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Originally published at laurenbersaglio.com on May 9, 2012. Republished here with permission. Get your blog featured!
I was recently talking with someone about discipline and I realized when it comes to eating and exercise if you are pro-diet, then discipline is seen as a good thing, and if you are anti-diet (say, an Intuitive Eater) then ‘discipline’ with food is seen as a bad thing.
In my conversation the other night, though, I realized this doesn’t have to be the case. See, we tend to view discipline as being one-sided. Dieters see themselves as having the discipline to start exercising and the discipline to stop eating. For me, when I was recovering from a restrictive eating disorder and exercise addiction, I committed to being disciplined to start eating and to stop exercising. As you can see, both of these forms of discipline show an imbalance, and that’s because they are one-sided.
When you are disciplined to ‘stop eating’ you are forgetting (or ignoring) you do need to eat.
When you are disciplined to ‘start eating’ you are ignoring the fact at some point you should stop. The same goes with exercise.
Contrary to what many believe, Intuitive Eating isn’t about giving up discipline; it’s about embracing it. However, as with everything else associated with eating intuitively, we need to embrace discipline with a more ‘whole’ and balanced approach.
The intuitive lifestyle is about balance and balance is about discipline.
This discipline is two-sided. Yes, we need the discipline to start eating, but we also need the discipline to stop. And we need the discipline to start exercising, but we also need the discipline to stop and let our bodies rest. The same also goes for work – in order to live healthy and balanced we need the discipline to work, but just as important, we need the discipline to stop working (which is something I still struggle with!)
The same also goes for work; in order to live healthy and balanced we need the discipline to work, but just as important, we need the discipline to stop working.
Reflect on the ways you are disciplined.
Is your discipline one-sided, and, therefore, causing an imbalance in your life? Or do you focus on starting and stopping? Are you listening to your body: Your hunger? Your fullness? Your energy? Your need to rest? Or are you ignoring it?
In closing, I encourage you not to give up discipline, but to embrace it fully. Seek out balance because that is what the Intuitive Lifestyle is all about!
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