If you are dieting, have dieted or struggling with your weight you must realize the core problem is not food. Food merely in and of itself is a fuel source available to us to maintain our nutritional needs.
We attach emotions to food from learned behaviour growing up with our caretakers and superiors. Often a sense of gratification is sought after when we eat food in response to our emotional anguish or pain. This is not because you are WEAK or deficient in willpower. That is the most archaic ideology around this subject to exist. You were TAUGHT that food can be a reward, a punishment, filling when you feel empty, "good" or "bad" and many more things your parents, grandparents, teachers and others who were around you led you to believe.
When I see parents rewarding their toddlers with candy or treats because they used the toilet properly, or got an A on their math test I just cringe. Our children are not our pets that we need to praise or scold with food. Emotional eating begins from when we were in our diapers.
Children instinctually know what, how much and when to eat. But because parents are on their own schedules with work, home and daily duties they neglect to give them that much credit. So they feel the need to decide based on what they think is best and their own time constraints.
This truly is not nurturing their children's intuitive ability to eat for their needs. Hence the adult problem many of us face with emotional eating and bingeing.
Thoughts and Actions Hold a Charge
Every thought or action you make is infused with an INTENTION. I will go even further to say that the intention holds a particular energetic vibration or charge. This then produces an outcome or effect. So every time you eat there is a particular energy you are investing into your actions towards the food, yourself and even to others.
When you eat because you are sad, lonely or depressed and filling a void, there is a subconscious thought pattern or learned conditioning that is being perpetuated. When you eat because you are angry, frustrated or anxiety stricken you are reacting to an underlying feeling of fear. Fear is behind every negative emotion out there. We either operate from fear or from the opposite and only healing mechanism available and that is LOVE.
So begin to bring an awareness to every meal and action of eating you have in your day. This is the only way to end the dieting and the insanity that has resulted.
Here are some ways to start being mindful with food :
1. SIT when you eat and preferably not in front of the TV, theatre screen, hockey arena and so on. Stop eating when you are driving or standing. Learn from the italians that do not partake in the drive through or take out mentality. Sit, enjoy and actually know you are eating food.
2. SLOW down. Chew your food with every bite. Put down your fork in between bites. Take a breath every once in awhile. You get the picture. Sounds pretty basic, yet most of us don't even take at least 20 minutes to eat a meal. Shoving food down encourages digestive problems, poor assimilation, and only perpetuates the frenzy and chaotic pace your mind has taken on.
3. Get SENSUAL. I don't have the context here to describe the kinky stuff here, so you can research that for yourself ;) What I do suggest is that you truly begin to SMELL, SEE, FEEL and TASTE your food. We have become so DISCONNECTED to our food, and where it comes from and how we prepare it, that we just seem to go through the motions. Food has an origin. Its grown, cultivated, harvested, transported, sold and eventually arrives in your fridge. Don't forget this. Look at your food. Take the time to prepare meals with a positive intention and not one of "whatever". Taste it by really taking the time to savour what you prepared, what farmers enabled us to have and what you are essentially graced with. Intention, intention, intention!
4. Stop and CHECK IN! This is what every EMOTIONAL EATER must do. You need to stop or pause before you eat. Just make it as habitual as brushing your teeth every morning and night. You must begin to interrupt negative patterns and automatic pilot responses. This is the CORE foundation of my Safe Method program for natural weight loss. You must get in touch with what is happening INSIDE before you reach OUTSIDE. Are you eating because you really are hungry or do you feel pissed off, depressed or bored? Take 2 minutes and close your eyes, 3 deep breaths and assess. With practice, and COMPASSION you will learn how to RESPOND to emotions instead of REACT to them without mindfulness.
I invite you to message me with your stories, comments and experiences around this subject.
In health always,