It has been duly established that I do not eat certain things. I have decided I need to say do not instead of can't. I can eat anything I want. I live in a part of the world, where food is plentiful and I can go and buy just about anything my heart desires. I can eat wheat bread. It is easy, you open the package, take out a slice and chew. My doctor has advised me I should not do so - because my body does not react well to wheat, dairy, corn and rye. That said, I choose to follow my doctors suggestion. I feel better, it has resolved for me so many issue - be they gastro intestinal, skin rashes, hives, a feeling of general malaise, and so forth.
You may wonder why I bring this up. Well because I have decided that word choice matters in this case. At church today, while talking with some folks, it was brought up that I observe a special diet. (People always say that with a mix of either awe and dismay or with a sneer, like I am somehow a sacrifice to the food cause or something.) They pity me because I cannot/do not eat donuts.
So today, I was asked why. So I explained what my doctor has said and then I added, "I follow this advice, because I am honoring my body. I have dedicated myself to giving it what it needs." I guess in some ways this does require a bit of willpower (nah, I feel so good now why would I affirmatively choose to make myself feel bad.)
Honestly, I do it to honor my body. I think in Western culture we no longer deal with honor, as much as we should. In my practice of Yoga, it is all about honoring your body, being present in the poses, moving your body in a flow. It is about honoring your breathing, working with you body and maintaining your breathing. It is about working on the poses that bring you and inner peace.
Since I have started down this path of not eating things that are harmful to my body, I have been richly rewarded. I feel really good. I think I look very healthy. I can do things I never felt I could before. I am biking alot, running, lifting better. My Yoga practice has improved 10 fold.
I knew my body was strong, I birthed two babies the old fashioned way. My body did as it was intended. I worked with it, breathed thru the pain - just as I had learned in Yoga. I focused on mentally supporting my body, with positive thoughts. I let it do what it needed to do. In the end I was richly rewarded with beautiful babies and an endorphian high that rivals anything I have ever accomplished chemically. Think a runners high times 10. I mean I was flying.....
When I am still and really listen to my body, it tells me what it needs. It needs me to not eat certain things and in return, for honoring this request - it will let me exceed my expectations, it will allow me to keep up a frantic pace in day to day life, it will give me great joy.
So, it is not so much that I cannot - but more that I do not - I choose not.