Given my profession, I spend a lot of time speaking and thinking about food and how it relates to the lives of my clients. However, what I have noticed when meeting with new clients who are coming to me from a place of chronic dieting, they too speak and think about food all the time, but they do it from a place of worry. “What did I eat yesterday, what am I eating today, what will I eat tomorrow”.
This is exhausting, don’t you think? Balancing life and responsibilities such as family, friends and work is often difficult and stressful in and of itself. Food should not add to that stress. Eating should be pleasurable.
As a reader of my iEat Mindfully™ blog, you are likely coming from a history of dieting. A past littered with carefully laid out menu plans with just the “right” amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat. A history that includes feelings of panic when you are in a restaurant or at a family gathering where the food served is not on your “plan”. The amount of grief you give yourself in these situations takes away from all the pleasure you could be getting from your food.
By employing all the techniques I have been writing about such as slowing down, listening to your hunger and fullness cues, and using all your senses to enjoy your food, you are hopefully seeing that there is a place for enjoyment in food, even foods that were previously deemed “bad” in your mind. And you know what? It is okay to get excited about a specific dish at your favorite restaurant that you will be having tonight for dinner because you now know how to go about enjoying it. You will enjoy to the max and achieve full satisfaction without feelings of guilt.
When it comes to repairing your relationship with food, this is such an important step to learn. Ask yourself what you really want to eat, use all your senses to enjoy and really taste it, and savor the moment. You don’t have time to waste on food worry. Focus on the positive aspects of the food, how it nourishes you and makes you feel, the memories from your childhood and recapture the pleasure of eating once again.
Your turn to take action: Did you enjoy your meals this week? What senses did you use to improve your satisfaction? Please let me know in the comments section below.