Learning to Eat Mindfully

I am a bit embarrassed to write this post. As a health and wellness blogger, I feel as though I need to have a perfect face on at all times. However, my hope with The Cutting Veg is to be real with you guys. And I do not feel as though I can move through this journey until I come clean about my journey through emotional eating. And really, this will be a journey. And I want you to come on the magic bus with me. Cause duh!

So here it goes.

I have struggled with emotional eating and binging for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I did not have a ton of friends who I could relate to. I always seemed like an outsider, that I could never feel comfortable. I felt so incredibly lonely. Even though my mom. my dad, and my siblings have me so dealt with that was through food. Boxes of donut holes. Entire jars of peanut butter at one time. It was not a good relationship and, even today, I still struggle with. It is a rush, some uncontrollable emptiness that feels as though it can be satisfied by food. But it never goes away, even after the pint of ice cream has been finished.

However, one of the ways I am reason with my tendency to binge eat and the guilt trip that comes from it is to eat mindfully. What is mindful eating, you ask? It is eating with intention and with purpose. We may reach for food for many reasons. Many of us deal with emotional issues and turn to food for comfort. And, while that seems illogical in some respects, it makes a lot of sense. The popular perception of food in diets is that it is a source of fuel. However, in all cultures, the enjoyment of food is more related to a sense of community building, The idea is to eat with you love while, at the same time, giving it with your full intention and loving what you eat. If has brought emotional fulfillment to food that I never experienced binge eating before.

Let me show you how it works!

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Pick a treat that, normally after eating, you feel super guilty after eating. This can be a cupcake, a piece of pie, a donut, or any number of “fear foods.” For me, this is usually a bar of chocolate. Now, the key to eating mindfully is making sure you pick something of a very high quality. No grocery store brand chocolate bar or Hershey’s Bar here! Right now I am partial to the Trader Joe’s golden milk spiced chocolate bar or any eating evolved chocolate. You want to make sure that the treat is something that is going to taste indulgent, pleasurable, and not deserving of any shame.

Sit down. Turn off any distractions and sit down with your treat. I like to have a warm mug of tea or coffee when I do this, but feel re to enjoy au natural. Unwrap the treat. Listen to the sounds of the foil or the paper. Break off a small piece of chocolate (or cut off a small piece of the sweet treat).

Breathe deeply and allow yourself to pick up on the smell. What sort of feelings or thoughts come to mind? Shame about the calories? Excitement over eating something delicious? Memories of your favorite times with said food? Whatever you feel, allow yourself to embrace those feelings. If you feel guilt or shame, set those feelings aside you you can be truly present.

Take a small bite. Now pause. Take note of the texture on your tongue. Now the taste. Besides sweet, what other flavors do you taste? Now chew. Do you notice the texture changing? The taste?

Breathe deeply. Allow yourself to feel the pleasure.

Take another bite. Is it different then the first?

Repeat until your treat is done.

Honestly, eating deserts this way has left me so much more satisfied. I cannot tail you how much better I feel, how much more confident I feel in my skin, by doing this. And if you slip up, it is OK. It took me two years to eat this way. I still struggle with it. So the worst thing that can happen is you try, slip up, and try again. And when you slip, I will be here to help you out. Promise.

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