Monday, July 9, 2012

Yoda Was an Intuitive Eater!

Photo courtesy of Starwars.com
Just like almost every other kid who grew up in the 1970's, I am a big fan of Star Wars.  Even the new ones hold a special place in my heart.  There was just something about seeing Luke Skywalker blow up the Death Star, watching a lightsaber battle and hearing Darth Vader breath that captured me.  Now as a father, it has been fun to experience all that again as I watch those movies with my son.  I've tried to get my daughter to watch but she's more interested in other things...sigh.  Watching the movies again I've been able to see some new things and messages that I had never noticed before.  I've even noticed some interesting things that connect Star Wars to Intuitive Eating.

One of the central themes in all the Star Wars movies is The Force.  It is a simple good vs. bad archetype but also something deeply spiritual.  The light side of The Force revolves around ideals and themes like mercy, benevolence, patience, healing, compassion and enlightenment while the dark side is aligned with fear, anger, aggression, hatred and jealousy.  When I thought about The Force, I realized that in some ways Intuitive Eating and dieting is just like the light vs. dark side of The Force.  I'm not saying that if you are on a diet you are like Darth Vader, but I would like to illustrate a few themes that I've thought about.

Although not written in the book, there is a definite spirituality to IE.  To make peace with food, you need to be a Jedi on some level. You must have patience, compassion towards yourself and your body, and merciful to your vulnerability.  You also need to understand that to make peace with food, you must heal your mind, body and spirit.

But dieting is the way of the Sith or dark side of The Force.  Dieting and focusing on weight is filled with fear of failure, anger at the food rules, hatred of our bodies and jealousy of the "appearance of success" of others.

If Yoda was the master of all Jedi, then he must have been the most enlightened, the most at peace and the most insightful.  With all that inner peace and wisdom, then in my opinion, it goes without saying that he would, of course, also be an Intuitive Eater.  Don't you think he was at peace enough to listen to his body and respect his hunger and fullness?  Since he was to insightful, he must have had some great coping skills when he was emotionally vulnerable instead to heading right to food.  And with all that enlightenment, he probably also loved his body.  Although small in stature, he was powerful.  For a 900 year old, it looked like he had a pretty positive body image.  Those are the exact skills all of us need to become Intuitive Eaters.

If you don't think I'm a nerd already, well then stand back because I'm going to share some Yoda quotes with you.  Yes, I'm quoting Yoda!  I added some key words [in brackets] to reframe your thinking from Star Wars to Intuitive Eating to illustrate my points.
  • Fear is the path to the dark side [of dieting]. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering [and more dieting].
  • Don't think. Feel. Be as one with The Force [Intuitive Eating]. Help you, it will.
  • Clear, your mind must be.
  • Patience!
  • A Jedi [Intuitive Eater] must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.
  • Beware of the dark side [dieting]. Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of The Force [dieting] are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path [of dieting], forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.
  • The dark side [dieting] is not stronger, but quicker, easier, more seductive.
  • You will know the good side from the bad when you are calm, at peace. Passive.
  • You must unlearn what you have learned.
  • Not believing [in your own intuition] is why you fail. 
I know, I might be reaching on some of these but some are so perfect when it comes to our relationship with food. I honestly feel that dieting leads to anger, and anger leads to hating ourselves.  Hating ourselves is suffering and that leads to more dieting.  It is a cycle that we need to break.  I also feel that Intuitive Eating is a difficult journey and it is definitely not an easy path but there are "Jedi" out there to help you.  To trust your intuition and make peace with food is the path to calm, peace, enlightenment, self-compassion and  healing.   May The Force be with you! Or as my Twitter friend Elisa Zied said, "May the Fork be with you!"

3 comments:

  1. From one geek to another, I've thought about this concept a lot. I think the dark side/light side analogy is great. It is much easier to diet, impelled by the active quality of restricting and following eating plans, and concentrating on the scale and your weight, than it is to trust that you can learn to make peace with your body. Pain is usually more concrete than relief.

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  2. Great analogy! Intuitive eating takes work and going back to the diet mentality can seem so much easier at times unless you take the time to think about what dieting means. The diet mentality means giving up your ability and responsibility to think for yourself and take care of your body as only you can do.

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  3. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Plan to Help Dieters Get Rid Of 20 Pounds in Just 21 Days!

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