The saying, “you are what you eat” will really make you think about what you put into your body.
But that is only half of the equation to mindful, healthful eating.
While what you put in your body defines you, what defines you also has an impact on what you put in your body. For example, when many people are sad, stressed or simply bored, they may gravitate to junk food, processed food or sugary food. Because they are seeking peace outside of themselves to soothe the emotions within their body, it is easy to see that “you eat what you are [feeling]” is an incredibly true and powerful statement.
You may have heard (or said) “I eat my feelings” in response to making bad choices while emotional. This is the exact same philosophy as “you eat what you are” because of the direct reflection of your inner and outer worlds.
What we choose to put in our bodies reflects the emotions that are triggering these food choices. Being mindful of your mindset while grocery shopping, ordering off a menu or cooking for yourself at home will greatly help you decide if you’re choosing to nourish or soothe
Listening to your body and acting accordingly will help you rewire your brain, erase a bad habit, and support a new habit
. The positive signals sent to your brain reinforce your decision and make it easier to make the same decision the next time, and the time after that and so on until the bad habit is erased and the new habit is solidified.
Recognizing that eating to soothe emotions (stress, sadness, pain, boredom etc) is a habit, can then help you work on correcting that habit and replacing the reflex to reach for the box of cookies or ice cream with a conscious choice to choose something that will nourish your body with nutrients and send positive messages of change to your brain
3 Steps to Making Mindful Choices (for food and life):
Stop: As an observer of your mind, allowing your conscious stream of thoughts to be left unattended can disconnect you from your authentic self. The mind will run wild if allowed, so by stepping back and looking-on, you can see what is you and what is implanted by society, expectations and habits.
Think: Before you act out of habit, conditioning or fear, ask yourself if what you’re doing is best for the common good of your body, goals and authentic self. It is easy to get caught up in the fast-flowing stream of life, but choosing to either flow or change directions is completely in your power - and is empowering!
Act: Use your power of choice to continue on or make a change. It is hard at first, but once you get over that initial shock of doing something different, your body and mind will reward you by following suit and supporting your decision.
You may find this approach to be highly effective in identifying bad habits and behaviors and easier than choosing a specific diet to follow that doesn’t make you feel good. Mindful eating and living is essentially just observing what your mind wants and then choosing to follow that urge or change course and do something different that may be more beneficial for you.
You always have the power of choice. Use it wisely!