clean your plate or else…

A few months ago I was discussing the challenges of overcoming emotional eating with my sister. “So is it always bad to eat emotionally?” she asked. At first glance, you might think yes. We should only eat when we are physically hungry and in need of nourishment, right?

But if you consider it closely, this type of rigid thinking is not only unrealistic for the vast majority of us, it’s not desirable either.

The point of mindful eating is not to forbid ourselves from ever eating for emotional or psychological reasons. The point is to become AWARE of the call to go unconscious, to numb or avoid our negative emotions.

As we become aware of our thoughts and desires, we can choose to STOP and NOT MOVE — not speaking, not doing anything with the body — even if just for a second. Stopping creates a GAP between thought and action. The gap may be almost imperceptible at first. But as we wedge that gap open again and again, it will eventually start to open wider. We will start to create new SPACE in our consciousness. Instead of automatic, unconscious action, there will be room for true CHOICE — for a new thought and new action. Within that newfound space, we gain the flexibility and freedom to choose our actions ON PURPOSE. We may choose a new action, or we may choose to continue as we had before — but we will do it consciously with purpose, owning our decision and feeling at peace.

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EXERCISE

Here is a simple exercise that will help you start to uncover some of your childhood conditioning around food and increase your awareness around the food beliefs that you internalized and may still be carrying with you into adulthood.

  • Write in your journal (or tell a coach or partner) as many rules around food, eating, and table manners as you can remember from your childhood.

“Clean your plate or…”
“No dessert unless…”
“Don't chew with your mouth open…”

  • How did you react to these rules?
  • Do you still honor them?
  • Have you modified or rebelled against them?

Simply stating as many rules as you can will help to create more awareness and open space for new thoughts and actions around food and eating.

Exercise adapted from Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays

Becoming more mindful of our conditioning around food, and loosening the grip of those unconscious patterns in not a once-and-done decision. It is a decision you have to make again and again every day.

  • Would you like to practice opening this awareness with a group of like-minded people?
  • Do you want to loosen the grip of your emotions to compel you to eat so that you feel in control and at peace around food?
  • Do you want to more deeply understand your childhood conditioning and create space for new thoughts and actions around food?
  • Join us for Rooted in Awareness: A Mindful Eating Practice. Doors close this Friday!

Want more practice?

Find out more about Rooted in Awareness: A Mindful Eating Practice. Enrollment only open until this Friday, August 31st!

Questions?

Here are a few of the common questions I have gotten about this small group coaching experience:

Sixteen weeks is a long time! What if I don’t feel like I can commit to that timeframe?

Habit change takes time! We just decide to be more mindful and then move on. It takes practice, concentration, and focus. Working together over several months gives us the chance to really practice these new skills and incorporate them into our everyday lives, rather than trying something for a few weeks and then going back to our regular behavior.

When is the weekly coaching call?

The time for the coaching call will be set by the group using a doodle poll. That way we can ensure that it is a time that works for everyone. As a small group, if circumstances change, we may be able to reschedule the call when needed so that the entire group can attend. If you miss occasionally for an emergency, you will be able to watch the replay.

What if I can’t be on the call every week?

No worries! The call will be recorded each week so you can watch the replay on your own and continue to practice. You will be able to connect with me over email and with the group in our Facebook group.

I’m nervous about being on camera!

No one likes to be on camera (or at least I don’t know anyone who admits to liking it!) but I promise it will be worth it. This will be a small, private group. No one else will have access to view our classes. Being able to see each other on the coaching calls will help us bond as a group and create a supportive atmosphere in which we can all thrive. By the end of our practice, we will hopefully all these as friends and be able to continue supporting each other beyond the life of the group.

Want to know more?

Find out more about Rooted in Awareness: A Mindful Eating Practice. Enrollment only open until this Friday, August 31st!

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