Posts Tagged ‘living a rewarding life’

Setting a Mindful Eating Intention

In the interests of not being a slave to the voice in my head that has always suggested that I do unwise (aka: stupid) things that kept me stuck for years in a pattern of overeating and hating myself for it, I offer this blog. It is an attempt to suggest some ways of bringing mindfulness into your life so that you might begin to  live your life as if you are in charge.  You can’t change what you’re not aware of.  Mindfulness is about being aware.

Every AM I try to set an intention to do what is in my best interests when it comes to food.  Setting an intention has to do with how you would like to be moment by moment in your life.  It differs from setting a goal which is about an outcome.   An intention is ideally aligned with your values, that is, what you think is important in life.

This idea of setting an intention is a pretty simple thing, but I find that it is extremely powerful in helping me to see that I’m doing my best to live a life of integrity and clarity. ( I set intentions about other ways of being in my life beyond food, but this is a big one for me.)

So, in my case, setting an intention to do what is in my best interests when it comes to food means that I am mindful of the voice in my head that tries to convince me that having a candy bar right now would be FUN.  I acknowledge that voice and I might assume that it’s “the little girl in me” who equates fun with candy bars.  I don’t yell at myself for having that thought nor do I ignore it.  I might wonder if I’m being too serious or working too hard and this sudden craving for a candy bar  for fun is really more about needing to bring fun into my life by lightening up and taking an enjoyable break.

Another example would be when I’m eating something that is really delicious, notice that my body is telling me that I’m satisfied and should stop and I hear myself saying, “But this is so good.  I don’t want to stop.”  Remembering my intention (no easy thing at this point), I remember how disrespectful it is to ignore my body to disregard its signals of fullness and I also remember how uncomfortable I will feel if I continue.

I acknowledge the desire to keep eating, the feeling that it’s never enough, but go ahead and do what I believe is in my best interests.

In these examples I’ve tried to show outcomes that would align with my intentions.  However, we all know (well, let’s say I know from years of working with this food issue in my life) what can sometimes happen to the best of intentions.  If I stray from what I intended and get the candy bar and/or eat beyond fullness, I do my best to be kind toward myself, but firmly remind myself of my intentions and get back on track without beating myself up.  I’ve personally discovered, and research supports the idea, that being mean to ourselves at these times serves no useful purpose.  As a matter of fact, it just sets us up for the next over-eating experience.

What is your intention?  Try to set an intention each AM upon waking.  This will help you start to take charge of your life.

For me, setting an intention and doing the best I can to follow it is the underpinning of living a rewarding life.