How Mindful Eating Helped Me Find Food Peace & Freedom
written by Lisa Kehler (Registered Dietitian, Food Freedom Coach) on 03/05/19
I’m not always perfect but am so much better and the more I practice mindful eating the more peaceful my eating and my life get. Feel the difference between dieting and mindful eating. This has been my experience…
Scarfing down a box of chocolate on the couch because you’re mad or tired just won’t make sense anymore. Before you savor that first bite of pleasure you’ll already have figured out what you really need (maybe a nap or calming tea). And how many chocolates will leave you feeling better, not worse.
Sometimes you’ll choose an extra helping of veggies at dinner, because it’s going to leave you feeling better and you WANT to, not because you’ve run out of points. Sometimes without any guilt at all you’ll choose dessert without considering skipping a next meal, running around the block a few extra times or vowing it will be the last piece of cake you have. You might check in halfway through savoring your cake and realize you’re satisfied with half and decide to stop. And because it just tastes so good you might decide to eat the rest of it.
Either way you’re at peace and moving on to something else. You’ll have the other half when hungry. If you enjoyed the whole piece you trust your body and mindful eating skills to work it out. You won’t eat again until you’re hungry, and that next meal might be a little smaller, you can tell you don’t feel as hungry.
Internal wisdom, hunger and fullness signs instead of points, watches and calories will be your natural guides for when and how much to eat. You’ll feel your body has different needs on different days, depending on a bunch of things that you’ll come to notice.
One day you’ll forget to eat half a cookie. You’ll begin to trust you can stop eating anything if you decide more won’t leave you feeling better. You know you can have more of anything later when you’re hungry again (or not). It will never be your last cookie eating opportunity.
You’ll enjoy a small salad again with dressing and other tasty toppings, instead of stuffing yourself with bags of naked lettuce. Savoring your food with zero guilt and being present will bring more pleasure with less food. Food you love eating.
Eating out, potlucks, showers, trips, buffets and holidays won’t require strategic planning or dread because you fear that you can’t control yourself when tasty food is around. You get to live again, without food fear. Your mindful eating tools are portable. The desire to take care of yourself around food no matter where you are will be natural.
You’ll need to find drama somewhere else. Eating more than you intended won’t send you to your knees sobbing, the treadmill or neighborhood stores to rid them of chocolate, cookies and chips.
Choosing self-compassion over guilt will get easier. You’ll just learn for next time and take care of yourself in the moment knowing you aren’t alone.
And guess what? You’ll learn that the body is wise and trustworthy. With attention you’ll feel how that unplanned big snack is keeping you satisfied. Comfort and self-care, not guilt will guide you in choosing the smaller and lighter supper.
Hunger will be a body cue, not a crisis. You’ll stop fearing hunger because choosing to eat is always an option with mindful eating. Your body’s emergency broadcast system for dealing with hunger will settle down when it truly knows it will be fed and satisfied.
You won’t be driven to think about food constantly and you’ll find peace and space to just be.Mindful eating will reconnect you to the truest nature of self-care. Exit dieting drama, enter food peace. Freedom from dieting, finally, and forever.