Q: Why do we eat?
A: We eat to nourish our bodies, providing the substance and the fuel we need to enjoy the activities we love!
Affirmation: “I am the only expert of my body.”
Do you think or worry about what you eat? Well, I’m here to tell you that your external focus is creating an inner obstacle that is making eating more challenging than it ought to be. External distractions disconnect us from our bodies and our food choices become reactive or based on certain rules imposed by society. Trust your body. When we reconnect with our bodies, we can experience a sense of peace. What am I talking about? Self-awareness. Listening to your body. Intuitive eating. Becoming an expert of your body.
Affirmation: “I do not think about my body; I feel the sensations of my body.”
What?! The right side of the brain = emotion, hunger & satisfaction, and intuition. The left side of the brain = dieting (#’s). Think of a pyramid entitled AWARENESS. The top peak is your body’s sensations, the right corner is the mind, and the left corner is emotions. Each corner associates with its adjacent corner, such that the following can “speak to each other:” body sensations + mind (mind + body sensations); mind + emotions (emotions + mind); emotions + body sensations (body sensations + emotions).
Mind blown. Basically, tell your brain to call it quits and then listen to how your body feels. Cut the non-sense chattering in your head and focus on what feels right. Ask yourself: What am I feeling? What do I need right now? What does my body need?
Affirmation: “I honor hunger and eat intuitively.”
What does it mean to eat intuitively? What is intuitive eating?
- Rely on internal hunger cues
- Unconditional permission to eat
- Eat for physical, not emotional reasons
- Body-food choice congruence (how does the food you eat make your body feel??)
Action Step: Reject the diet mentality!
Restrictive eating leads to food preoccupation… food thoughts and talk; food cravings; cookbooks; viewing, liking, sharing, saving social media posts about food/recipes; eating disorders and disordered eating habits; AND!! weight gain. Yes, weight gain. When you restrict your body for too long, your body works against you and makes more fat (for future fuel). Dieting and restricting foods alters the brain and our body’s chemistry.
- Eat what’s healthy.
- Eat when hungry.
- Eat enough.
- Be aware.
Action Step: Honor hunger!
Yes, hunger is normal. It’s okay to feel hungry. It’s okay to wait to eat until you experience true hunger pangs.
- Hunger is normal.
- Eat throughout the day as you feel hungry.
- Be aware of the biological balance.
- Accept primal hunger as natural.
- Recognize signs of hunger.
Action Step: Make peace with food.
Give yourself permission to eat. Food fuels our bodies and provides us with the nourishment we need to participate in the activities we enjoy, not to mention the fuel required to stay alive!
When you are ready to make peace with food, you’ll really be able to taste and feel the food. These feelings and experiences allow us to decide if we truly want/need the food we’re eating. We are meant to enjoy food, but not to be addicted to food. The habitual eating or binging can be unlearned- think of Pavlov and deconditioning!
- Give yourself permission to eat.
- Enjoy the food you eat.
- Slow down and chew slowly.
- Allow yourself to experience the food.
- Trust yourself to have control.
Action Step: Challenge the food police.
You are your own food police. You make your thoughts, beliefs, and rules. Do not let society dictate your food choices or eating habits! Be in control. Be the boss of your brain. I am my own food police. I need to challenge my rules and thoughts about food. I need to have positive thoughts about food and eating. Now is the time for me to create new neural pathways to retrain my brain!
- Be mindful.
*Being distracted while eating (talking, mobile devices, TV, driving, etc.) interferes with our food satisfaction. And then we want to either keep eating (eat more of the same) or eat something additional. So, here’s my challenge to you: When you are eating, focus on eating! Unplug and tune in to your food experience.
Affirmation: “I respect my body.”
Wow. Think about everything your body can do, everything your body allows you to do and experience. We each have a “here and now” body. Let’s give our bodies the fuel they deserve as recognition for their service! Appreciate. Stop body-bashing yourself and be grateful for what you have! Stop the “fat-talk” and accept yourself! Be nice to your body and your mind. Self-care. Sleep. Socialize. Joyful movement. Fun exercises. Mind-body wellness activities.