I was explaining to a client the other day that an optimum mindful eating approach is about creating constant rhythm which accompanies your life, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
It's a new way of thinking, eating and living which, over time you just get used to. That's why mindful eating takes time. It's not a quick weight loss fix, but the advantage to that is that it lasts. It lasts because you never stop eating that way - you're not on or off a plan. It's sustainable because no food is unavailable - because your mood and your hunger will vary and so will the food you want to eat - in other words it's natural; and finally, it's sustainable because it fits in totally with what others are doing.
What's the alternative? A diet mentality which we've been used to for a long time. A mentality which divides life into extreme chunks governed by circumstance and events, where we overeat for a while and then under-eat to compensate. It's a mentality where foods are good or bad, guilty pleasures or treats, fat inducing or a symbol of failure. it sounds crazy when you read it in black and white, and yet this pattern of behaviour becomes ingrained and many of us don’t think we can live any other way around food, or that it's the only way to manage our weight. I think we accept its familiarity as an inevitable part of our lives. It becomes accepted because although its disordered, it kind of works. We do it because when it's working well we feel good about ourselves and we repeatedly go back to it because we long for some control where we are in charge, not the food we are eating.
I lived like that for nearly 40 years, until I created my own rhythm and my own framework for how I would eat for the rest of my life.
So where do you start? Re-connecting with your hunger is key. I started with three meals a day - no more and no less - to get some gaps in my eating and to help me feel hungry again. I identified my trigger foods and learned to understand my emotions. As I developed these principles it became easier to let go of the diet mentality and find a natural rhythm to my eating.
So you CAN establish a pattern of mindful eating which works, which is sustainable, which allows us to join in with others without guilt, and which establishes a healthy, realistic weight which our bodies can easily maintain. In other words you can find your own natural rhythm, for life... (even if you can't dance a step!)
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback!