Anyone on a journey of self improvement will find themselves face to face with the elusive desire for self acceptance. After all, if you don't love yourself, no one else will. I've always found that less than encouraging! I am someone who has spent most of my life unaccepting myself and it is down right exhausting! In my journey to like me, I have found that what self acceptance is to one person is not at all accepting to another. Trying to accept ones self just the way we are can lead us down a rabbit hole of self judgment and the impending guilt that follows. Self judgment and guilt are not virtues of self acceptance at all. Infact, self judgement and guilt are as damaging, or more so, than not liking your reflection in the mirror. So it gets a bit confusing since self acceptance tends to be defined by other peoples opinions and sprinkled with a bit of hypocrisy.
So what is my definition of self acceptance? I personally believe that it starts with looking in the mirror and being in love with what I see. That is yet to happen for me although some days I dislike what I see less than others. After failing at the reflection love I usually remind myself that I am funny, kind and strong. One look in the mirror later in the day pretty much takes the steam out of my inner virtues attempt. I usually think that I really like me, I just would like to be a better version of me and then it will be easier to love myself. Most of the people teaching the world about self acceptance express the need to accept yourself right now, just the way your are. This is a very hard one for me as I cant seem to wrap my head around doing things that improve oneself whilst loving yourself as is. This is contradictory in my mind.
When I turn to the dictionary's description of self acceptance it is describes as 'the act or state of accepting oneself and recognizing ones own abilities and limitations.' Hmmmm, that doesn't seem nearly as stringent as what most of the self help people are shouting at me at all. Apparently I've been too hard on myself in my quest to not be so hard on myself. Maybe the description of self love would give me better answers. Interesting, it appears that Merriam-Webster really must not have been on a "true" journey to self improvement. Self love is simply described by "Merriam" as 'proper regard for and attention to ones happiness or well-being.' Maybe I have more self acceptance and self love than I realized. Maybe we can all work toward self love and acceptance without beating ourselves up for our lack of it!
Recently, I have found myself smacked in the face with proclamations of new found self acceptance and love on social media. Well of course! Social media is a great place to focus on other peoples impeccable virtues and our own lack there of.
This blog was inspired by the "self acceptance" soap box that I recently have been seeing a lot of people teetering on. Women are taking out their breast implants due to suspicion that they are making them ill. This blog is not to prove or disprove that theory but I have no doubts that many things we do to alter our appearance could be unsafe in the long run. Many of these woman that have had their implants removed are expressing that they should have loved each other enough to never get them at all. Yes, that makes sense, right? But what if the people speaking on their new found "self acceptance" had fat transfer (fat moved from other undesirable locations to their breasts) to take the place of their breasts after removing the implants? Is sucking fat from one part of the body and moving it to another part of the body more self accepting than implants? Or even safe? Its not natural and probably not safe, but this blog is not about all that.
I read a rather long blog about a woman finding self acceptance after having her implants removed and fat transferred to replace them. She blogged about how she was explaining it to her teenage daughter. I enjoyed what she was writing as teenagers today are inundated with mixed messages that has them over focused on appearance. At the end of reading the article, I wondered how this woman explained, or if she explained, the fat transfer she had done and how that fit in with her inspirational message of loving yourself as is. Was this woman seeing fat transfer as self acceptance and breast implants as not accepting of ones self? At this point you probably will need to make columns of things you can do to alter your body that ARE self accepting and things that ARE NOT. After all you want to get this right because self love seems pretty important in trying to become your best self.
