As the experiment comes to a close, the lessons learned are not what I initially hoped, and certainly not what I expected.
One segment of the program requires three days of green smoothies (pureed fruits and greens). In these three days, I was stunned to see just how mindless I am with food. Even though I knew I could not have other food, I found myself planning my lunch menu, scanning the cupboards for treats, and even reaching for a nibble of cheese off my husband’s plate.
This new awareness felt sort of scary and shameful, but sort of exhilarating, too. The exhilaration came from discovering something new about myself. These observations are keys to unlocking some of the mystery around my eating issues. I find myself approaching my eating with a genuine curiosity that was not present until now. I feel empowered to explore my actions and be more open to what I might find.
To be clear, I am not a proponent of restricted diets or deprivation – in fact, I believe restriction is one source of this complex issue. But I happened to be following a purposeful version of restriction, and as a result, gained insights about my habitual ways with food. From this perspective, I see value in restriction purely as a method of experimentation and observation.
What might you notice if you were to restrict a food group (e.g., dairy, wheat, etc.) or eat only fruits and vegetables for a day?
What might you notice if you let yourself get really, really hungry before eating your next meal?