Q. I have struggled with my weight for years and I know I need to break out of my current eating habits. I recently heard something about “mindful eating.” Could this help me?
Mindfulness is something that could help all of us. Because our lives are busy we struggle with living in the moment, we believe there is not enough time to slow down and breathe.
Here are some ideas for beginning to practice mindfulness:
1. Start small – 5 minutes
2. Link mindfulness with something enjoyable (morning beverage, beloved pet, favorite person……something that makes you happy. Do Not think about paying the bills!!
3. Develop a specific time, place. (your favorite chair, the patio)
The idea is to STOP EVERYTHING!!!!! For a moment. Yes you can do this!!
Mike was finally willing to practice mindfulness. He said he was always in motion but felt that he sometimes didn’t get much accomplished. He agreed to five minutes of sitting in his favorite chair with no TV, lap top, phone, book, etc. He planned to set the timer and sit on his hands.
It is disturbing that lives have become so busy that it is hard to sit perfectly still with nothing to distract us for five minutes.
Now lets connect mindfulness with eating. When you decide to eat, are you hungry? Do you have time to sit down, eat slowly and enjoy your food? Have you noticed that when you are hungry you don’t put much thought into the nutrient content of the food?
Millie is a food addict. She has an eating disorder. She loves fast food, especially the drive thru.I challenged Millie the next time she pulled in to one of her many “drug houses.” she would not go through the drive-thru immediately but pull over and have 5 minutes of mindfulness before ordering.
Mindful eating is about stopping, breathing and giving thought to the body and what it needs to be healthy. There will always be the moment we grab a donut in the break room because that is just what we want but keeping those moments to a minimum is the mindful part.
Society works against mindfulness. There is a limit to how healthy society wants us to be. There are many “enticements” not to be healthy. (That is another column all by itself)
Mindfulness. Quiet. Peaceful. Breathing. Doing nothing. Being with yourself in the moment.-
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at [email protected]