When you think about the word “Mindfulness” what comes to mind? Do you picture a tranquil scene where someone is meditating in the woods or doing yoga on the Beach? Does it bring up images of happy healthy people experiencing inner peace? OR, (like me) does it make you roll your eyes at the overuse and misuse of this word? Here is a recent cover of Mindful Magazine:
Doesn’t she look beautiful and Happy! She’s absolutely glowing!! Just meditate and eat like her and you can be beautiful and happy too, Right?! (ooh, and I wonder what those 5 steps are to feeling better about myself ) Alright, I’m mostly kidding. And don’t get me wrong; I think meditation, yoga, etc. are wonderful. I do yoga every now and again and I enjoy it.
I’m taking about a different kind of mindfulness that is essential if you want to lose weight and be healthy for your life.
Mindfulness = Awareness
The simple but difficult act of becoming aware of what you are putting into your mouth, how it feels, and how it tastes. This kind of mindful eating is partially related to the more hippy-dippy use of the phrase in that one may meditate to become more aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations. However, when I talk about mindful eating, I’m talking about sitting down, undistracted, and enjoying every bite. Do you find yourself standing at the counter eating leftovers after the meal is over or do you often eat in your car or in front of the TV? Anytime you are distracted when you eat, you hardly even notice that you are putting things into your mouth. Have you ever found your plate empty and not know how it got that way? Have you ever felt unsatisfied after scarfing down a snack while sitting in front of the TV?…only realizing afterward that you hardly even tasted it!! Of course!! We all have had that experience. Once you begin to eat mindfully you will begin to really enjoy your food. You will be amazed at how different your food tastes and how much more satisfying it is! You will experience ALL the wonderful flavors in your food not just the basics of sweet, salty, fatty, bitter… Even veggies will become more flavorful. Many people begin to lose weight just from practicing mindful eating without a focus on calorie restriction. Making a conscious effort to sit at a table for meals can literally change your life!
If this sounds too hard or boring try an experiment to eat mindfully, for as many meals as you can, for just one week. After one week let me know how it went by shooting me an email. Also, include if I can share your experience (confidentially, of course) on this blog or my Facebook page.