Last week one of my lovely blog followers who also attends my indoor cycling classes (Hi Carolyn) came up to let me know that she is having success with some of the advice I had given her on one of my many email/ blog posts. She wanted to share the information with her followers.
The advice? Eating mindfully.
I often advise this to clients, particularly when they first start on their weight loss or health journeys.
What does eating mindfully involve?
Paying attention to what you are eating and drinking. Enjoying every mouthful or sip, appreciating what it is that you are putting in to your body and paying attention to how your body responds to it. Do you feel energised or sluggish? Was it really enjoyable? Food and drink should never make you feel guilty and if it makes you feel sluggish, bloated, unwell then you have to question why are you consuming it?
Now, I am going to go a bit off course here but hang in with me for a minute.
I overheard a young girl (maybe around early 20’s) the other day talking to someone about how unwell she gets when she drinks alcohol, how she is sick every single time and if she drinks on a Friday she doesn’t move out of bed for the rest of the weekend…
Don’t get me wrong, I have been there, drinking excessively until I passed out and I have been pretty unwell in my time too… I think for many of us it is part of growing up in a confused culture where we think it is what we need to do to have fun (totally different email/ blog right there).
I know that Carolyn doesn’t mind me sharing this information because she told me, but she has lost a stone just from reducing her alcohol intake. It is so easy to get in to the routine of ending your day with a glass or 2 of wine, then a bottle or 2 at the weekend. It becomes a habit and seems to be totally socially acceptable. One of the biggest challenges that Carolyn has experienced over the last few weeks is the people that were around her challenging and questioning WHY she wasn’t drinking.
Let me just be clear that Carolyn doesn’t have a problem with drinking, and she is not in her 20’s but peer pressure still exists.
The thing about change and when we start to make changes in our life for the benefit of our own health is the people around us; they are not making changes and are very possibly not in the right place to want to change (yet) and seeing you make changes can make them feel guilty, that guilt is then passed on to us in the form of trying to make us feel guilty for letting the side down. It’s not just around drinking, ever been watching what you are eating and had a friend tell you ‘one bit of cake won’t do you any harm’?
It can be easy for us to cave in to the pressure but it is important to remember that your health, your goals, your happiness come from you pleasing you, not trying to please everyone else…
Bringing it back to mindful eating…
Take your time, enjoy our food and drink, if you want to eat cake, eat it, appreciate the flavours, the texture, the taste, the sugar buzz and the post cake nap. Sit down, switch everything else off, leave your phone in another room, move away from your desk/laptop, put on calming music, chat to your family if you have one and they are around.
Disconnect from distractions and connect with your world.
Have a mindful day