...and dismantling a lifetime of food habits and hangups won't happen overnight, either. A reassuring thought, no? No need to beat myself up when I forget (every single day) to try to eat mindfully. Baby steps are good enough for me.
I started my new mindful eating approach by writing out some of the tips that I found most resonant, and keeping them in a jar on the kitchen counter. Things like:
- slow down and enjoy
- is a cup of tea what you really want?
- let yourself experience emptiness
- fully love all treats
Here are a couple of practices I've been trying each time I eat (when I remember):
- Put down the fork or spoon between each bite
- Pay attention to what your body, rather than your ingrained habit mind, is asking for
There are many, many, many, many mindful eating tips and practices. Your habits, patterns, and deep dark food issues will determine which ones really click for you. You might be surprised. I certainly am each time I realize that I have the next forkful of food waiting at the door before I've even finished chewing, swallowing, and experiencing what's already in my mouth. I had no idea I was a shoveller. I've also found it quite satisfying to listen to my biological hunger, rather than my craving/habit hunger.
Craving/habit hunger: It's Tuesday. You know what that means.
Me: Tell me.
Craving/habit hunger: You should get a mocha latte. You'll be going by the coffee shop. You haven't had one since last Tuesday. They're so delicious.
Me: Good idea! I love that ritual. I think it makes me feel happy.
Biological hunger: Uh, not only am I not thirsty or in the mood for coffee, but how about some vegetables? I need something green.
Me: Hey, GREAT idea! You just saved me $5.35 (+ tip). Kale it is!
Craving/habit hunger: You haven't heard the last of me...<<sinister cackles>>