It’s Sunday. My very favorite day of the week. This is the day I get to share with you my take on living your best and happiest life.
While I do love writing and sharing, my absolute favorite part about this little community is the honesty, trust, and vulnerability as we open up our lives to one another.
Week in and week out I ask you to share with me what’s happening for you, and what areas of your lives can I try to help you manage. I love asking you what you need, because nine times out of ten, I’m probably going through something similar, and we can share the process together.
With all this being said, one of the most common topics I’m asked about is food, healthy eating, and cultivating a healthy body image.
As you can see in my bio, I studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach, but for so many years, I would cringe when people asked me for advice about their diet (which I know seems strange). The truth is, it’s taken me years to develop a healthy relationship with food, diet, and body image. Although I’m certainly not perfect, there has been one major factor that changed this dynamic for me: practicing mindfulness.
Eating mindfully shifted my relationship to food and my body, and it helped strengthen my intuition and self-confidence.
I have always felt like I had to search externally for someone to tell me how to eat, where to eat, and when to eat, which left me very confused and deflated. The truth was, I didn’t need someone else to tell me what to do, I needed to tap into the knowledge that I had within me.
If you’re looking to change your relationship to food and eating, I’ve put together my little guide to getting started. These are the tips that have helped me immensely. Give them a try, and see how they work for you.
- TAKE TIME TO CONNECT WITH YOURSELF. When you sit with yourself and your thoughts daily, you start to learn who you truly are. As you deepen your relationship with yourself you learn your likes, dislikes, and what is truly good for you.
- NOTICE THE SIGNS YOUR BODY IS GIVING YOU. Do you eat when your actually hungry? Or do you eat just for the sake of eating (or better yet, boredom). Start listening to the natural indicators from your body for hunger, thirst, and cravings. Listen to your intuition on what foods to eat. For so long I blindly followed what other people were telling me to eat, and it made me feel miserable. Taking back your power means making your own dietary choices.
- MAKE EATING A SACRED EXPERIENCE. Just like you give your full attention to your loved ones and your work, make nourishing your body a practice that deserves your presence. While it might be tempting to turn on the TV, read emails, or talk on the phone while eating, it’s distracting your mind and body from the true task at hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten while standing up in the kitchen while watching TV and checking emails, to all of a sudden realize that I had eaten way too much without even truly enjoying the food. Look at your food, smell, your food, and give thanks for your food. Your food is giving your body the energy it needs to live and thrive. Return the favor by giving it your presence.
- SLOW DOWN. We live in a fast-paced culture, which means we tend to eat very quickly. When we eat fast we don’t give our body the time to digest the food, which usually leads to overeating. Take time to sit down with your food. Chew each bite. I try to chew each bite at least 20 times.
- HAVE GRATITUDE FOR YOURSELF AND THE FOOD YOU EAT. We are all so lucky to have amazing food options at our fingertips. We are blessed to have choices. Be grateful for the things that are going right for you, your body, and your relationship to food. I have a practice of taking time each day to thank my body for all of the amazing functions it performs every day, without me even asking it to do so. We are all walking miracles on this earth!
I hope these simple tips help you along your way to finding a more manageable, friendly, and healthy relationship with food and eating. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below!
And please remember, just like with any other hot topic we address here, if ever you feel like you need further professional support, please reach out to someone. I have met so many amazing health coaches and nutritionists along the way, who are helping many people in this area.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org