Perhaps no season more than spring is flush in diets. Ok, I take that back, spring and the month of January are prime, diet central. The New Years recovery month that is January is obvious. We’ve spent approximately two months eating all the crap (and non-crap) we can muster until our delicious food D-day of January 1st. Our bodies can only take so much until even we are like, touché, a salad would be lovely. However, what is it about spring that makes every newsfeed full of detoxes, diets, and shakes that promise to make life better?
Perhaps just enough time has elapsed for us to say, “no thanks”, to whatever diet we started in January, and then to reconsider that choice. Perhaps it is because detox and spring have become synonymous and you can only avoid so much social pressure before you start to wonder if you too should be on a diet. Or perhaps it’s because the world is shifting around you and asking you to come along with it.
Spring is the season of birth and rebirth. It’s fresh. It’s new. It’s flowery as all get-up. It’s a relief from the cold hibernation of all aforementioned things that was your reality for the last five-ish months. And somewhere deep in our hunkered down bones, we want to experience some of that brightness. In fact, we want to be significantly less hunkered down in a whole lot of ways.
But what does that look like in real life? What does spring manifested in human form and action actually look like?Quite often: the eradication of all things delicious from one’s diet…
It comes via juice cleanses and fasts. It emerges as low fat and low calorie treks towards the perfect bikini ready body.
I can think of very few ways to make spring less fun.
But is shifting our food along with the shifting of the season wrong? Absolutely not! The environment in which we live does a beautiful job at telling us what types of foods might serve us and when. I live in CO. Winter happens in CO. Do you know what I rarely consume in the winter in CO: salads. Because salads are cold. Salads are light and airy. I do not want to be light and airy when it is 20 degrees and snowing outside. I want to be cozy and grounded. And so I eat foods that correspond to those elements.
My winter diet is full of stews and soups and cooked greens and winter squashes. Is it all strictly local and seasonal: no. I live in CO. I’m not going to subsist on sweet potatoes and an errant elk all winter long. But my diet mid-February is going to look vastly different than it will mid-May. Not because I’m detoxing or dieting, but because intuitively my body wants different things in those months.
Our soul tends to want different things as well. Snugging up and reading a book gives way to spring cleaning and picnics. We seek out clarity and freshness. And we seek out food that helps to facilitate that shift. Fresh, alive food. Things like greens, and citrus, and berries. Foods that do happen to naturally promote detox.
What if this spring we tried something different? Instead of looking to the wide array of diets to take us into spring we instead detoxed the idea that we somehow have to be better, thinner, leaner to enter summer a valid and worthy (and thin) human. What if we took a moment (or many) and listened to what our body wants as new life pokes out around us. What if we got swept away in the shift of the season instead of lost in our newsfeed?
The crazy thing is you will most likely end up in the same place. Scratch that. Not the same place at all. By listening to your body, by allowing it to guide your food choices to lighter, springier fare there’s a very good chance you will shed those same five pounds. However, the difference is they’ve been five pounds lost with the consent of your body, not forced upon them. They haven’t come from extreme restriction and stress but intuition and curiosity. How we lose weight matters. How we get somewhere matters. The body is a wise and ancient being. Sure, our’s might be shiny and new, but the general design has been around the block quite a few times.Hear it. See it. Feel it. Trust it.
It tends to know what to do if you pay attention to it and the world through which it, the world through which you both, walk.