Considering Eating Mindfully


And so, the 25th December scoots on past for another year. The house did this morning resemble something between a toy shop and a badly managed cafe with boxes of games stacked in the corners and half eaten mince pies and cake crumbs on the table.

Christmas Day is THE day in the year where its deemed perfectly acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, perhaps have a cheeky glass of fizz whilst opening the gifts before tucking in to the turkish delight, followed by a huge lunch swiftly followed a couple of hours later by a full buffet but as I tucked in to my umpteenth mince pie of the day I really started to think about my resolution to sort out my health and wellbeing.

I am currently studying for a Diploma in Mindfulness partly for work and partly for my own personal use, it is an absolutely fascinating subject that I believe can link in quite significantly with our eating habits. I have long had an interest in food – both the cooking and eating of – and I will be quite honest in saying that sometimes it has not always been a harmonious relationship. Years of yo-yo dieting and a pattern of losing and gaining weight. I see photographs of a much thinner self and think where did these extra 20 pounds come from but then think, well I am quite happy with how I am, its so hard losing weight and I look OK, don’t I? – generally whilst stuffing another biscuit in my mouth whilst simultaneously reading a book on health eating.

Whilst I make the jokes and buy a bigger sized shirts, I have to be honest and say that whilst I do not have any plans to be super thin I do need to start addressing the bigger picture of longer term health.

I have reached a short section in my studies which covered mindful eating. We were asked to take a small piece of fruit and consider its features, its smell and its texture before placing it in our mouths. We were then asked to consider how it felt in our mouths before chewing it. It really made me think how much I must eat whilst on autopilot. How much food must go in my mouth that I never even taste. How many calories and ounces of fat I must consume that I really never acknowledge.

Many people think that mindfulness is about emptying your mind and relaxing when in fact it is about bringing your mind to the present, in a non judgemental manner, accepting that your mind will wander but acknowledging where it wanders to before gently bringing it back to the present. Mindful eating can help you enjoy the experience of eating and with practice it can be a ritual that can help to satisfy our hunger but avoid over indulgence. Later in the course I believe we will be practicing and keeping a journal on mindful eating and I don’t mind admitting I think it is going to be hard, habits to break and new skills to learn….watch this space.

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