Monday is upon us. Happy Day, All!
With Mia out of town the last few days, I was wondering how I would fare in the kitchen by my lonesome. As some of you already know, as much as I love food, I don't necessarily enjoy being in that particular room of the house. To my surprise, I actually have been doing quite well. Insert pat on back here___________.
Naturally, it made me reflect on a time when I was living to eat, not vice versa. Just mindless, abusive eating. Not 1, but 2 medium pizzas to myself, 4 pints of ice-cream per week, whole birthday cakes from the supermarket I would sit and eat directly out of the box with a fork. The lack of control and respect for my body goes on and on. Now there's no shame in being a foodie. But there's a difference between enjoying foods that give back and acting like a garbage disposal. Oh, did I mention my nickname was Hoover? Yes, like the vacuum.
I'd built this unhealthy habit over time through stress, cravings, sadness, loneliness, boredom...Eating seemed to be filling many voids, and I ate without any consideration as to why. It wasn't until I lost someone very close to me that I was forced to look at my own life, and realized I was an emotional eater.
"Eating based off of emotional cues short-circuits your body'd physiological requirements for nutrients and programs your brain to eat in response to thoughts and experiences", says Dr. Cyrus Khambatta.
I gradually made changes and noticed a spike in energy almost immediately, not to mention far less mood swings, nightmares and junk food cravings. It made me choose what I put in my body more carefully. I was slowly becoming a mindful eater. I began by removing red meat and worked my way all the way up to entirely meatless, ice cream about 1-2x a month and removed whole cakes. I've drastically reduced to almost eliminated cheese and completely removed cow's milk.
Paying attention is key to habit change. Begin by noticing what you eat, textures, flavors and how it makes you feel during and after eating. Also pay attention to eating urges and the emotions that trigger the eating. Soon you'll begin to notice what's healthy. The smell, taste, how you feel as you digest it, as well as how full or satisfied you are during and after.
What we tend not to consider but ought, is where the food came from, who has grown it and how much it endured to be on our plate. Was it grown organically? How processed is it? Has it been bathed in oil and fried? Not easy to think about, as we have been conditioned since little to just eat whatever we are fed and not to question it. But your body tells you what pieces of the puzzle do not belong. You just have to check in.
1. Print out a notecard.
2. Carry it in your back pocket.
3. Create 4 columns: Situation/ Emotion/ Action/ Long Term Effect-and note every time you eat.
4. Notice your triggers float to the surface.
Begin filling it out every time you find yourself feeling "hungry". Begin to differentiate between real hunger and made up hunger due to whichever emotion you may be feeling to the moment. The more you do this, the more aware you become, the better choices you make.
The benefits to eating mindfully are learning to eat when you're hungry and stopping when you're satisfied. Learning to taste and enjoy. Lose weight, emotional baggage. Learn how healthy foods fuel your workout, and become present in your daily life as a result of taking the time to honor your body.
Remember, you are worth it!
If you're seeking more assistance, apply for a Free Fitness and Nutrition Strategy Session and we will gladly help you.
Dedicated to your health and happiness,
Strong 4 Pole