Self-Care Series #4
Hope you are having an amazing weekend! Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing fathers out there 🙂 The weather today is perfect in Boston and a great day to enjoy the day with your loved ones!
Can you believe we are at the end of the self-care challenge? Only one more after todays self-care challenge!
For this week’s challenge, I want you to join me in eating mindfully. What does that mean? It means, for today and rest of the week, I want you to pay attention to what you are eating. Don’t eat in front of the T.V., in front of your desk at work, looking at your phone or doing anything else.
I want you to sit at a table by yourself and enjoy your meal. With each bite, I want you to notice the little things about it. For example — what does it smells like, what does the texture feel like, how it feels going in your stomach, etc. Have you ever even noticed what a tomato smells like or how green lettuce can be? Too often, we rush through our meal which tends to lead us to overeating. Another instance that happens quite too often is we don’t notice how a particular food makes us feel and we ignore it. This, then leads us to not notice what our body is telling us about that particular food. It could be that your body is screaming for you to stop eating something that is not making you feel good and you’ve become so immune to it. I don’t want you to take any food groups out of your diet, but I do want you to eat less of things that don’t make you feel your best.
Did you know by kicking your over-eating habit, you can improve your memory and reduce cognitive impairment? Yep, just by avoiding to feel overly full all the time, you can improve your health in ways that you did not think was affecting you. Why not take preventative care of yourself to avoid diseases such as Alzheimer’s now? Why wait till later? I think that is the best motivation to take care of yourself and your eating habits.
The best thing about mindful eating is you end up eating healthy without really even trying. Your body knows what’s best for you because it truly cares for you — stop ignoring it! Mindful eating allows your body to understand what is being put in it and therefore is able to better process/digest what you eat. Mindful eating also allows you to eliminate stress eating or emotional eating.
Some benefits of mindful eating:
- Aid in staying at your healthy weight
- Decrease excessive snacking
- Stop emotional and overeating
- Stop fast eating — which can lead to type 2 diabetes
- Reactivate your hunger “cue”
Your instincts and satiety level know exactly what your body needs to feel nourished and knows exactly when to stop. Our ancestors were really good at this because they didn’t have distractions while eating nor did they have overly-processed options. Over time, we stopped listening to our “cue” and overeating became a habit. Our natural “cue” of eating allows us to eat when hungry and stop when full. Those signals, when ignored, become less active and you are not able to listen to it as much. This in turn, leads us to other types of cues to eat. Whether that is because you are bored, or you want to treat yourself, or a habit of eating exactly at 3pm (or whatever time) that cookie that you are not sure why you wanted it in the first place. The positive thing is you can rewire your brain to know how to stop eating when you are full. It’s pretty cool and it only takes a few practices. Don’t beat yourself up in the process. It’s going to take some time to get into a habit of it. If you are someone that suffers with emotional eating — don’t worry, you can do this! Mindful eating is the best way to get in touch with your soul and your body.
I highly encourage everyone to try this because I’m pretty sure all of us have been victims of overeating in front of the T.V. or any other time. Just keep being persistent and keep being mindful of what you eat for each practice. It’s amazing how you can stop when you are fully content and pretty amazing how you stop “craving” the not-so-healthy options. This in any means isn’t a “diet” you should be following. You shouldn’t be doing anything that doesn’t make you happy. This is only a way to nourish your body the right way and to take steps into incorporating self-love practice into your daily routine.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Leave your phone in another room and shut off your T.V. or any other distractions.
- Sit at a table and look at your food – notice all the colors.
- With each bite, think of one word that you notice about that one bite.
- When you’ve reached about 80-90% fullness – get up and do something else. This will allow you to give you sometime to help you differentiate if you need to keep eating or if you are satisfied. More often than not – you are satisfied and don’t need to eat anything else. If you are full then you can get rid of anything else that you didn’t eat or if you are still hungry then listen to your body and do that.
- Eat slowly, and chew as much as possible.
By incorporating this into your daily routine, you will notice that you are more mindful in general. Mindful eating doesn’t end at what you put in your body, you start to notice other things about your body and how to do what your body is telling you to do. Like I’ve said, you’re body knows best, and being able to be more in tune with yourself is the most amazing experience.
Alright, guys that is all. If you have any questions or need any help, please let me know!
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“You are imperfect permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are BEAUTIFUL.” – Amy Bloom