“When hungry eat your rice, when tired close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.” ~Lin- Chi

This quote says so much about self care and listening to your body. At what point did you stop listening to your body? How often do your thoughts about food influence the food you pick to eat? What you choose to eat, is it out of hunger for that food or what you think you should be eating? Maybe it is a combination of both at times?

Learning to have a positive relationship with foods starts with giving yourself unconditional permission to eat the food your body wants and needs. It’s about getting back to eating foods you can enjoy.

When too many foods have rules, it becomes harder to find what you “can” eat. In return, the cycle of feeling bad about eating and food begins. For example, you may say to yourself, “I’m in the mood for mac n’ cheese, but it’s too fatty and has too many carbohydrates. I think I’ll eat baked chicken and steamed broccoli instead because it’s a good choice.”

While you may feel better about the choice and ultimately you feel full because you ate the bland chicken and broccoli, but it would lack satiety.  It all began with negative thoughts about what you wanted to eat.   Those negative thoughts around the mac n’ cheese interfered with you establishing a better relationship food and feeling satisfied.

Can you see how all this negative food chatter in your head could interfere with you enjoying eating and food? Enjoying food will mean eating foods your body wants and needs!

Give Yourself Permission to Eat ALL Foods You Enjoy

Yes, this means giving yourself permission to eat the mac n’ cheese. The reality is this, you may not have eaten the mac n’ cheese, but your body will make up for the craving with something else later that has carbohydrate and fat. Yes, that is why you will later crave ice cream, cookies, chips, etc…

This sets the stage for guilt and shame around eating. If you would have just started by listening to your body you would have been full and satisfied and prevented overeating later.

What to Do Instead:

  1. Repeat to yourself, Mac n’ Cheese (insert whatever food you want to eat)  is good for me, it will help nourish my body. You can even go further if you know this type of stuff. The noodles will give me energy while the cheese will give me fat and protein to help satisfy me. Keep repeating it when those negative thoughts come around.
  2. Then, sit down at the table and focus on the food. Take a deep breath before you start eating and center yourself with the food. Again repeat above if needed.
  3. Put the food in your mouth, taste it and enjoy it. Keep eating it until you feel satisfied to stop…not when you “think” you should stop.
  4. Ask yourself while you are eating
    1. How does this feel in my mouth?
    2. Am I enjoying the taste of this?
    3. Am I satisfied or do I want to eat more?

Remind yourself, this isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. Be kind and gentle with yourself. You have been talking negatively about your eating for a long time. It will take an equal amount of time to stop the negative thinking.

For every negative comment you tell yourself, you will need TEN positive comments to counterbalance that!!