By Andrea Wachter
Last week Andrea encouraged us to practice being aware of when we are satisfied after a meal rather than too full or still hungry. Maybe this allowed some suppressed emotions to surface for you. This practice also challenged us to consider our social eating habits. Did you find yourself having a harder time eating mindfully while eating with others? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below or on our Facebook page! This week, Andrea encourages us to be proactive in our mindful eating by “improving the way you move” and “finding new ways to fill up”. With a series of helpful questions to consider and insight on what really fills us, Andrea brings us another step further to achieve mindful eating!
Improve the Way You Move
Many people have a relationship with exercise that is similar to their relationship to food: they either avoid it or overdo it. Learning to move your body in ways that feel good, and rest without feeling guilty, is a challenge in our “go for the burn” culture, but meeting that challenge will help your body find its natural way.
Instead of telling yourself you should exercise or rebelling and avoiding exercise altogether, try these questions on for size: If you could never lose or gain another pound no matter how much you exercised, how would you choose to move your body? How did you enjoy moving your body prior to becoming obsessed with diets, weight loss or eating? What types of movement do you think your body might enjoy at this stage of your life?
When you take self-berating, calorie burning and body sculpting out of the equation, you will be able to honor your body’s natural desires to move and rest.
Find New Ways to Fill Up
In order to alleviate the need to overeat sweets and comfort foods, we need to make sure that we are getting enough sweetness and comfort in our lives. I encourage my clients to come up with a list of Spirit Fillers. These are ways that you can truly fill up without having any negative or unhealthy consequences.
When we turn to overeating or restricting, we might feel temporarily high but it is most often followed by a profound low. When we feed our spirits, we feel good while we are doing so and we also feel good afterwards. Of course a bath, a walk in nature, journaling or a cup of tea doesn’t pack the same punch as a box of cookies or a carton of ice-cream, but they also don’t leave the same bruises.
Back in my bingeing days, I definitely felt numb after a binge but I always, without exception, ended up feeling intense shame, remorse and hopelessness. Once I learned how to truly fill myself up, there were no shameful hangovers and nothing to “start over.”
Try writing a list of ways you might get more sweetness and comfort in your life and start integrating a few of these into your weekly routine. In addition to external ideas, consider adding some internal ones too. The more sweet and comforting your self-talk is, the less you will need old behaviors to attempt to meet your needs.
For more on mindful eating, check out The Center for Mindful Eating.
This blog was originally published on recoverywarriors.com
Andrea Wachter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-author of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell as well as The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook. She is also author of the upcoming book, Getting Over Overeating for Teens. Andrea is an inspirational counselor, author and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor and personal recovery to help others. For more information on her books, blogs and other services, please visit www.innersolutions.net.