Shannon's Journey to the Consciousness Diet - Shannon O'Hara

Shannon's Journey to the Consciousness Diet

A thousand years ago you had to listen to your body or it would die from starvation, exposure, animal attack, infection, you name it. Today, you also have to listen to your body or it dies, just a lot slowly and usually from the complete opposite of what the body would have died from a thousand years ago. Overfeeding rather than underfeeding and getting hit by a car rather then a lion attack.

The relationship with my body is the longest relationship I have had this life time and one fraught with a diverse spectrum of experiences. We all have different relationships, hopes, experiences and priorities with our bodies. Some people just don’t want to have bodies at all. Others make it their lives work to further understand the bodies infinite miracles and mystery. Some abuse their body, others ignore it, few enjoy it and many don’t know what they have till they have lost it.

One of my huge priorities and interest this lifetime has been consciousness. And in my journey for consciousness I discovered my body in all its pleasures, pains and mysterious ways and have arrived at age 41 with megatons of awareness and a pretty awesome body. Awesome in the way it gives me information, in the way it provides immense pleasure and awesome in its ability to put up with all of my bad choices and keep on living.

However, it was not always this way. For the majority of my adult life I hated my body.

My mother was very controlling about my food. I know this comes from how mothers are trying to do what’s best for their children and figuring it out themselves along the way. However, the way food was thought about in my household ultimately led me to view food as an enemy that was always looking to hurt me rather than be a gift that could nourish me.

When I look back now at my earlier life, I can tell that my body was happy. It was really happy, but I wasn’t. I never once fully received my body or was happy with it or enjoyed it. In fact, I hated it. From my point of view, it was always too fat. And so I forced it to exercise more than it wanted and almost never enjoyed what I was eating because food was the enemy.

When I look back at pictures from that time I see how completely blinded by judgment I was. I was nowhere near fat, I was just thicker than everyone else in my family and darker, and to be honest, stronger.

I looked high and low for the right answer. I tried every diet I could, mild and extreme. I tried being vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, 100% organic, high carb, low carb, high fat, no fat, keto, paleo, fasting, calorie counting, weight watchers and the list can go on and on and on.

In my early twenties I was reading books like ‘Healing with Whole Foods’ which is a hefty volume primarily dedicated to chinese medicine but also extensive knowledge regarding a whole food diet.

Also, ‘Survival in the 21st Century: Planetary Healers Manual’. All about being breatharian, fruitarian and sprouting. And of course I tried it. I was cleansing, cleansing and cleansing to the point of doing some weird damage to my liver during a 20 day fast that ended in a grapefruit and olive oil liver cleanse.

Of course, there was nothing wrong with my body at all, in fact it was extremely strong and healthy. But from my perspective, it was WRONG! 

Amongst all these years of diet and exercise experimentation I never once actually listened to my body. I never did the easiest thing of asking my body what it wanted. It never occurred to me that my body actually knew what would work for it.

In December of 2011, on the first morning of one of my dad’s classes in Australia, I crossed paths with a very skinny and very handsome young man out on the side walk. I was walking one direction and he was walking the other. We had a little moment and passed one another as you pass a million people.

But this skinny, handsome man wound up participating in the class my dad was facilitating. So we had 4 days to get to know one another. This skinny, handsome man named Max would a few years later go on to become my husband.

Eating his food was the first time in all my life I felt caring through food.

Early on in our courtship he made a pot of Indian Dahl and that pot of Dahl went on to change my life forever. It was the first time I felt food nurture me. Eating it made me have more love and peace with my body, not conflict and pain. I had become so accustomed to the conflict and pain with food that I wasn’t really cognitive of it anymore, it was just my reality around food. Max and his Dahl showed me a different energy and then my skinny, handsome husband went on to progressively heal me over the years of most, if not all, of my food insanity.

This is an excerpt of the future ‘Consciousness Diet’ book.

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