I’ve been a mindful eater for close to twenty-five years.
And yet, when I step back and think about it, I know nothing about mindful eating.
I’ve not ready any mindful/intuitive eating books.
I’m not a registered dietician.
I’m not a nutritionist.
I‘m just a woman who grew frustrated with how she felt, STOPPED, paid attention, listened to her body (finally) & ended up where she is today.
What do I mean when I say mindful eating?
Always being in the moment when I eat. Savoring. Embracing.
Food for me really is simply a form of fuel in the best and most positive of ways. It’s a way I expressappreciation for my body.
Food is my way of supporting my body and thanking it for doing what I ask of it each day.
Food, for me, is never a form of denial or punishment.
When I began mindful eating it wasn’t a term that was used.
For me, even though I’m frequently asked for tips and trick, this was a gift as I was ‘forced’ to muddle my way though.
Any formula or “here’s how!” was only assembled in hindsight.
How did I get started?
- I became conscious about how food(s) made me feel (greetings gluten!): I changed nothing and simply journaled using words like full, bloated, itchy, tired, light, crabby etc.
- I re-found my hunger. I'd walked around STUFFED for years and hadn't noticed. I decided to STOP before I ate and analyze my hunger on a scale from 1-5. One meant I was famished and five meant I was over-full. I learned I couldn’t function if I allowed myself become a one & that three, for me, often indicated I was 'boredom eating.'
- I used a pair of jeans as a 'weight-barometer' & used the scale only at doctor's visits. I knew the jeans should fit easily (without lots of exercise or calorie restriction) and if they didn’t I viewed it all as simply information. I’d sit with the jeans-information and decide what to do (or not to do) about it.
- I still ate with some distraction. I currently see 'experts' admonishing us to never eat near a computer, television etc. I won't lie. I love watching TV or reading while I eat. For me it adds to the pleasure and does not cause me to overeat. I believe this is a personal choice.
How can you start today?
This is another question I’m frequently asked.
I give you an acronym.
- Make connection between food and how you feel. (Not only emotions but feelings as described above.)
- Intuitive need not be a scary word. When we stop, trust and listen our bodies intuitively know what they need. It may be frightening initially. It becomes empowering over time.
- No distraction while eating. Savor. Experience. TASTE. Focus. No multitasking. You may choose differently later, try this initially.
- Don’t weigh. If you normally weigh weekly take this week off! Temporarily shed the scale. This may be uncomfortable but mindful eating is all about shaking things up & getting outside of your comfort-zone.
What do you think? Are you ready to join me and give mindful eating a try?