I watched another woman speaking on self acceptance that I originally thought was very surprised at her new found self acceptance. If I got to the level of self acceptance she was touting I might find might self a bit surprised, because as a woman we are constantly reminded of the latest ideas about female perfection. Getting to a place of just liking yourself the way you are could be a bit startling perhaps. Then I realized she was in a permanent state of shock and as an Esthetician I immediately recognized she wasn't surprised at her self acceptance at all. It was a heavy dose of injected surprise. So is having Botulism stuck in your forehead every few months safe? Some women swear THAT has hurt them long term as well. Again, this is not about safety, as we can argue that all day long. My point here is that paralyzing facial muscles so they don't move anymore with Botulism, certainly doesn't fit my personal view of self acceptance. Although it does save you a lot of time editing those lines out of your social media pictures.... wait, I guess that also goes in the lack of self acceptance column. No wonder this has been so hard for me and others like me to truly get!
One of my favorite self acceptance judgement calls came from a facial client of mine. This woman no longer wore make up or colored her hair. She seemed pretty self accepting by all accounts and I greatly admired that about her. At one point she quit going to her favorite yoga class because the instructor got breast implants. Not because she feared for her instructors safety, but because she didn't understand how a "Yogi" could "butcher" themselves like that. I was a bit taken aback that she felt her Yoga instructor was an actual "Yogi" and even more taken aback that she felt that having silicone balls in her instructors chest would some how affect her Yoga experience. On a side note, this same woman got a face lift about 5 years later. So I guess she took a hard left on the self acceptance road or maybe she rationalized that a face lift was "keeping up on what you already have" and breast implants were "adding something you never had." I'm just gonna put face lift in a "might be some what accepting of ones self" column off to the side at this point.
So, why I am I even writing this? I work with women that desperately want to feel and look their best. They live in a world that looking youthful and healthy gets you way more opportunities. People that are grossly obese are viewed as lazy. Looking youthful makes you look more vibrant and perhaps more energetic. Pretty people present better in customer service positions. Too much make up is bad, no make up can rarely be pulled off. Too sexy is inappropriate but frumpy makes you look boring and lack luster. Women do better in their careers, in love and at life if they look young, healthy and fit.
Pretty adolescent girls often get more boys or girls and are more popular and that extends right on into being an adult. Our brains are built for survival and our brains cling to love, safety and belonging. This is a proven fact. Love and belonging in our society are greatly based on appearance.
We all have our reason for wanting to look and feel our best. I am a Health Coach and an Esthetician and at 52 I kind of think people are more likely to view my advice as worth listening to if I look extremely youthful and fit. That is a lot to live up to since so many things factor in to all of that. A little filler here and there carefully placed, some Botox and possibly fat moved around from my middle to a more desirable area would probably make me look more worthy of giving health and beauty advice. I would certainly get more business. I could go "live" on Facebook and tell women to pay me money for my diet plans and do my work outs so that they will look more like me. I see this all the time in the beauty and wellness industry. I'm not for it or against it. BUT, I certainly wouldn't preach about self love and acceptance and call other women out for their lack of it while I'm lifting or moving things around, adding some cheeks here and a lip there and paralyzing my face. That would be hypocritical, and it would lead to comparison and self judgment which is the exact opposite of what I want for my clients.
Why? Because who am I to judge which column to put make up, hair color, filler, Botox or a tummy tuck in? Is there more columns to add? Slightly unaccepting? Mainly accepting? Just enhancing but still loving myself acceptance? Do I believe we should look within and love ourselves for who we are, the way we are, right this moment? Of course. But I also know that is a very tough journey. Most of the gurus preaching it fall into a different column than one of total self acceptance! They have redefined self acceptance to fit their narrative. You can be sure of that! I also don't believe that adding more self loathing and guilt over what we have done to ourselves in the past, what we are currently doing or may choose to do in the future is any more self accepting than getting a third arm.
I look at self acceptance like diet or exercise. I can tell a person to eat whole, fresh foods and to not exclude a macronutrient group. I can explain the importance of vegetables, drinking enough water, getting outside and moving their body. Most likely they are not going to change over night or figure out what foods and ways of preparing them are most healthy for them. They aren't going to love moving their body more if they are not accustomed to it. Its about baby steps and habit change. If they feel guilty for what they ate their whole lives or even today, they are going to judge themselves and eat more unhealthy comfort foods. I'm not going to go "live" on social media eating a sprout sandwich with a chocolate cake in the background.
