If you receive my newsletter, you already know how big of an advocate I am for living and eating mindfully. But maybe you are one of the few who have yet to send me your email address to let me know where to send the newsletter, and if that’s the case, you should probably join the club to make sure you aren’t missing anything that’s going on at Happy Food, Healthy Life.
In the newsletter, I wrote about being mindful. Being 100% present in everything that you do. Consciously feeling your emotions. Consciously tasting every little thing that you eat. Consciously understanding why you are eating what you are eating. Essentially just being present and conscious.
As someone who has struggled with food issues for years, I am very aware of how easy it is to just sweep our emotions under the rug and cover them up with Moose Tracks Fudge Swirl ice cream. I also know how easy it is to just go through life with one eye shut, not really paying attention or being completely present in all that you do. Do you really want to live a life like that? Where you are doing things only half-way? Where you aren’t living your potential?
I have been reading Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful by Susan Albers, and I was pretty shocked to find out how mindful I am not in many ways of my life. I am sad to say that I am not nearly as present as I would like to be. I am usually running all over the place trying to get thousands of things done that I find myself not really putting my best foot forward in anything I do.
Do you think you are mindful? Do you think you put your all into everything you do? Are you really present for your life?
Let me ask you a few questions, and then we’ll see where you stand.
Here are some common ways in which people act mindlessly. Put an X next to the statements that apply to you.
__ There are times when I am not really aware of what I am feeling or doing. I sometimes feel like a robot just going through the motions.
__ I find it hard to accept myself and circumstances as they are. I often wish for something different
__ I sometimes make unnecessary mistakes because I’m not paying attention
__ I often avoid painful things, or I procrastinate so I don’t have to deal with things that bother me.
__ Sometimes I’m so consumed with my thoughts (about food or my own issues) that I’m not as social as I could be.
__ I’m focused on just getting there. I power walk to where I am going without really noticing the scenery. Sometimes I don’t even look up. I drive without really thinking about where I am going.
__ I’m not listening very closely when other people are talking, or I find it difficult to listen to others for long periods.
__ If I am at a lecture, half of my attention is on the speaker and the other half is somewhere else.
__ I’m always making a mental list of what I have to do, even during inappropriate times (while I should be paying attention to work, during sex, and other times).
__ At parties, I can’t remember new people’s names.
__ I hurry through activities just to get them over with.
__ I think I will finally be happy in the future when I have accomplished a variety of goals; I have trouble seeing what I’ve already done well.
__ I sometimes drive or act on autopilot
__ I am bored with routine activities.
__ I have a hard time enjoying the moment, even when I am doing something fun.
__ I’m typically thinking, “Okay, what’s next?”
__ I dwell a lot on the past. When I start to think about painful things from the past, I can get very stuck. I have a hard time pulling myself out of it.
__ I think a lot about the future and as a result sometimes don’t enjoy what I’m doing right now.
__ Sometimes I forget whether I’ve completed routine tasks because I do them so mindlessly (for example, I can’t remember if I locked the door or turned off the TV when I left).
Most of us would check a few of these statements – that’s normal. However, if you marked several of these examples, you may want to commit to creating a more mindful lifestyle.
So, how did you do?
Are you wondering how some of these questions relate to being a mindful eater? Well, they don’t directly, but I can guess that if you have a hard time living mindfully in other aspects of your life, you most likely have a hard time eating mindfully.
I would like to know if you struggle with being 100% present like I do. It’s not something to be ashamed of. In fact, the sooner you realize that you could stand to be a bit more mindful, the sooner you will be on your way to living your life fully.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see what you can do to become more mindful with your eating. I believe that this is the key to truly overcoming your food trials.