Sex Not Food

08/17/2011 10:10 am ET | Updated Oct 17, 2011
  • Maria Rodale CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc. and book author

I've written before about how running helped me to lose weight. But that's not the whole story. It really started with a totally different concept of how I look at food, and as a result, at my body and my life. Sex, Not Food may sound controversial or even (gasp!) promiscuous. But it's really a mantra to remind me to listen to my body and my heart.

I had this moment about two years ago, when I was in a room filled with seemingly happy and overweight people who were gorging themselves joyfully.... But did you ever have one of those moments of clarity where you suddenly saw the whole world differently--through a different lens? Well, I suddenly saw their unhappiness, their disconnect from the true needs of their bodies--which maybe wasn't for sex, but it was for love, affection, and tender care. And then I looked down at myself and realized I was doing the same thing. Stuffing myself with food instead of love.

The moment I realized I really wanted love (and yes, sex, too) rather than food, it was like my appetite recalibrated and I wasn't out of control anymore. I ate when I was hungry, and not too much. And I started paying attention to what my body was really asking for and wanting for nourishment.  And yes, running was a part of that--the feeling of freedom that comes from feeling my body come alive step by step, and seeing the fat melt away (definitely feels like that in this heat!) like a smooth, sensual sculpture being carved from a block of hard, cold stone.

And when I could articulate to myself what I really wanted in my heart--and allow myself to feel that I deserved that happiness--you could say everything fell apart. But it also came together in a new way, a much better way for me.

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