If people feel guilty and judge themselves for being lazy or unmotivated or secretly self sabotaging they are going to continue to do more of the same. I'm not going to get on my soap box and make people feel bad about their choices because they are different from what my research says to be true about health and wellness. They are choices we make in the moment with the information before us. Guilt, self judgement and self loathing are more unhealthy than anything we can eat, drink, breathe or surgically shuffle around.
So, for my client that got the tummy tuck and then felt a little more comfortable in her gym clothes and it turned out to be a spring board to working out, that probably was not complete self acceptance. To my friends who get spray tanned to look slimmer at the beach until their diet kicks in "next summer," you should have loved your white glowing body enough to wear it proudly at the beach so you also fail at self love. To myself, who has hated her under eye circles since she realized that the person in the mirror was her own reflection, put the concealer down and see how long it takes until someone asks "are YOU okay?" That would be a day full of self love for me right there! Did I mention the new slimming body under garment I found? Hating myself every time I wear it! Don't get me started on crooked teeth. Leave those chompers be because you will probably forget to wear your retainer anyway you self loather!
Where do we draw the line with self acceptance and love? Is make up okay? Trying to build your body into that of a fitness model you follow on Instagram okay? Eye lash extensions? Padded bras? Shaving? No really, someone on their soap box needs to get down for a minute and clearly define this so all of these teenagers and grown ups know where self loathing ends and self acceptance begins. I need to know which column to put my pink and white manicure in because my natural nails are not nearly as beautiful to gesture with and I feel rally bad about myself for that!
I don't know what ACTUAL self acceptance is. I would like to no longer focus on my flaws and love the person in the mirror completely. I would like to look forward to trying non swimsuits in florescent lighting. I would like to just wake up excited that I am me, just the way I am. That is not where I am at. I have only found a few Buddhist monks that appear to be there and that has to be what true peace and happiness feels like. I live here, in the United States though and I have to find my way in this world where things just work differently. I am yet to find an author on the best seller list that speaks on self acceptance and love that truly walks the talk. I applaud that they are working on it and I applaud myself for working on it as well.
So, where does this leave me on this journey of self acceptance? The one thing I wont do is judge myself because the "surprised" lady with Botox is telling me to like myself as I am. I only have today and today I will remember to focus on my flaws a little less while I look inward and drag my true virtues into view so I can see them more clearly. I will struggle to find something worth loving as I stand in front of the mirror on one day, and I will be truly grateful that I am actually able to stand in front of the mirror the next. I will probably continue to put concealer under my eyes so no one has to worry if I am okay. I will remind myself that its who I am on the inside, not what is on the outside that absolutely defines who I am and what is truly important. Maybe I will try one of those self accepting messy buns that I cant seem to pull of in the very near future.
What I wont do is judge you for your facial paralyzing practices or moving your stomach to your butt. Why would I need to do that? That's the last thing YOU need and it changes nothing about me. Everyone is on a journey and we are all more advanced in different areas. Stop judging other peoples journeys and stop judging your own. Stop comparing (note to self). Not many people are perfect with their self love practice and all that I'm aware of. I don't care how many podcasts they are on or how many articles they have written. Its okay that you still cant give up sugar, just start with water. Its okay that you don't feel comfortable at the beach without your miracle tummy taming swimsuit and a spray tan. Heck, start with water there too. Everything starts with water, but that isn't what this blog is about either...
You do you. Self love starts with no longer judging yourself or feeling guilty. We are all stumbling to get self acceptance and self love right. So stop hating yourself because someone with a platform told you that you hate yourself!!
Time for a cleanse?
