For two years beginning in college, I had a dysfunctional relationship with food. After a string of one-night stands with cookie dough ice cream, I started taking diet pills. I restricted my food sometimes. I binge ate other times.
One day, my professor in Women's Health class, gave us a real-world assignment. She told us to eat whatever we want (aside from allergies)! You can imagine the look of horror on the ladies.
The catch was...we had to "enjoy it"!
First thing I ate was licorice from the student store. Oh, how I had been craving it! After classes ended for the day, I got ice cream! All I needed was some pickles and you'd think I was 8 months pregnant.
I'd been sorta dieting prior so hell yeah I was going to eat what I wanted.
However, my prof emphasized, "enjoy it". I felt guilty about eating the licorice and ice-cream. I ate them fast and mindlessly too. I didn't enjoy it. Apparently this assignment wasn't as easy as I thought.
If you're like most health conscious individuals, you tend to focus on WHAT you eat.
Maybe it's time to think about HOW you eat!
I'm all about practically applying real tips to real life. Thinking about how I ate, and whether I enjoyed it, was an important shift in thinking.
From that point forward, I focused on enjoying it. I learned to enjoy both indulgent and healthy foods. The next time I had licorice, I got the real stuff. I ate it sitting down in the sunniest spot of the campus lawn. I truly enjoyed it!
This isn't about eating healthy.
I see you rocking it! Eating the healthy lunch you diligently packed from home! But you're eating on-the-go because you have places to be, people to see! No matter how healthy that food is, your state of mind and body is all tied up in knots.
You're thinking about kids' recitals and world peace. It's like trying to shove the stone hinge down the garbage disposal.
Along comes shopping day or prep day, and your mind races with 'what should I be eating?' 'Should I nix gluten?'
I used to think I had a problem with gluten...and every other food in this universe!
Actually, I thought I had sensitivities to a lot of foods. After meals I'd get all kinds of gnarly symptoms. I played the elimination game with various foods. Nothing. I played the timing game, timing my meals for optimal digestion of certain foods. Nothing. I obsessed over what I ate.
And right about this time...I ran into my old professor at the store.
I realized I wasn't paying attention to how I was eating. It wasn't college life anymore more, it was mommy life. I wasn't enjoying, I was in survival mode. I was merely eating, well, shoveling food into my gob between dentist appointments and vaccines.
Let me have your attention for a minute!
That's how long it takes (a minute) to turn your attention toward how you're eating. The "what" will take care of itself once you change your thoughts on enjoying the eating process.
What if you changed how you spoke about eating too?
Let's say your friend asks, 'What are you having for lunch?' or 'What are you eating for lunch?'
And you reply, 'I'm ENJOYING a turkey wrap and carrots'.
Two things happen here; you become aware of your experience while eating, and you shift your thinking from merely "eating" to "enjoying". A conscious process you can make habitual.
Anything to shift the focus to "enjoying".
When I thought about enjoying my food and meals, the f*cking horrible ass-tasting healthy sh*t, like vegan burgers, I wouldn't feed to my favorite cardboard box (cause that would be cannibalism- cardboard eating cardboard if you didn't catch that), were out of the question!
Chemicals taste like crap too. Nobody enjoys putting that into their body. Who can sit down, and seriously feel decadent about eating blue raspberry candy twists? Think about it- what the hell is it really?? Have a good look at it. It's pretty on the shelf and the wrapper is a gorgeous aquamarine splattered with 50 other neon colors, but hang that sh*t up and call it art. Not food.
I'm an advocate for healthy food, all the way back to when I was a child. We didn't have Quinoa or chia seeds, though. There were no "health" trends. My parents shopped at the ONLY health food store probably in the state (back in the 70's/80's). The store resembled a pantry closet-not much to choose from and was ran by a 90 year old woman. We grew the rest of our food.
If you don't enjoy what you're eating, you will eat more to fool yourself into thinking you are satisfied. Or you'll just be miserable. A few bites into eating something, get used to asking if you really enjoy it.
You might also find yourself eating crappy chemical-laden food, because chemicals trick you into thinking you enjoy it. You are worth more than the cheap ingredients they put in most foods today.
Can you honestly say that you are enjoying your meals?
Enjoying your food means:
Experts suggest at least one enjoyable meal experience each day. We tend to eat slower, digestion is optimal, and we eat less too.
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Get your mind right & get your body right!
It is impossible to avoid the fact that the mind and body are deeply intertwined. This section is for YOUR body- lifestyle inspiration. With certification in Exercise science, I provide realistic health tips with everyone in mind!