For me, being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to. On this Mindful Monday, I need to revisit my path towards eating with a more mindful attitude.
(Image credit: Huffingtonpost)
I struggle with my weight, that is a fact. I was a “chunky kid” and my weight problems followed me into adulthood. Now that I am in the over-fifty crowd, my weight loss issues are still hard to cope with. Sound familiar? Read on…
Several years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and had to have my thyroid removed. The end result is that I must use a synthetic thyroid hormone to balance my metabolism, heart rate, and brain function. Your thyroid affects so much of your internal chemistry it is mind-boggling. One thing I do know, is that if I put my mind to it – I can lose weight. Just because I have a thyroid problem does not mean that I cannot lose, it is just harder to do.
I recently read an excellent article by Dr. Susan Albers called, “The Surprising Benefits of Mindful Eating.” Dr. Albers says the main problem regarding weight loss and overeating, (or under-eating) is that we have lost how to recognize when we are full. The connection between our hunger and feeling full registering in our brain has been disrupted.
(Image Credit: The Londoner.me)
We do have the ability to correct this malfunction if we follow Dr. Albers’ four mindful points quoted below:
“The Four Mindful Points: Check in with each dimension of mindfulness.
When you eat, ask yourself these questions:
- a. Mind: Am I tasting each bite or am I zoned out when I eat? (You can download the awareness checklist here.)
- Body: How does my body feel before and after I eat? Low energy? Stomach rumbling? Full? Empty?
- c. Feeling: What do I feel about this food? Guilty? Pleasure? Joy? Disappointment? Regret?
- d. Thoughts: What thoughts does this food bring to mind? Memories? Beliefs? Myths? Fears?”
The answers to these questions will make you aware of your eating behaviors. I have started a weight loss journal in a spiral notebook, where I list the foods that I eat each day and their corresponding Weight Watchers Points Plus values.
At the same time, if I come up against cravings, I have been asking myself Dr. Albers 4 questions. I have actually been able to walk away from some of the cravings because I recognized that I was bored, and not really hungry.
(Image Credit: SkinnyMom)
I know I have shared before that when I eat with chopsticks it forces me to slow down and take my time. My other issue with weight loss and eating mindfully is to concentrate on drinking enough fluids. Many times we think we are hungry, but instead we are thirsty. It is always better to drink water first to see if your hunger will abate.
To help motivate us this week, I found the following 40 Mindful Eating Mantras courtesy of Dr. Ablers:
I love the last one: EAT, DRINK, & BE MINDFUL. You can download Dr. Albers 40 Mantras here.
What are your mindful goals this week?
Remember, this is not a challenge. This is an offering of support. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making. If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so however, it is not necessary. My main objective here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in life.