Mindful eating

Aug 16, 2011
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

It’s very frustrating to me to hear all the hype about dieting. I’m here to tell you, I’ve tried dieting for 45 years, and it doesn’t work! All it does is make you fat…or fatter! (ok, it works for some, but I don’t consider 3% of the population enough to call it an effective way to lose weight, and keep it off!)

There are so many diets out there, it’s hard to know if anything is truly effective at taking off excess weight, regardless of age or physical condition. Yes, it usually boils down to a mathematical equation: calories in have to be less than calories out. But that equation neglects to factor in the emotional side of eating. By going on a diet and restricting your food intake, you’re really just putting food at the forefront of your mind all the time, which, at least for me, makes me want it even more.  

I’m trying a new approach. Cate Smith, MG director, has been talking about ‘mindful eating’ for years. To me, it’s really just about being aware of what your body wants & needs…not trying to force your body into doing what your mind wants to do. Appreciating every bite you put in your mouth, and how you feel afterwards. Eating anything you want (how scary is THAT!?!?) but only when you’re hungry (hmmm….there’s an interesting concept-eating only because you’re hungry…).  This is a very challenging concept for people, like me, who have spent years riding up & down on the dieting roller coaster…people who have spent a lifetime ignoring what they feel or even worse, trying to self medicate so that they feel nothing. There are lots of forms of self medication out there-drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex -- and food, my current drug of choice.  Of the many drugs I’ve used to self medicate over the years, overcoming my food addiction has been by far the most difficult.

I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing as I travel down the mindful path…so far I feel much better-mentally, emotionally & physically.

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