The Gift of Mindful Eating
The mind has two functions, thinking and awareness.
When thinking is turned up, awareness is turned down. When the thinking function is going full throttle, we can eat an entire meal, an entire cake, an entire carton of ice cream, and not taste more than a bite or two.
When we don't taste, we can end up stuffed to the gills but feeling completely unsatisfied. This is because the mind and mouth weren't present, weren't tasting or enjoying as we ate. The stomach became full but the mind and mouth were unfulfilled and continued calling for us to eat. If we don't feel satisfied, we'll begin to look around for something more or something different to eat.
Everyone has had the experience of roaming the kitchen, opening cupboards and doors, looking vainly for something, anything to satisfy. The only thing that will cure this - a fundamental kind of hunger - is to sit down and be, even for a few minutes, wholly present. This is the gift of mindful eating, to restore our sense of satisfaction no matter what we are or are not eating.
When You're Hungry
The next time you're hungry, try pausing and asking yourself questions like:
- Am I hungry?
- Where do I feel hunger?
- What part of me is hungry?
- What do I really crave?
- What am I tasting just now?
When You're Eating
When you are eating, try the following:
- Really being present for the smell, texture, taste, noticing fully the felt sense in the body when tasting, chewing, swallowing.
- Checking in, what is happening right now...what am I feeling in this moment?
Taken from: "Mouthfuls of Mindfulness" by Jen Chozen Bays, MD, Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food