How to let go of the fear of food
I've been thinking about something a lady said to me on Tuesday night after my talk...she asked about the Mindful Eating idea that you can eat WHATEVER you want.
I said at the time, 'this is the one that some people struggle with a bit'.....and it is.
This is because we are taught to be SCARED of food. When I say, you can eat what you want, I can feel people almost instantly dismiss the idea. They think:
"Oh, no, that's not for me!"
"I can't do that!"
"How can I?"
"If I do, I'll eat all the chocolate in the world!"
"I'll never stop! That's crazy!"
"I need to keep control"
"I just can't trust myself"
So, let me explain what I mean. This is all about learning to TRUST your body. It's NOT about control. Control is for those people who want to remain in 'diet land' and I'm not doing that!!
One of the Mindful Eating principles is learning that FOOD IS JUST FOOD. Whatever it is. If you give some food a higher moral value than other food-I mean label some food as 'good' and some as 'bad'- and then you eat food from your 'bad' list, you FEEL BAD if you eat it.
What I suggest is you start the process of unlearning this way of thinking. Don't feel bad if you have a biscuit, if that is what you REALLY want. Make sure you focus on it and enjoy it with not an ounce of guilt. Then, you have the biscuit and move on. You aren't pushed into the mindset of "Now I've blown it, I might as well eat the whole lot."
Secondly, the FEAR that's generated when I suggest eating what you want is about the loss of control that people think will happen. It doesn't happen. It might initially, because to start with, those that have been denying themselves by dieting, will have a bit of an 'eat fest' whilst they start to ENJOY eating agin and choosing what they WANT. And that's ok.
But, after a while, you will start to calm down.
You won't want to eat chocolate/biscuits/cake (can you tell I have a sweet tooth?) all the time because if you did you would start to FEEL bad.
Mindful Eating is about eating with the intention of FEELING GOOD and I know, and you know, that if all I did was eat chocolate all day I would feel pretty lousy. So, I make sure I choose a balance of nutritious food as well. Of course I do. And nutritious food tastes great too.
I just listen to my body and my body tells me what I want. So sometimes, I crave salmon pasta. Last week I wanted lots of fish for some reason. This week I feel like I need more vitamins, so I'm looking out for nutritious food.
We don't need to be scared of this stuff. That's diet thinking. Mindful Eating is about letting go of that and TRUSTING ourselves because you know what, we are adults and we can do this ourselves!!! 💕