Mindful Eating – Breaking Free from Food Rules
I’m sitting in the foyer of a massage clinic amidst a crowded Christmas shopping centre. I’ve just experienced my first paid shoulder and neck massage. I feel like this should have happened before, but for whatever reason, I’m in a state of complete bliss.
As I look over the central walkway into the window of the local Tavern, I see a man. In front of him is a large plate of food, which includes as many hot chips as the plate could hold. It’s not his fault. He is just given a meal from a business that need to justify the size of a meal with the price of their food. Quantity over quality can often drive you to eat much more than you actually need.
I began to feel sorrow. This man was dressed in work attire, clearly not happy and struggling to feel comfortable in his chair moving side to side every couple of minutes. I start to think to myself, I wonder if I could help him. I wonder if he even cares. What would make his situation better?
From personal experience, when I prepare food to look good for a photo onto a plate, once I actually eat the food, I enjoy it SO much! After many meals like this, over time I begin to feel a strange sense of calm and peace, knowing that I don’t need to rely on food to fill a void. What am I experiencing that makes this more important than eating to feel full? Mindfulness…
Mindfulness is just the ability to acknowledge feelings and thoughts, and let them pass without judgement. Could mindfulness be the answer?
I think back to the book I began reading today. It’s called ‘10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works’. Dan Harris discusses meditation, and how this has changed his life. When he begins to tell someone about meditation, he starts by saying it’s made his life 10% better.
I left the building without approaching the man in the Tavern. I felt that mindfulness was not the silver bullet that magically makes everything is better, and preaching this to him would have been a mistake. I do however believe that a recommendation from a friend is worth more than the idea itself. Maybe this text will someday find this man, and trigger a mindfulness craze that might hopefully make him 10% happier.
How to Implement Mindful Eating In Your Life
Mindful eating should be simple. Most people have a smart phone, or a camera. Start by doing what I did and take a photo of the food your about to eat!
Mindful eating promotes a healthy relationship with food. It’s a skill that can help you break free from ‘food rules’ and begin to embrace healthy, flexible eating practices. Mindfulness is not a diet, and I know that the keto community loves guidelines, but over this Christmas, just remember to be mindful of yourself and everyone around you!