What you eat is important. How you eat is very important. We have a relationship with our food and as with any other relationship it requires attention. How we relate to food will be reflected in our bodies, minds and hearts.
As Geneen Roth often says “how we eat is how we live.” Nothing could be more true. So where to begin? Begin by simply starting right where you are, it’s absolutely the perfect place for you. With three meals and snacks each day there’s ample opportunity to be with your relationship with food. So no excuses there!
Use these 5 simple ways to begin to change your relationship with food and your life:
- Check your hunger level when you begin to eat. Just notice it. Physical hunger feels different than what I call head hunger. Physical hunger will hit you below the neck and most commonly in the belly area (below the bottom of the ribs and above the belly button) yet some feel a more general physical change (still below the neck) as a first sign of hunger. Head hunger is just that, in your head -smells, sights or sounds of food generating a thought of eating, usually a delectable delight!
- Notice your environment. Where we eat says a lot about our relationship with not only our food, but ourselves. Eating on the run, standing at the counter or eating in the car are interesting milieus considering we are attempting to nourish ourselves. Finding where you are physically when you begin to eat will be eye opening and bring you into your body rather than simply being in your head. Note where you are at physically.
- Consider what you have chosen to eat at this particular meal. Yes the choice is important and what we eat also says a lot about how we live our lives. Fast foods, home-cooked foods, brown bag vegan or sampling food off others plates, what ever it is that you are choosing to eat -notice it and become aware that you made the choice to fuel your body with this food.
- Be aware of the speed of the meal. Eating faster than a speeding bullet has become the norm, yet our bodies have not learned to digest and get the message of satiety to our brains that quickly. Perhaps you never let go of the utensils or are preparing the next bite with one still in your mouth. Maybe the hunger is so intense you eat with abandon to stay alive. Maybe you eat slow and take time between bites. Notice if you are stopping now and then to check your hunger level.
- Check in with the belly area to notice the fullness level. See if you still feel hunger, feel Thanksgiving stuffed or are perfectly satisfied at the end of the meal Again bringing the attention into the body, the body which inherently knows when enough is enough. Just notice.
These 5 simple ways are related by awareness, by simply noticing. Nothing more need to be done, or forced or learned. To be present with what you are doing when you eat and when you are not present, learning to be curious about it will move your relationship to a new level organically. No judgment, no punishment -simply noticing. I urge you to pick a meal today and use the ways listed to have a curious look at your relationship with food.
Bon appetite!If you liked this post why not leave a comment or “tweet” it? Go on…just hit “tweet“! Mahalo~