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New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on “improvement”: find a new job, be “more” mindful with money, lose weight, commit to a ritual, deepen a practice, explore a more en vogue passion. For many of us, it makes this a fraught time of year. These kinds of resolutions can bring up a lot: fear, for one, because what is unfamiliar can be intimidating; and shame, for another, because we’re surrounded by mixed messages and unrealistic expectations (love your body, but you should really try the keto diet, but you’re beautiful at any size, but have you seen this-or-that celebrity’s post-baby body?).
When resolutions make you feel less-than, when the focus is on “shoulds” (the body/home/wardrobe/relationship you “should” have), when our best intentions become sources of stress and self-criticism—that’s precisely when we know those old notions are no longer serving us.
It’s time to reinvent the concept of resolutions. To find a way to take the power back. To free ourselves from the encumbrance of expectation. To release old notions of “when” and “why” we begin on such a journey. To know and trust that the goals we’re chasing are rooted in our own heart’s desires. To embrace change while remaining accountable to ourselves above all.
That’s why we’re calling 2023 the year of body intelligence. What is body intelligence? It’s freedom. It’s power. It’s the ultimate goal of a vibrantly healthy lifestyle. An intelligent body, according to Sakara founder and co-CEO Danielle DuBoise, is “a body we get the privilege of listening to.” By turning down the static and quieting the chatter, your channels are clear and you’re able to receive the messages your body, in its innate wisdom, is sending you—about food, yes, but also about your whole life.
DuBoise honed her own body intelligence over years of experimentation and study; ultimately it helped extricate her from a once-tortuous relationship with food. “I used to have zero body intelligence,” she recounts. “I thought doing what others told me was healthy, and hopping from diet to diet was helping me build my best body. And I thought my best body was something I’d always be striving for.”
DuBoise has a renewed appreciation for this sacred inner voice. “Occasionally I’ll add extra beans or maybe a farm-raised egg to my meals, but only if I’m craving it,” she says. “It’s not because I think it should based on some number of grams of protein someone told me I should be eating. No one should be the expert on your health except you.”
To be clear, body intelligence isn’t some new-age musing. It’s real science, and it’s compelling. A diverse and healthy gut microbiome—that all-important internal command center in your digestive tract, maintained by eating a plant-forward, fiber-rich, nutritious daily diet—is equipped to send the proper signals throughout the body, maintaining immunity, energy, radiance, and happiness.
“When you’re eating healthy, whole foods made by nature, you’re able to tune into your body’s natural intelligence and listen to the signals for when you’re hungry and when you’re not—which is what we as humans have been doing for thousands of years,” explains Sakara founder and co-CEO Whitney Tingle. The key to achieving health isn’t a magic pill or a fad diet. It’s already within you, waiting to be accessed, potentially by making just a few changes in your daily habits.
What gets in the way of natural body intelligence, according to Tingle and DuBoise, is noise, in this case food, that disrupts your normal feedback loop. When your diet is populated with processed chemicals, preservatives, and pesticides, the resulting gut imbalance hijacks your brain and disables healthy signaling, causing a ripple effect of confusion and chaos that manifests as fluctuating weight, haywire cravings, mental unrest, skin breakouts, and susceptibility to illness.
While maximizing your body’s built-in ability to maintain a state of health can certainly free you from the time-sucking nuisance of dieting and calorie obsessing—which pays big dividends on its own—the benefits of strengthening your body intelligence extend beyond the physical, and are particularly relevant this time of year, as we look within to determine what we want to achieve in the months ahead, and make commitments to the habits and routines that will get us there.
When your channels are open and your intuition is strong, your true desires become apparent.
When your mind is clear and focused, you can make confident and empowered choices.
And when your energy is abundant, you are unstoppable in the pursuit of your dream life.
As 2023 unfolds, you have a perfectly clean slate before you, on which it’s your privilege and responsibility to write your new story. Should you find yourself blocked, unable to see where or how to begin, don’t worry. All you need is to find some quiet and to listen.
By S LIFE MAG • January 25, 2023