One of the great joys of my life is showing folks how they can apply the principles of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to eating more healthfully and more enjoyably. It’s interesting to note that even though Americans as a population are suffering from high rates of obesity, studies show that we actually don’t enjoy our food very much. Why? Well, think about how you eat; in front of the computer, walking across your workplace, watching television , while reading the newspaper. How much of your food do you actually taste? In addition to becoming aware of how we eat, in the Mindful Eating for Healthy Living Class we also explore why we eat. Very often it is not because we are hungry and our bodies need nutrients to work effectively. We may be eating to cope with stress, difficult emotions, boredom, and to celebrate something, to name a few.
When people take the class here are a few of the foundations we teach. First we slow the process of eating down. We look at the shapes, colors and textures, we smell our food. We reflect on where it came from – all the interconnections to earth, water, air and people’s labors. We pause and tune into our bodies and ask if we are hungry and how hungry we are. And then we taste it and chew! We pause during eating periodically and check in with our bodies again. Are we full? Many times we have checked out during eating and are so distracted that we don’t notice that we are actually quite full.
The next foundation we teach is Mindfulness Meditation. Here are two short audio meditations you can learn and practice to get started. Or take one of our classes and/or order a CD on the website . We ask people to practice Meditation and mindfulness to cope with stress in a new way instead of turning to food. These simple practices work very effectively to help people change their behavior and beliefs around food, their bodies and they often lose weight!
Here is a story one student told this week about how she changed her behavior, not only her own but a whole group of friends. In the middle of the six week class, Linda spent a weekend with eight women friends from all over the country as they do every year. They have all struggled with their weight over the years, but when they get together for this annual bash, it is usually a food free for all. This year they rented a condo in Las Vegas. Linda brought her Mindful Eating for Healthy Living Book and CD’s and told her friends about the program. So this year they did something different. Every morning they did the meditations together. They bought healthy groceries and cooked fresh home made food for each other. Linda felt this made their visit so much more meaningful; the level of sharing was more connected and honest, they didn’t go home feeling guilty, and she even lost instead of gained weight!
We were all impressed that she took her program on the road!
For an opportunity to learn more about Mindfulness in an in depth way, join us for our Summer Mindfulness Meditation Retreat near Idyllwild ,California July 22- 24th. Space is limited so reserve your spot here. www.mindful-way.com/products
We hope to see you there!