Compulsive Eating Alternative: Learning to Eat With Pleasure
Do you allow pleasure from food? Are your senses throughly engaged as you eat? Do you fuel your aliveness with each meal or eat to deaden and numb out? Do you eat foods that taste good in your mouth and feel good in your physical body - both now and later?
Imagine eating in a manner that is passionate and filled with the pleasure of being alive. What exactly would pleasurable eating look like? It would vary by individual, and perhaps even by meal. But I imagine we can uncover some common themes and prototypes of pleasurable eating. I can think of lots of times pleasure eating would be done standing up: Enjoying an ice cream cone while exploring a new city while on vacation, mingling at a party while eating finger foods, and the pleasure of eating stadium food at sporting events. But let's narrow down our discussion to your everyday indoor eating experiences. What would "normal" pleasurable eating look like? I'll write down my vision and then invite yourself to write down yours.
Indoor pleasurable dining would involve sitting down at a table. A table that is attractive, clean of clutter, and arranged for multi-sensory dining experience. Look through any formal dining magazine and you'll see many examples of elaborate table setting ideas. The tables are set with folded napkins, fancy china, decorative stem ware, and colorful table runners. Imagine treating yourself as an honored guest, deserving of special china, candles, and even some flowers. You sit down for a few minutes to enjoy your food, taking a moment to say grace because you realize how blessed you are to have this abundance in your life. Your eyes widen to accept the visual pleasure of the food. You inhale, bringing the aroma of the food deep into your body. As you eat your food, you chew slowly, swallowing each mouthful before taking the next. The food begins to pleasantly fill you up inside. You stop eating when the sensations become something other than pleasurable.
This is just one idea of how a pleasurable eating experience might look. Take a few minutes and write down your idea of a satisfying eating experience:
CONSCIOUS RECEPTION OF FOOD
1. Set aside about 10-20 minutes during which you won't be interrupted. Make sure to start the experience at a point in your day when you are hungry, but not famished. Utilize this exercise at different meals.
2. Choose a food (or foods) that appeals to you on all levels. A food that is visually appealing. It smells good as you inhale it. It feels good in your mouth. And it feels good in your body. This food may just be something from your forbidden food list. Perhaps it's bread or ice cream or cake. Then again maybe you'll choose a wonderfully appetizing casserole or even spinach. What matters is that this is a food you like. Prepare this food and sit down with it in front of you.
3. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Let your body relax. Become aware of your thoughts and feelings. See whether you can tune in to the place in your lower belly where your food will land. Notice how empty that place feels.
4. Become aware of you body and notice where you might be holding tension. Notice if you have shallow breathing, a tight belly, a tense back, tight jaws, or elevated shoulders. Breathe into these areas, tune into what you might be feeling there, and gradually allow yourself to relax, knowing you are safe and supported. Place both of your feet on the ground as you prepare to eat.
5. Allow a moment of gratitude for the energy (life) you are about to receive. We deserve all of the good things life has to offer, without having to perform for any of them. We are deserving individuals by our very existence. Remember your place in the cycle of life. Remember that by eating you are giving yourself life. You have this right to have life, to have what you want, to be supported in your life, to receive pleasure, and to be connected to life. Connect with the life of the food you are eating and allow yourself to have a feeling of being grounded, of being connected to the earth, of being strong, vibrant, and stable.
6. Utilize your senses. Before eating, use your sense of vision and smell to "connect" with the food. Take another moment to feel the life in the food.
7. Allow yourself to accept the food. Take this life force into your own body so that it might grow strong and live and help you to fulfill your destiny. Swallow and notice if you can feel your stomach receiving the food? Notice if you want to rush and eat the next bite before you have even finished with this one. Inhibit this habitual response. Knowing that there is enough food, you may come to realize that you don't need to hold onto to energy or stored body fat. There is enough. You are worthy of having enough. You can let go and relax. Eat your food in freedom. For those of you eating in secret, allow yourself to be seen eating.
8. Eating is a way to extract life sustaining energy from food. When you eat, you process and absorb the forces of nature stored in your food. For example, plants store light through photosynthesis. Eating food releases the energies and nutrients stored in food for your body to absorb. In assimilating your food, you transfer life into your body.
An important part of exploring conscious eating is seeking balance. When you start connecting with food, without making any special effort to change your eating, a process naturally starts to take place. You'll start to desire foods that are abundant and alive, foods that give you what you really need on the deepest level. You begin to notice that food is more than just mouth pleasure . . . there is also physical body pleasure. You may recognize foods that drain you and better understand what nourishes, satisfies, and supports you. You learn to honor yourself and support your growth by choosing food, food experiences, thoughts, and behaviors that nourish and heal your body.
Copyright 2005, Dr. Annette Colby, all rights reserved.