Lots of people are looking for a way to get a jump on a healthy life style. Cleanses have become popular and vary greatly in strategies. They are also marketed by different names like Metabolic reset. I’ve seen everything from a fresh juice cleanse to the quick cleanse promises a bundle of supplements. Cleanses are often full of promises and are sold often as a quick fix. The one thing I learned in the world of health, nutrition, and weight loss there is no such thing as a quick fix. I think in most peoples minds they just are looking to wipe the slate clean and start over or they are wanting to drop a few pounds quickly.
So… what can a cleanse do?
The body is designed to be self-cleaning and to excrete toxins, but here’s the problem…. It can’t always handle the toxic overload present in today’s environment. Chemicals not excreted accumulate in our fat cells and cell membranes become internal toxins. These toxins corrode the body from the inside out, making it harder to lose weight, have the energy we need to enjoy life and add to the total body burden. The more toxins we are exposed to in the foods we eat and the air we breathe, the more toxic we become. Some bodies are more genetically able to process toxins and it takes a greater toxic load to feel the unwanted effects. Most people get to a point that their body has already met its toxic load and are unable to take any more. These people feel the greatest negative effects and the slightest exposure to more toxins can make them feel very unwell.
A cleanse is a gentle way of clearing excess toxins from the body so it can operate at its highest potential. There are some intense medical cleanses that are accompanied by a physician to oversee the process. This is what I recommend if a person has major health challenges. There are tests that can be run by a functional medicine doctor to access your bodies ability to process certain toxins including those that may be in your everyday environment. Certain detox pathways in the body may not be functioning properly and in those cases doing a cleanse would be counterproductive until those under functioning pathways are addressed.
I recommend all people start with a gentle effective cleanse. There is no sense in throwing in a whole bunch of supplements if they might possibly be increasing the burden on your body. Also, many cleansing products are full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. I find most people want to purchase some cleansing products, but they are often expensive, not necessary and unless you know what toxins may be stored in your body they can possibly create even more problems.
The cleanse that I recommend for my clients is based on a strategic dietary plan that gives your body the nutrients it needs without placing any additional burden on your body. It is included the optimal cleansing diet to encourage your bodies detox organs and lymphatic system to move and release stored toxins. It also consists of lifestyle recommendations to encourage detoxification through the skin and through respiration. Think of a cleanse as a way of helping your body to rid itself of stored, stagnant gunk while allowing it to rest and rejuvenate. You’ll find that every part of your body works better simply by “switching on” your metabolism through cleansing. It’s a great way to jumpstart weight loss and start feeling more energetic and motivated to continue forward with a healthy lifestyle.
With more energy created through a cleanse, my clients often find they are now ready to take on long term diet and lifestyle changes. When they are tired and sluggish it is hard to even begin to find the energy and motivation to make the necessary lifestyle changes they are working toward.
So what kinds of changes might you see with a cleanse?
My clients find that cleansing helps them:
• Shed excess weight (especially belly fat)
• Boost energy
• Feel lighter and cleaner
• Decrease cravings
• Experience deeper sleep and clearer skin
• Improve digestion (less gas and bloating)
• Decrease congestion and allergy symptoms
• Discover food sensitivities
• Jumpstart a healthy new lifestyle
So how do you know when its time for a cleanse?
It might be time for you to cleanse if you answer “YES” to any of these questions:
• You get bloated after eating
• You tend to gain weight easily, especially in your belly
• You have extra pounds that won’t come off with diet and exercise
• You have headaches more than occasionally
• You frequently belch or feel gassy or gurgling in your belly
• You tend to feel lethargic during the day
• You have cravings for sugar or starchy foods
• You experience mood swings or anxiety
• You have difficulty focusing or experience foggy brain
• You have allergies or hay fever
• You experience pain, muscle achiness, or stiffness in your joints
• You feel addicted to foods that you know aren’t good for you... and yet you can’t stop
• You feel anxious, upset, nervous, or downright cranky
So how does a person do a cleanse?
