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What we eat and how we feel are very closely related. The way we consume food has deep emotional roots. I came to this realization in my early twenties when I found myself combating anxiety and weight loss. The highs, the lows—my feelings influenced what I ate. No matter my food choices, I was in a continual anxious mental state, not allowing my body to digest and absorb nutrients properly.
Then, I made a shift. Instead of just eating to eat without much thought of what I was consuming and where it came from, I began to take a conscious intuitive approach with food. “What actually makes me feel good and gives me energy?” Changing what I ate and my thought process, in general, was a huge puzzle piece in healing—and essentially—eliminating my anxiety.
With that being said, diets scream “one size fits all” to me. We know that isn't the case. The culture of crash diets and fads are seldom long-lasting. It’s time to stop body shaming and trying to look like someone else. What matters most is eating nourishing foods to feel good and being the best version of ourselves we can be! It’s about how you feel on the inside, how you are sleeping, and the energy you get from your meals.
I have learned to live by an intuitive eating lifestyle. With a base of healthy foods that I consume throughout the week, I also allow flexibility to support my mind and body in the present moment. It’s all about listening to your body.
If I feel like coffee is too much, I want a huge salad for lunch, or that I haven't eaten out in a while and pizza sounds amazing, being conscious and checking in with yourself is the cornerstone to intuitive eating. It’s about being your own friend! Self-awareness is essential when we are emotionally eating—maybe even take a few minutes to stretch, meditate, and revisit your food choices after taking a step away!
Some tips I use and that I give to my clients to practice eating intuitively in everyday life is first and foremost, to check in with yourself and how you feel:
With these thoughts, create a plan to support you and what you want to eat that day. Intuitive eating in a healthy way means that you eat until you are full! Yeah, you read that right. Full. If you are eating healthy, nourishing whole foods, there is no need to restrict your diet in fear of counting calories. I am a firm believer that you should never stay hungry in hopes to lose weight. The true purpose of food is to feed your body and soul all the good stuff, to feel good–for you.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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