Dr. Annette Colby, RD
For free inspirational newsletter, articles & info visit: http://www.LovingMiracles.com
Got Soy? Milk, Snuff, and Soy Beans
Milk is highly underrated. Experts say, America finds itself in a calcium crisis today because consumers aren't drinking enough milk.
A Healthy Diet Means Avoiding Trans-Fat as well as Saturated Fat
We all need fat in our diet on a daily basis. However, not all fats are created equal - there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.
The Benefits Of Drinking Herbal Teas
Herbal teas have long been known to have medicinal benefits as well as being tasty to drink! Some of my favorite teas are chamomile tea, jasmine tea and ginger tea. Each of these has a distinctive taste as well as health benefit.
Balanced Diet: Know More on Healthy and Nutritional Balanced Diet!
In this fast paced world, good nutrition may sound very simple but it is indeed really difficult to practice it. We eat too many processed foods or we tend to miss some meals.
How To Get Fit And Slash Your Health Insurance Costs
Okay, before we start, let me explain the purpose of this article. I want you to get so healthy, you'll never need to make a health insurance claim.
Hypertension -Twelve Simple Things You Can Do To Lower Your Blood Pressure
Headlines:Nearly a quarter of American adults just got diagnosed with a new disorder: pre-hypertension. Is your blood pressure low enough?Nearly 23% of people over the age of 18 have pre-hypertension(blood pressure over 120/80 and less than 140/90).
Vitamins and Minerals for a Healthy Reproductive System
Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential to the development and proper performance of the reproductive system. Nutrition plays a vital role in the development and maturity of the reproductive system through childhood and adolescence and can even affect the endocrine system which regulates the hormones that rule the functions of the reproductive system.
Trade In Your Diet For A Lifestyle!
Dieting is a pain. I think basically everyone would agree that having to adhere to a rigid restriction of your free-flow eating preferences puts a bit of a damper on the whole food experience.
Protein and Endurance Sports
Endurance Sports are like music concerts. They start at a low key, setting a steady rhythm and culminate into a crescendo that enthralls the spectator and the athlete.
Six Ways to Eat More Healthfully
With so much 'diet advice' around today it is little wonder if you feel somewhat confused. Whether you are wanting to lose weight, maintain your weight or help your family eat more healthfully.
Relieve PMS with the Food Diet Changes
Almost every woman suffers with premenstrual syndrome at one time or another. The symptoms are familiar: mood swings, cramping and bloating, trouble sleeping.
The Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Diet, Your Health & Your Life!
Because I believe diet and exercise are so important, I'm often frustrated with the recommendations I receive. Nutrition and natural health ideas are often so negative (don't eat this, watch out for that) or so rigorous (be sure to eat some raw, natural, organically grown vegetable I've never heard of) or so complicated, I end up ignoring them.
The Benefits of Iodine
Initially discovered as a new element in 1811 by Barnard Courtois, knowledge of this substance has come to include the host of benefits it brings to the body as an essential nutrient. For many years, getting enough iodine in the diet naturally was difficult in many geographic regions and remains so for an unfortunately high percentage of the world's population in the developing nations.
What You Need To Know About Inflammation
Inflammation is not a disease.Inflammation is best described as a defense mechanism to limit tissue damage.
Whats The Truth About Fat?
When I hear the word fat I usually think of a roll of it hanging over a persons belt, or that guy Milty, from the movie Van Wilder, doing a belly flop off of the top diving platform with the words, "save the swim team", written across his backside. Sometimes, however, the picture of a big, juicy, double quarter pounder with cheese will slip its way into my mind.
7 Tips on Using Food Diet Remedies for Your Common Health Ailments
Making simple changes to your food diet can help remedy some of the common health problems. Increasingly, more health experts are acknowledging that natural food is a good alternative medicine against many diseases.
Gift Basket Idea for Senior Citizens
Evidence for the importance of fruit and vegetable intake to health and quality of life with aging is widely recognized. Consuming fruits and vegetables can reduce an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease and many cancers.
Why Digestive Enzymes Are Vital To Good Health!
Most digestive disorders develop because of the bodys inability to produce sufficient enzymes for health-enhancing digestion and proper nutrient absorption. Enzyme depletion results in improper digestion and absorption, leading to chronic disordersMalabsorption is the inability of the cells of the body to obtain nutrients from the foods consumed.
Did you know that there might be poison in many of your favorite foods found on grocery store shelves everywhere? Breads, crackers, cookies, energy bars, tortillas, frozen pizza are just a few examples of these dangerous foods. The poison in these items is called partially hydrogenated fat, often referred to as trans-fatty acids.
What is Organic Food?
"Organic" has some quite specific legal definitions in most developed countries.In the U.