Of course, there are many different cleansing diets and potions out there. In my health coaching practice, I lead my clients through a detailed, step-by-step 14-Day Cleanse, complete with cleansing menus, recipes, and daily guidelines. I make sure that my clients mark out 14 days to be able to fully dedicate themselves to the cleansing process and rest as needed. It is also important that my clients fully understand the cleanse and prepare by purchasing their groceries, cooking ahead and planning out the things they may need to ensure that it is inevitable that they will be able to follow through.
I include a coaching call at the start of a cleanse to set goals and explain the cleanse details so that my clients are fully prepared to get started. I am also available to answer any questions as they may come up along the way and to motivate clients accordingly. It can be difficult to make major changes by yourself and having a coach, and accountability partner to guide you through can make all the difference!
If you think you are ready for a cleanse, contact me today to get started!
What are your goals for the next 90 days??
Your 90-day goals must fit into the following criteria. They must be realistically achievable within a 90-day period and they must be measurable. Other than that, pretend you have a magic want that does not know your doubts about your own capability. If you could wave it, what do you want in the next 90 days?
Once you know what your goals are the most important thing you can do is sit down and write out your reasons why. You can do this in the form of a journal, brain storming or as a letter to anyone or even a letter to yourself. Your why is the single most important determining factor for your long-term success regarding any goal whether it be health related or not.
Don’t skip or skimp on the why step. Clear some space on your calendar, set a timer and devote yourself to deeply exploring this question. Ask yourself “why do I want this??” with every single goal individually. This is something I do in my “Discovery Session” with my clients. It is very interesting as the first answers to the why are some what vague. “I want to feel better in a swimsuit.” “I want to have more energy” “My doctor told me I needed to.” Some people cannot even verbalize why. Yet, the why must be bigger and deeper or they wouldn’t be looking for help achieving their goals. It takes time for some people to even allow themselves to fully understand why.
Take time to visualize having the goal accomplished now and ask the second steps to the why question. Ask yourself why this is important to you? What will having that do for you? How will it affect the people around you? How might it effect your job? How might it effect your relationships? With each of those answers again ask why that is important to you.
We call this the why behind the why. I can help you uncover this if you are having trouble in my free Discovery Session. I don’t charge or pressure you into buying anything. It’s just important enough that I am willing to work with anyone who is stuck or stagnant and can’t come up with compelling reasons why they want to achieve their goals.
Your why needs to be important enough to you to motivate you during the times falling into old patterns seems easiest. For instance, if you are cutting back on carbs as one of your goals. There will be times you are under stress or confronted with an amazing carb ridden meal and you will forget why you started cutting back on carbs to begin with. You will always choose what feels best in the moment. If in the moment your reasons for cutting back on carbs (your whys) aren’t understood, important and easily accessible, you will cave to short term pleasure. You will tell yourself all the reasons it is okay to give in and resort back to habits that do not support your goals.
When you have a strong why or several strong whys, they will still not always successfully stop the old habits but your brain will be able to relate to the very good reasons you are changing your habits. You can load up all the good images and feelings and reinforce your decisions to create new habits that will bring you closer to your goals. Many people go into a new program running on adrenaline. Adrenaline will not sustain you past 2 or 3 weeks. A strong reason why is what will continue to propel you forward.
Your brain will always want to go back to what it knows. It is in fear of anything that may threaten love, safety or belonging. That’s how it has kept us alive. Your brain doesn’t like change. You need to think about your whys often. You need to think of them and elaborate on them often. Your brain needs to enjoy and buy into the whys you have set for your new goals. I use your whys as a tool throughout my 90-day program. Your success is dependent on the depth you explore and understand the reason why you are wanting to achieve these goals in the first place.
You may want to give yourself a few days to contemplate your whys as you go through your day. Ask yourself if you had that now, how would it change this moment? If you are on vacation would you be doing more if you had more energy? How would that effect your relationship with your significant other? What would you be wearing or doing or seeing or feeling if you had your goals achieved right in that moment? The next time you step in the dressing room ask yourself how that moment might be different if you already had accomplished your goals. Do that with every moment of the day and keep a note pad or track your whys on your phone.
