Munching on a Healthy Mindset
What you eat is just as important as how you FEEL about food.!
Many of us, myself included, spend the last few days before the New Year reflecting on what areas of our lives may need some shifting. A common intention is set around food and living a healthier lifestyle. As awesome as it feels to set goals for ourselves, I think it's important to explore why you set those intentions.
How is your relationship with food? How do you feel about food? How is your parents relationship with food? Do you use food as an emotional crutch? What beliefs do you have around food that may not be serving you?
Is the reason you want to make a change because you feel that you can’t control yourself around doughnuts or do you believe that if you restrict your diet you will finally be loved by others. Perhaps food has always been a challenge for you and you are finally fed up with your bad eating patterns. Whatever intention you set, if you don’t heal your relationship with food then chances are when life throws a few obstacles at you, you may find your New Years resolution forgotten and reverting back to your old eating patterns again.
When we eat with the emotions of guilt, anger, stress or resentment the body picks up a negative association with food and digestion can be compromised as our body perceives food as a “threat” which can potentially lead to weight gain, mood disorders and dis-ease in the body.
Obsessing about calories and making meal plan after meal plan, cutting out food groups is not a healthy place to be in, yes I have been there, and as tough as it is, when you start to let go a little - you start to release that tension you have built up around food and you will start to feel lighter, brighter, more energetic and the weight will shift or you will start to feel more controlled around sugary treats.
Not every day is going to be perfect but it’s about not bringing the negative feelings back in when eating, especially if it's "naughty". It’s about having a positive experience with that indulgent treat and being present. If you want to spoil yourself with a treat every day then why not :) I do believe in the balance of an 80/20 approach.
Here are a few tips below that may help to shift the mindset and make food your friend.
- Bring awareness to your meal. It is important to be present when eating. Take the time to taste the flavours and to enjoy your food rather than rushing through your meal because you’re sitting at your desk or driving.
- Gratitude. An attitude of gratitude can only do wonders 😊 Give thanks for your meal, be grateful that you have created this delicious meal for you or give thanks to those who prepared the meal for you.
- Release the negative emotions. Release that guilty feeling that often creeps up if you eat something you know you shouldn’t.
- Take 3 deep breathes before eating and slow down. This calms your central nervous system and allows your body to be in a state of relaxation when eating as more often than not, we eat when we are in a rush or stressed so our body thinks we are in danger so stores the food that you have eaten or doesn’t digest it optimally
- Affirmations. Affirmations are a great way to start to change your mindset.
"My body is always doing its best to create perfect health”
“I am grateful for my healthy body. I love life.”
“My happy thoughts around food help create my healthy body.”
“I breathe deeply and fully. I take in the breath of life, and I am nourished.”
Stick one of these up on your mirror and repeat daily.