Monday, March 1, 2010

Mindful Eating, Part 2

I am really enjoying the book "Mindful Eating." I've been reading it slowly and really trying to learn from it. Like many people with eating disorders or food issues, I've never had a positive relationship with food.

The current chapter I'm reading is about recognizing your emotions surrounding food. "If you were raised in a difficult family, mealtimes maybe have been unpleasant. [pg65]"

Here is my favorite concept so far: "In Pavlov's experiments with dogs, food was paired with a bell. Perhaps in your home, food was paired with stress, shame, anxiety and danger. In Pavlov's experiments, the sound of a bell made the conditioned dogs salivate....[For humans] there could be many different results, many possible behaviors, that result from the pairing of eating with stress. Even after you grew up, left home, and could eat alone in safety, events could trigger the body and mind to react as they did when you were a child. Because the family table was the scene of unhappiness, you may feel subtle anxiety when you sit down to eat.[pg66]"

It will probably take the rest of my life to accomplish my goal to have a better relationship with food. To work towards my goal, I will:
1. Learn to recognize real hunger and when I am full.

2. Learn to eat slower so I enjoy and experience my food.  

3. Recognize what my triggers are for "mindless" eating (emotional, etc) and stop doing it!

4. Realize it's quality not quantity of food.  

5. Stop feeling shame when I "slip up."

Note: There are donuts here at work today. I actually have no desire to have one! Shocking! I'm actually excited to eat my banana for snack. Why? Because I know how that donut will make me feel after I eat it.

QUESTION: How does food make you feel?

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