Seems like “mindful eating” is all the rage these days, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. On meditation retreats, yes, I think about eating, since it’s part of the package: you think about your sensory experience all day long.
But lately, I’ve been toying around with the idea of offering something in this area. but it’s possible I have something to contribute.
Everyone’s attracted to food, and we all eat we eat food every day.
If you want to be mindful, if you’re into meditation, if you want to pay attention to experience (sensations, images, sounds, tastes, etc.), then food’s a big part of that.
I Love Junk Food
I’m not a spiritual teacher. Am I supposed to give you some wisdom?
Some deep insights?
I love eating. It’s fantastic.
I love junk food: ice cream, cookies, candy…It tastes better than any other food.
But, if I’m in the meditation world, that means I’m part of the “health and wellness community,” and I’m not allowed to say stuff like that.
Finish all your food!
Do you remember, when you were a kid and you had food on your plate, you had to finish your food, to do a good job?
I remember going to restaurants, the waitress would come over and say, “Oh, you did such a good job!”
Good job? Why?
Is that an accomplishment, eating all your food?
Now, when I have all this food in front of me, I want to eat it all. I want that feeling of accomplishment. I don’t think that’s good.
Food exists in the present moment. It doesn’t need to be so conceptual.
I Hate My Body
I hate how fat and ugly I am.
I’m trying to normalize complaining.
Most people are afraid to do it, because they don’t want to be seen as weak, or bring down their friends, or they’re worried about getting stuck in a vortex of negative thinking.
I, however, don’t mind vortices of negative thinking or being seen as weak. And, if I can ruin just one friend’s day, I’ll consider it a success.
Words are just words.
Yeah, they can trigger things. But still, they’re just words.
Let’s get to a point where we’re comfortable with words. Then, we can adjust them as needed.
How Meditation Helps
Meditation will help you:
- Control yourself.
- Forgive yourself.
You need both. One without the other is a recipe for disaster.
(Most Westerners suck at both of these, by the way.)
So, practice both. Practice being aware of your urges. Let them come and let them go. Just watch what happens. Be curious.
And if you slip up…go away and don’t come back until you understand that you didn’t slip up. There’s no such thing.
You’re a human being. You have urges.
Food tastes good. Get over yourself.
“If you can stop yourself from scratching an itch, you might be able to stop yourself from going to the fridge or eating another cookie…”
Blog Posts About Mindful Eating
You Can’t Change Your Eating Habits
For more about mindful eating, check out Just Eat It (coming soon).
For more about habits, check out How to Build Habits.
For more about exercise, check out KormanYoga.