“I cannot remember a year when I haven’t been on a diet. I lose weight quickly and feel good about myself and then as my weight loss slows to a trickle, I get bored and frustrated. I cannot have my favourite foods, which I eat anyway if I am upset, then the guilt and shame follows. I think to myself, what’s the point!”
Why is Mindful Eating Different?
Mindful Eating takes a different approach from traditional restrictive diets
It looks at the why of eating, not the what… have you ever surrendered control of what you eat to follow a strict diet plan? In doing so, you move further away from what your body is telling you and often gloss over the real causes behind your cravings. Mindful eating turns this on its head. You decide when and what you eat, while together we explore the why of eating, putting some tools in place to help us cope with what we may find.
It doesn’t focus on external cues such as weekly weighing or counting calories
Instead, it retunes us to the internal signals we once had as a child: hunger, taste, body satiety, and levels of fullness. When cravings appear we step back and consider, ‘what would be best for me right now?’, perhaps indulging in your favourite food in a controlled manner, or finding other ways to meet the emotional needs arising.
It’s easy to forget that our body has internal cues ...
… to tell us when we are hungry and when we are not, because we stopped listening to them a long time ago: our parents telling us that we must finish the food on our plate as there are starving children in the world; the ever-increasing portion sizes in restaurants or from takeaways… maybe it is ‘cake Friday’ at work… there always seems to be an expectation to eat more.
Mindful Eating doesn't require you to be perfect all the time
Research shows that those who have undertaken a mindful eating course are less likely to binge eat and when they do these episodes are less frequent and smaller. Building compassion throughout the course means when we are derailed, we see it for what it is. We bring a kindness to ourselves and start afresh. After all, we are all human!
Sarah Romotsky, from Healthcare Partnerships at Headspace, explains what mindful eating is and how it can improve your relationship with food.
You are the only one who really knows what your life is like: what brings you joy or frustration or despair. We know that other like-minded people will also have their own hopes and fears, their own moments of joy and frustration, just like you. These may be like yours, but won’t be the same because you are unique.
I am not here to tell you what to eat, when to eat it and how much to eat. I don’t know you, your lifestyle, the challenges you face on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. I cannot connect with your physical feelings of hunger, your cravings or the emotional triggers behind them.
What I can expose you to, is a series of tools that will enable you to begin patiently and persistently to reconnect with your direct experience of eating as well as the emotions, triggers and causes behind them. This moving towards what is difficult in life is the opposite of traditional restrictive diets, which take away control and distance you further from the root causes of your suffering.
This is not easy work. It will require courage to face what is most difficult in your life and a commitment to start this process of change. I will be alongside you every step of the way, in many ways like a guide helping you read your map. We will share the support of the group, journeying together, knowing our routes and destinations will be unique to each of us.