Ready to Stop Overeating?
I’m writing this two days after Halloween. I hope you had a lot of fun. You might have some candy lying around the house staring at you. You might be recovering from a sugar hangover.
Whatever your candy situation might be, creating moments for mindfulness can be incredibly supportive during this time. It is often around these foods that we have created an inner dialogue that this food is good or bad or that we expect to receive something from that food or that we shouldn't eat that food making it feel even more irresistible to consume.
The way we relate to specific foods can set us up for some interesting behavior around that food as we put the power more in that food and less in ourselves. When we slow down with the foods we have a lot of thoughts and feelings around we can provide ourselves with the opportunity to discover how that food actually tastes and feels in our body and if it is actually something we enjoy instead of something our brain tells us we enjoy.
If you have a piece of candy or food you find irresistible around your home and you are up for a little experimentation, I want you to go grab that food and put it on your favorite plate or in your favorite bowl. If it is something you need to unwrap, notice how you open the packaging. Listen to the crinkle of the paper.
Observe the sensations and thoughts that start to arise as you see the food. Take a moment to describe the food.
Is it glossy?
What color is it?
Now I want you to pick up the food, and just smell it. Does it have a strong smell? What memories do you have around that particular smell? Is it sweet or salty or spicy smelling? If possible without consuming, I want you to just lick that food. Notice any changes in your tongue. Observe your taste buds come alive. How do you feel in your body even after just one lick?
Now I want you to take a bite of this food and without chewing, hold it in your mouth. What do you notice? How does it feel to have this food in your mouth without chewing? Close your eyes to bring your focus entirely on the experience happening in your mouth.
Then start chewing, very slowly. How does the texture and the taste change as you chew this food? Keep chewing until that food is mush in your mouth. Notice how your experience of that food changes as you keep on chewing. As the food becomes fully mush in your mouth you might notice you naturally start to swallow. Observe if any emotions arise of satisfaction or pleasure or even sadness or longing for that experience to not be over.
When you're ready open your eyes. If you have time right now , break out a pen and paper and journal about that experience.
The more we slow down with our food and observe our reactions, our thoughts, our emotions that can arise while eating, the more we can actually learn what resonates with our body and what does not.
You may have potentially discovered you actually didn't like some of the tastes or textures you experienced with this food that your mind tells you that you desire or you might have just fostered an opportunity to truly embrace the pleasure you experience in your system from eating that food.
Whenever the desire to reach for this food arises again, you can engage in this slow eating experiment to stay connected to yourself as you provide yourself with the thing you desire. Self connection can ultimately decrease the amount of food we eat as we feel emotionally satiated by our own presence.