Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to pause between a stimulus and a response. Victor Frankl spoke about mindfulness when he said:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
In our hurried world, we often do not pause between our stimulus and responding to it. We see a delicious cookie on the counter and without even thinking we grab it and shove it in our mouth! Without noticing or considering what happened, we ate a cookie. Despite our resolve to eat healthy, we ate the cookie. We weren’t aware or present in the choice. And then what happens, we eat another cookie, and another. We need more cookies to be satisfied because there is no memory of the moment we enjoyed the first cookie!
Simply consuming food mindlessly is a problem, but mealtime has it’s own challenges. Our modern environment is extremely distracted and vulnerable to mindlessness. When you sit down to eat a meal, is it possible to only eat? Do you feel the urge to multitask? Have you ever tried to not have your phone, a book, or a computer screen at the breakfast table with you? As we are distracted from the activity of eating, our food never has the chance to satisfy us the way food is intended to satisfy.
When we eat with mindfulness and purpose, not only will we eat less, stick to our diet, and be more satisfied but we will also discover the junk food we thought we loved, really has no appeal at all!
The first few bites of our food is often the most pleasureable, and it’s OK for our food to bring us pleasure! The diet industry will have you believe any food that increases endorphins is bad. Humans were meant to enjoy food! However, if you eat with mindfulness you will notice the pleasure is no longer there, and if it is there, it decreases with each bite. When we don’t notice this, it’s easy to eat four slices of pizza or an entire piece of cake. If you do notice the pleasure diminishing with each bite, you can take that pause and question whether you need to continue eating, or if you want to leave it for later. Eating on purpose and with awareness takes practice, and we want to help you get there!
As you practice mindful eating, you will notice a completely new relationship with food that you didn’t think was possible. By staying focused and avoiding multitasking, you will eat less food. Less food will bring you more pleasure. You can be satisfied while leaving part of your meal behind! You will learn how to be curious enough to challenge your thoughts and behavior, before you eat something you don’t really want. And you will enjoy the time you spend eating on a new, peaceful, and painless level, all while losing weight!
This was chapter 1 of my E-book on mindfulness. Get the full 100 page book on mindful eating with my journal prompts, affirmations and more!