Hello everyone! I know it's been a couple weeks since I last blogged, but life gets busy and that's just the way it goes. I'm back at school and learning some very transformational stuff that I've not only been applying to the lives of my clients, but to my life as well. So without further adeau, let's jump right in to todays topic, today I'm going to be talking about deprivation. Deprivation is an interesting paradox in the sense that when we deprive ourselves of something, we expect the loss of whatever that something is in our lives, only to find that we gain more of it in return. Let me explain. Say Jane Doe deprives her body of food that contains fat because she fears weight gain. Her mentality is "if I eat fat, I'm going to get fat". While she deprives herself of what nutritional science calls "essential" fatty acids (being essential for a reason), she begins to experience symptoms such as redness around the eyes, dry hair, brittle nails, skin that lacks luster, anger, fatigue, depression, inability to lose weight, and even weight gain. She deprives herself thinking she will lose the very thing she deprives herself of, all while gaining it at the same time. This is only one example, that's obvious to most health or nutrition professionals, but not the only one.
Let's take a step away from food for a moment, and look at another example, desire. A lot of the time we suppress our hearts desires, out of fear, loss of control, anxiety, or whatever. We see a desire within us but at the same time, we try to deprive ourselves of that very desire thinking that it will result in us getting what we want in the future. If I desire to be loved, often times I will be doing things subconsciously that drives love away, all while desiring it at the same time. You often see this happen in people that have experienced abuse in some way throughout the course of their lives, and more times than not, sexual abuse. They desire to be loved but will adopt behaviours that in turn, deprive them of love, or what they think will deprive them of love.
When we deprive ourselves of anything that our body needs or desires, it naturally rebels. In the case of the woman depriving herself of essential fats in her diet, the body rebels by storing fat and getting irritable. When the person who desires love, but deprives herself of it, the body rebels in compulsive manners. She may over eat, binge eat, become depressed, irrational, moody, etc. Whatever we shove deep down, comes back up in different ways, commonly coming out as food issues. Why does it come up as food issues (more times than not), you ask? Because on a psycho-physiological level, whether we deprive ourselves of food, relationships, experiences, emotions, or whatever, we are depriving ourselves of nourishment.
Nourishment is different from nutrients. We feed ourselves nutrients, but are not necessarily nourished by them. Nourishment goes so much deeper than just the food we eat or don't eat. You could have the "cleanest" diet on earth but at the same time live a life where you hate your job, sit at home lonely, are stressed out about finances, and feel like you have no purpose. You may be putting nutrients into your body that would build it up, but your life is deficient in the most nutrient dense substance on earth, nourishment, and nourishment on every level. Just because you may be feeding yourself foods that are healthy, they don't actually have the environment that's conducive to them assimilating at an optimal or efficient level and therefore, you're still starving. And not only are you starving, but you live in chronic low level stress every day.
When we deprive ourselves of true nourishment, not just food nourishment, but life nourishment, the body and mind will naturally rebel because our need for nourishment is the same as our need for air. Without nourishment, we live a life of starvation. When the body senses starvation, it grabs for the easiest and quickest source of "nourishment" there is, food. It doesn't realize that subconsciously it's starving for affection, it just knows that it's starving. When you're hungry, you eat, this is a natural thing. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we wouldn't shame a baby for crying because it's hungry and yet, we shame ourselves when we cry out for nourishment. We deprive ourselves, or try to beat ourselves into submission, we guilt and shame ourselves, and we don't honour what our bodies truly need. This is going to look different for everyone, but just realize, if you are over eating, binge eating, or battling compulsive behaviours and moods, it may just be because the body is rebelling out of a need for nourishment.
What are your desires in life?
What nourishes you on a food level, and what nourishes you on a life level?
What is your body hungry for?
What behaviours are present in your life that are unappealing to you and do they link with a need for nourishment in an area where you're depriving yourself?
I'd love to hear your answers to these questions, so please feel free to contact me! Have a Happy Valentine's Day everyone!