Food has never been that important to me. I preferred simple over tasty. I preferred convenient over healthy. I grew up believing that a meal required meat. I could alway intellectually try to convince myself that I should eat less meat but it never happened. I didn’t feel full unless I had something heavy in my stomach like a piece of meat or a bunch of pasta.
As I’ve developed my Vipassana practice this has changed dramatically. When I took my first course I was shocked that I didn’t miss meat over that 10 day period. With my new dhamma vocabulary I declared, “It’s going to be a long time before my cheeseburger sankara goes away!” So the first year my eating habits were about the same but I started feeling differently. When I ate something heavy I would feel it on the cushion. When I ate mostly vegetables my meditations were much stronger.
Slowly I started to disconnect from the need to have a rock in my stomach to be satisfied. I started to listen to my body to determine what felt right and slowly broke old eating patterns. I never worked to hard at this. If I wanted meat I ate it. If I didn’t, I didn’t. Today I still eat meat on occasion but almost every time I notice some body discomfort.
Just recently my body has rejected sugar. I love sweets. Ice cream, cookies, cake, candy bars. I loved them all until a couple of weeks ago. In the same fashion as meat, I’ve started listening to my body more and have discovered that my body isn’t that happy with these sweets. It’s more just a mental craving to have dessert. Dessert is a treat and I deserve a treat so I’m going to have a scoop of ice cream. But now that I’m tuning into my body I notice that it’s not calling for sweets.
Its only been a couple of weeks so we’ll have to see. If I want dessert I’m going to eat it but first I want to check with my body to see if I would actually enjoy it. It has taken a couple of years but my diet is slowly and naturally desiring healthier food. It’s hard for me to believe but it’s happening all by itself and I’m a healthier and happier person for it.