Hands up if you're a serial offending overeater? Great because I pretty much just got out of jail on this one. I used to eat HUGE amounts of food. Like, I could eat my 6ft tall boyfriends under the table. It felt like no matter how much I consumed there was always room for more and I would constantly be trying to fill the bottomless pit that was my poor digestive system. Little did I know, at the time, that it wasn't my stomach that needed to be filled up it was actually my inner world.
I was fatigued, depressed, empty and I constantly felt like something was missing inside. I was just existing in the world, I was on auto pilot, doped up and numbed out as my life passed me by. I fell right into the modern societal myth of give, give, give, run, run, run, under the false pretence that that will lead me to my best life, best career, best friends, best self, best, perfect everything. But all of the working, doing, forcing, fucking, shopping, drinking was really just a desperate attempt to feel whole and fulfil the craving for what I truly desired that is love, happiness and joy.
I feel it's time for a mindset make over when it comes to how we consume food, (or consumption in general but lets stick to the task at hand). My friend... Food, is to be celebrated! Food, is to be appreciated and worshiped! Eating food is a pleasurable activity that can be fully embraced and enjoyed down to the very last bite. Instead of looking at our plates going "OMG I can't wait to get this entire thing inside me and then have seconds", think to yourself and relish in the anticipation that is the taste explosion, pleasure present your are about to receive noursih your body and soul with. Because when we stop to enjoy life, it all of a sudden becomes a soul fueling experience as well. This, in turn, will make your feel more 'full' because you're are filling your - TA DA! Smell it, taste it, feel all the textures, be present, eat slowly, CELEBRATE IT it, say thank you for it and relish in the all the juicy pleasure it brings you. Because food tastes good, right?
All of this external filling up, while it's still a part of our lives, it's time to bing awareness to the fact that these are surface level pleasure fillers and quick fixers. If you truly want to get your overeating under control then you need to go out of your way to feel energetic and alive from the inside. It is time to realise that pleasure is a necessity and can be a constant state of being, not just reserved for special occasions or number 73 on our-to-do lists.
If we turn eating into a pleasurable activity instead of a filling up necessity then our attitude and intentions instantly change at the dinner table. Because truly filling ourselves up is about finding and saying yes to real pleasure in our lives. Real pleasure is our life force, it makes us feel excited, makes us fall in love with life again, up's our energy levels and is absolutely essential to our health and wellbeing. While food is an essential fuel we can also see it as an addition to our daily pleasure practises that we get to indulge in at least three times a day - lucky you & me!
BE PRESENT - Take in a couple of deep breaths to arrive in your body and come into a relaxed state. I personally can't enjoy much pleasure if I'm rushed, stressed or doing a million other things at once. Being present will also aid your digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
SAY THANKS - Celebrate your plate.
EMBRACE THE PLEASURE - Lap up all the goodness! Food tastes good, doesn't it? Why not fully own and embrace all the delights when eating it. Say HELL YES to receiving every ounce of goodness in there.
EAT SLOWLY WITH MINDFULNESS - Bring awareness to all the tastes and sensations you experience, be inquisitive, take little bits at a time to discover each component and then try different combinations.
CHEW CHEW CHEW AND CHEW MORE - Why are we relentlessly told to extensively chew our food? #1 Salavia creates the enzymes essential to break down and assess the nutrient value of the food in our digestive system. #2 If our food isn't broken down properly, it passes through our intestinal tract as a large foreign object that all our friendly nutrient receptor cells struggle to recognise and may then launch an attack (aka irritations and 'allergies'). #3 The more time you take to chew the more time your pancreas has to prepare all the enzymes necessary for maximum nutrient absorption and assimilation. Basically, the more you chew the more bang for your buck you'll be getting in the nutrient department.
Learning to feed ourselves in a loving and nourishing way is a practice and a journey. It's important to understand that food is not the only fuel we need to feed ourselves. We need to make sure we are filling up our pleasure pots and stocking up on soul food so we aren't constantly trying to stuff an emotional void with a physical short term solution.
OK, I'm off to make breakfast!