21 Days to Break the Habit! Part 2 of 3
A 3-week path to more mindful eating habits
This week, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to practice better habits with my eating. I am probably getting this “opportunity” to practice because I am blogging about mindfulness this month. Thich Nhat Hanh says that if you ask for more patience, God does not grant you patience, but circumstances for you to learn more patience. To me it feels like walking through mud with loose shoes on, but I think he’s right!
When I feel sad, overwhelmed or just pooped out, one of my less-than-perfect habits is to turn to food for comfort. This week was certainly one of those weeks! Luckily though, since last week’s blog was so fresh in my mind, I was able to use some of the principles mentioned. On the top of my mindfulness in eating list was to ask myself if I was actually hungry. The answer was not always yes, and last night, even though I was not at all hungry, I ate a heavy meal plus dessert anyways. Did I feel comforted? The funny thing is NO I didn’t. I felt exhausted and went to bed early. It may seem like I was defeated and that mindfulness was not my friend as I woke up early this morning feeling groggy and feeling lethargic. I wanted to just roll over and go back to sleep as that old vicious cycle of sluggishness was rearing its head. By Grace, the next thought came from my mindfulness training. The thought was more of a voice, and it said “if you go back to sleep you will wake up later feeling worse. If you get up now and do something, you will feel great in an hour.” I had to move fast before I could defeat that thought. So even though the last thing I wanted to do was exercise, I told myself, “just put on your clothes and shoes and get yourself out on the trail. You don’t have to run or even work hard, just get out there.” And guess what? It worked! I found myself feeling happier, juicier and much more energized by the time the one hour hike was over. I even ended up going further than I had planned and feeling quite accomplished when finished. I felt I had overcome a habit that would have stopped me in the past even though it seemed I had made a less than excellent choice the day before.
Here are four mindfulness practices for this week:
- Connect with loved ones. In moments of weakness be with people who will support your highest outcome.
- Ask! Pray or ask for Grace and visualize your victory.
- Just move it! If you feel like self sabotage is kicking in, put some shoes on and dance to your favorite music or get outside and move.
- Make a vision list or vision board of your physical goals and keep it somewhere you can see it. This will keep your goals in front of you.
I find that when I am with others it’s easy to only eat when I am hungry and to make the very best, healthy choices most of the time. For me, the challenge and the practice begin when I am alone and my day is done.
I asked my super healthy friend the other day if he has any “vices” left. I really didn’t expect him to say that he did, except for maybe chocolate. He told me that yes, he did. When he is not taking care of himself emotionally and spiritually (he does this by taking time to be alone, meditating and exercising), he finds that he over eats! “Wow,” I thought, “we are all so much more alike than we know.” Today I hope you will take comfort in knowing that sometimes, we are all less-than-perfect, and that is perfectly human! Just keep practicing.
Elaina Love is the Owner/Director of PureJoyPlanet.com and is also a professional Chef, Instructor, and Detox Counselor at Pure Joy Culinary Academy. She is a Lifestyle Counselor, co-owner of Pure Joy Academy.