and balance,

Love, Lauren

2015 Copyright Lauren McAulay