Much of our eating is habitual, i.e. under the influence of the environment.
I invite you to ponder the following question: Who (and what) influences your eating and how?
Who triggers me to eat well?
Who encourages me to eat mindfully, to savor, to eat healthy?
Who triggers me to indulge, overeat, go off diet/regimen?
Who gives me the permission to be “bad?”
Who “come-ons” me to “enjoy myself” only to justify their own urge to binge?
Who triggers me to stress-eat, binge-eat, cope-eat, react-eat?
Who do I cope with by eating?
Who is my “junk-food” person?
Who always dials up for a pizza or taunts your appetite with French fries?
Who is my “sweets” person?
Who always bakes cookies, invites me out for ice-cream, or brings in donuts?
Who in my life needs me to eat to connect with me?
Who expresses their love for me through feeding?
Whose eating do I influence and how?
How does your substance use (if any) affect your eating patterns?
Mindful New Year to you all!
Cultivating Mindful Emotional Eating Partnerships
I’d like to once again tackle the most provocative concept from “Eating the Moment” self-help program, that of mindful emotional eating. I have received a good bit of correspondence regarding this harm-reduction, moderation-focused, Middle Way approach to dealing with emotional eating. Most folks who wrote me about this concept shared that they were intrigued by the self-acceptance and the compassion of this idea but they were a bit afraid of abusing the strategy. This fear is normal. You see, the flip side of freedom is responsibility. Most overeaters don’t trust themselves. Which is why they tend to overeat. Mindful emotional eating is an attempt to change that. It’s an opportunity to set precedents of self-trust.
Another theme that stood out for me from the correspondence with the readers is that there is a lot of very toxic guilt about the idea of emotional eating. And guilt about emotional eating, as you probably have figured out, leads to more emotional eating. The current approach offers a guilt-free way to leverage more coping per calorie by making emotional eating more mindful and more effective as a coping strategy. So, read on. More specifically, what I’d like to do in this post is to , first, offer you an overview of the concept of mindful emotional eating, and, then, some assistance in cultivating mindful emotional eating partnerships.
EMOTIONAL EATING ISN’T A PROBLEM, MINDLESS EMOTIONAL EATING IS
As you might recall from the “Eating the Moment” self-help program for overcoming overeating, there are 3 reasons we eat: just because, mindlessly; to satisfy biological/physiological hunger; and to change how we feel/for emotional reasons. Emotional eating is extremely common. In fact, it is pretty much hard-wired into our eating culture. Take the concept of dessert, for example. What is dessert? Dessert is something yummy, tasty. Does your body need dessert? Of course, not. So, why do we eat desserts? Because we want to enjoy the taste of what we are eating. That’s an emotional reason. Dessert is for the mind, not for the body. Same goes for any kind of taste-focused cooking. As a culture, we spend endless hours pursuing …