The key to short and long-term success is your list of whys! So, start letting your imagination go wild. If you feel stuck I will be happy to go through these questions with you in a Discovery Session.
Yoga mats are hard
It started with a cup of coffee while I was relaxing out back scrolling social media. Once I checked out my friend’s friend’s vacation I finally realized it was time to get up and get my daily dose of movement in. Since it was so beautiful out I opted for a work out in the sun by the pool. Beautiful fresh air, pool fountains in the background and lush Florida scenery. I prefer that to being indoors at the gym anytime.
Problem with working out at home has been that I usually get distracted and end up going into the other room for water, only to discover I forgot to fold some laundry and them 15 minutes later I remember I am working out. In the past, this would repeat itself a few times and my whole work out would get derailed and somehow the laundry wouldn’t get folded either. Now I set a timer, have my water and other necessities nearby and don’t leave the area I’m working out until my timer goes off.
When I work out at home I usually come up with a combination of body weight exercises that combine strength training, yoga, and Pilates. I’ve only been to a handful of Yoga classes, so I do my version of what I remember and always go to child’s pose when I am tired or at a loss for my next less than graceful Yoga pose. I was a Pilates instructor, so I throw a few spine loving, core building moves in there because who doesn’t need that. Then there may be a squat, a burpee or some leg raises to target the areas that I feel need some muscle toning. These target areas are usually determined by the last glimpse I got of myself in the mirror. That’s how my home-based work outs usually go. They also happen to fall into HIT training because I rest (usually in child’s pose) when my heart rate gets into the determined zone. Some days I spend more time in child’s pose than others. Thank goodness for whoever came up with child’s pose!!
So, on this day, I rolled out my TJ Maxx Yoga mat and started with some light stretching. That felt good as always. Nice deep breaths while releasing all my stiff muscles and joints. This is always a time I notice that life really is pretty good… the trees stand out a little more, the sun feels extra warming on my skin and I just seem to feel a little more in tune with my surroundings. Then I remembered some people on social media were doing a plank challenge. I hadn’t planked in a while, but it had me wondering how long I could hold a plank these days. Immediately I flipped over on to my stomach and into the plank on forearms position and pulled my belly to my spine with a slow, complete exhale. I tried to keep my back in perfect alignment engaging my core and my glutes. I felt pretty strong, like I could hold this far longer than the others in the challenge were up to.
That’s when it hit me “Holy cow this Yoga mat is doing absolutely nothing for me!” I might as well have been forearms to concrete! What in the heck did I buy for $9.99 anyway? I looked down and saw the Nike emblem in the corner of my purple mat and for a moment my elbows stopped burning because I knew it had to be a quality mat if Nike made it. I started thinking about what a great deal I got for a name brand Yoga mat, in fact I almost got the turquoise one that day too. Suddenly I could hardly stand the forearm pain. How could they think a mat this thin would ever do anything? I tried folding the end in half and repositioning my arms on the yoga mat sandwich I had made. It didn’t help much at all. I don’t care if they are Nike, they just really should have made this mat thicker! Now this was becoming the longest 2 minutes of my life. Not because of my shoulders, my abs or my glutes but because of my skinny, no good yoga mat. My elbow to forearm bone was killing me. I had however, planned to do 2 minutes of planking because that is what I had read the social media challenge group were currently doing. I stuck it out through the pain because that is the personal challenge that I had set for myself. If these social media ladies could do it then surely I could.
