Years ago, when I was lonely and stressed (which was very often), I used to eat popcorn. When I was home alone, I would sit on my couch with a good romantic comedy and munch on a a lot of salty popcorn (with nutritional yeast) until some kind of food coma happened.
Often that is all I would eat. I felt completely unable to cook for myself when I was alone.
On a recent Friday evening, I realized I had the whole house to myself (this rarely happens anymore). I came home from my 5 pm yoga class, put on my bath robe and made a big bowl of popcorn.
Hmm, a side of kale would be nice. I put on my favorite TV show and nestled in. It was heavenly. I ate until I was just pleasantly full.
I thought back to the days when that was all I would eat when I was alone. My automatic behavior was to over eat popcorn to calm down and deal with my loneliness and to avoid nourishing myself in a healthful way. I felt paralyzed in the areas of self-love and self-care.
This time was different. I didn't feel lonely, but rather balanced...even a little euphoric after my yoga class and a full and inspiring week.
I was thrilled to have the night to myself.
I consciously made the choice to treat myself to a night of R & R.
Eating popcorn in my AUTOMATIC mode to self soothe and numb out was so different than a personal treat to my favorite food and a night to ENJOY time to myself.
Some of us are obsessed with food, some of us are restrictive.
Many of us over indulge to self soothe, some of us binge to numb the pain of life.
We are often confused about what eating healthy means. Some of us are purists, some of us are addicted to fast food.
We over eat, we under eat, we act out our life stressors and overwhelm through food.
Our issues with food are not the real problem, but the SYMPTOM of something else being out of balance.
Can you relate?
Mindful eating is a practice. Mindful eating is an art.
I see it every day. I watch myself in a delicate dance with food, pleasure and health. I coach my clients on this very same inner quest.
As Michael Pollen so eloquently says...
"We are the only species on the planet who have forgotten how to eat".
Are we all emotional eaters?
YES. This is our humanness. We don't have to push this away, but rather we can work towards awareness in our relationship to food.
Where we bring awareness, we can shift-transform-grow.
When we bring health and balance to the other areas in our lives we see it ripple out to our food psychology and vitality.
When we enjoy life and pleasure and live in our fulfillment we begin to feel satiated in a deeper way.
Embodying what we are truly HUNGRY FOR in our lives can lead us on a wanderlust to becoming more attuned mind-body eater.
We CAN learn to trust ourselves in the face of pleasure. We CAN allow ourselves to enjoy food. We CAN create healthy rituals around food and self nourishment.
I invite you to START from where you ARE.
The only way to change something we are doing in AUTOMATIC is to take a good look at what is REALLY going on.
The nugget here is to open ourselves to seeing what is happening, to be in truth with ourselves, to bring forth AWARENESS.
I was totally present with my popcorn last week. It was almost like a milestone as to where I have been (down in the trenches of life) and how I have learned to honor myself more and more enjoying the art of awareness in myself and my life.
No guilt, no shame, just a little popcorn + kale.
After you read this, let me ask you this:
How do you see yourself in your relationship to food? How can you apply these ideas to you as a MIND-BODY EATER?
Leave a comment below...
Our health is our GREATEST wealth. Here's to living in your RADIANCE.