What happened? One piece of the puzzle is what is referred to as “emotional eating," the way our various negative emotional states and conflicts are entangled with the simple act of eating food. Unhappy with the way our bodies look and anxious about our weight, the body can become a battlefield where shame, guilt and self-criticism overshadow the joy of eating.
For many this goes back to childhood with food often being associated with reward or punishment.
When we really pay attention to our relationship to eating, we are often surprised to find that the inner critic has so much to say about our body image and self worth. This judgmental voice plays an important part in how we regard food.
Mindful eating is about rediscovering a healthy, mindful and joyful relationship with food and eating.
Cultivating mindfulness helps replace critical self-talk, shame and conflictual patterns with relaxation, curiosity and trust in our own inner wisdom. By bringing mindful awareness to our relationship with food, we discover how to re-establish a balanced, calm and enjoyable way of eating again.
How to Practice Mindful Eating
It's deceptively simple! Begin with simply bringing awareness to each time you eat and drink something, and noticing when you are "on autopilot." Sometimes we can finish a whole meal without even noticing we are eating!
Then start to notice the various feelings and thoughts you have about eating- no criticism- just be aware. Then follow the guidelines below to start your Mindful Eating practice...and don't forget to enjoy!