Friday, July 31st, 2009...9:36 AM

Pleasure, Little Treasure

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Last night, I was honored to listen to Dr. Deborah Kern speak to my favorite group of women in Austin: the Business + Balance Austin ladies: a group of authentic, entrepreneurial moms. Dr. Kern focused her talk on embracing pleasure as a means of improving our health. What a novel concept. She passed around some plump, beautiful medjool dates and had us take a small bite, smell the date, let it sit in our mouths while we savored it and moaned with pleasure. Wow, it was soooo good. Nice.

As a personal trainer, people ask me constantly about different “diets” and “if they work.” I think we all know what we SHOULD do. We know to cut out processed sugars, to eat more fruits and vegetables, to not eat on the run, not to go to the grocery store hungry. We know WHAT to eat and a few other tricks, but we still seem to feel the need for our diet to be about deprivation (or our workout to be about pain, for that matter).

What if we all started to look at our diet as a celebration of the bounty of beautiful foods that are available to us here in this country? What if we really savored every morsel? What if we honored community supported agriculture (CSAs), the home garden, the farmer’s market, cooking with friends, sharing meals with others, and savoring our food with all five senses, with each bite. Maybe this is the key to weight loss and nutritional bliss. It’s probably not about counting calories or points. That can be good for awareness, but does it really get down to the heart of the matter? Really? Does eating only protein while depriving our bodies of the carbohydrates we desperately need to think and function at our best really honor our higher selves? I say no.

For the next week, try approaching your food choices in this way. Say to yourself: 1. Does this choice honor my best self? 2. Am I fully present and enjoying and savoring this meal (or even this margarita or piece of pie)? How does it look, smell, taste, feel, even sound? 3. Am I grateful for this food and the source from which it comes or the person or place that prepared it? Let me know how you do, and be sure not to let pleasure lapse into gluttony.

About the Author:

Chris Heidel is the owner and primary personal trainer with Libra Fitness in Austin, TX, a private, in-home studio. Chris focuses her business on developing mentoring relationships with her clients built on trust and meaningful support to help them set, achieve, and maintain realistic fitness goals. Chris truly believes that while getting in shape isn’t easy, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Chris is certified through the American Council on Exercise.

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