I finished the planking for 2.2 minutes and went directly into the child resting forearms pose for a few minutes wondering about what my Yoga mat was even made of. Moving forward I planked on my hands in the push up plank pose and continued on with my play it by ear work out. A few times I put myself into other uncomfortable paper mat on cement moves that put an imposition on my knees and even my butt. All uncomfortable, all making me want to go fold some laundry or see what my Facebook friends were up to. I remembered that I forgot to call one of my daughters back and considered this was a good time and my work out was probably enough for the day. I had my timer set though and continued to work out as planned, avoiding bone on mat positions as much as possible.
So, the point to this blog post is really not about cheap Yoga mats. Its about pushing through. Its about the time my client said she was working out to a video and it stopped working so she stopped and went and ate a sandwich. Or the time another client said she went to the gym and the machine she wanted to use was occupied by a sweaty man so she went home early. Even the times any of us just don’t want to get up and move at all. It’s not always comfortable to get up off the couch or to go to the gym instead of talking on the phone with a friend. There are times holding a yoga pose is uncomfortable or running the last 2 minutes takes everything you have. Not everyone enjoys everything all the time. I am a huge proponent of moving your bodies in ways that you love. If you love tennis, or roller blading or swimming do it. If nothing else, take a walk. Run the extra 2 minutes. Make your own work out up as you go if necessary. Life is not always comfortable. Remember the pay off. Remember why you started this. If you can’t remember, then you really need to take the time to right down all the reasons why and keep that list close at hand.
The truth is that no one has more motivation than another. My original motivator to move today was that I knew I would feel better after. I know that our bodies stagnate when they don’t move. I know that my mood is better when I move deliberately daily. I know that I will look better in a swimsuit and not feel self-conscious. I know that I don’t want to look like Sponge Bob and that’s how my body stores fat. These are all the reason I got up and started my work out. Once my forearms took the punishment of my cheap yoga mat I was motivated by my competitive nature. If these women were doing 2 minutes of planking today I knew I could do at least that many minutes, so I did 2 minutes and 2 seconds and felt like a winner. I didn’t put it on Facebook. I’m not even a part of their plank challenge. I was in competition with myself and that was good enough for me.
At the end of my 45-minute workout, my timer went off and I felt accomplished. It was another day that I did something good for my body. I did something that future self will thank me for. Michelle at the beach this summer will be glad that Michelle on the cheap yoga mat pressed on.
Its not always easy, its not always comfortable and sometimes you just gotta buy a better Yoga mat!
I believe that 75% is what your eat and 25% is who you are being when you eat. Next time you sit down to eat a meal time yourself. What is your mood? Are you eating mindfully and why is that important? So what is mindful eating anyway??
Mindful eating means taking the time to honor your food by choosing high quality food, preparing it with care and eating it slowly and mindfully using your five senses to really enjoy it.
It means taking the time to slow down, chew your food thoroughly and take a few breathes between bites. It means putting down your utensils from time to time and being aware of your surroundings. Mindful eating means not eating when you are stressed out or in a hurry but instead taking a few relaxing breathes before you even take your first bite.
It means allocating quiet time to enjoy eating your meal without rushing or multitasking at the same time. Being fully present in the moment, enjoying and appreciating your food.
Mindful eating is also a great way for families to practice putting down their cellphones and gadgets and enjoy and sharing a meal with their family.
My clients find that eating mindfully helps to:
How will I know if it’s time for me to learn to eat mindfully? It’s time for you to practice mindful eating if you answer “YES” to any of these questions:
What do I do now? You can start by timing your next meal. The next time you intend to eat, sit down, remove distractions and add 5 minutes to your last timed meal. Plan to work up to at least a 20 minute meal. Put your utensils down in between bites. Chew your food thoroughly. Become fully present while eating.
In my health coaching practice, I help clients discover what triggers them to overeat or binge eat. Then I lead them through a step-by-step process to learn how to eat mindfully and to learn what to eat for their unique body type.
The focus is not on what foods you cannot eat. The focus is on eating foods that you get to eat. Eating an abundance of foods that give you energy and sustain you, and eating mindfully so you can have the energy you need to enjoy life!