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We Eat: Healthful and Harmful
When trying to lose weight,
one may feel shame, avoidance, or obsession about
eating. As an alternative, it might be helpful to consider a new way of looking
at food and eating.
Let's explore the
REASONS WE EAT:
is an obvious and essential reason to eat. When you are hungry, it is
inappropriate to deny yourself food. There is no reason for guilt or shame.
The WAY to lose excess weight is to cultivate a healthful style of eating.
Eating when you are hungry is like breathing AIR to stay alive. It is
necessary for life.
When you are
physically hungry, every cell in your body sends out signals requesting
nutrients. Your cells do not have cravings for specific foods. They want
water, vitamins, minerals, amino acids (proteins), fatty acids, and
glucose, which can be provided from a variety of vegetables, fruits,
grains, legumes, meats, and calcium-rich foods.
hunger builds patiently and gradually over a 2-4 hour period following
your last meal. Physical hunger signals a preference that you eat soon,
but it does not command you to eat the instant you begin to feel it.
Listen to Your Body. It Will Talk to You: Hunger
How to Fuel-Up Your Body Throughout the Day
to learn about your Body's Fuel Gauge. Eating regular, small meals is
made easier by taking along a variety of food choices WITH you. Go to
Bob's Lunch Bag.
It is based in
your stomach with a gnawing or rumbling which becomes more painful over
time. You may begin to feel lightheaded or a lack of energy if over
When you eat
when you are physically hungry, you are aware of the food on your fork,
in your mouth, and in the stomach. You choose how much you need to eat
to fuel and nourish your body and STOP eating when that is accomplished.
A helpful practice to help get in touch with your TRUE hunger signals is
Eating Awareness Training.
Come to learn about yourself as you explore
Factors That Influence How Much We Eat.
refers to choosing foods containing the specific nutrients you know your
body needs. It also means LIMITING FOODS with too much fat, salt, or
section #5 for ideas about Cultivating a Sustainable, Healthful
Plan of Eating--one step at a time.
is working around your busy schedule to meet your body's need to eat in a
flexible way. For example, if you are not fully hungry before a meeting, you
may bring along a food bag so that you can eat on break, or eat after the
meeting. Or perhaps eat a small salad or veggies before you go.
Essential Skills #6 for ideas about Planning and
Preparing Delicious Recipes. Also go to see:
Nutritious and Yummy Snacks,
What Does Bob Typically Eat In Any Given Day? for ideas on scrumptious foods for home or on the go.
means that is is important to ENJOY foods (and other lifestyle choices that
you make) and eat foods we like. It is
important to have MOUTH FUN! Celebrate the pleasures of food. Use all of
You can learn to celebrate a healthful lifestyle!
In fact, making FUN your focus will insure that your new patterns naturally
become your new way you create your life.
Healthful Eating! Yum! Make It FUN. Make It Colorful!,
CELEBRATING The Simple Joys Of Life!,
The Power of Fun: Celebrate Enjoyable Ways To Be Active!,
An Alphabetical Guide to Zestful Living,
Sprinkle Dollops of Delight and Self-Care Towards Yourself for ideas of how to begin.
Most of the
SELF-DESTRUCTIVE reasons to eat have to do with using food to alter your
emotions. When you eat to numb feelings, the result may be frustration in
out-of-control eating and in the knowledge that your body is receiving extra
calories that will be stored as more fat.
© 1999, adapted with permission,
The Don't Diet, Live-It Workbook by Andrea LoBue and Marsea Marcus,
Articles on recovery, basic facts about eating
disorders, newsletters, self-help books, professional texts, educational videos,
internet resources, national organizations, treatment facilities.
Am I eating to fix painful emotions or situations?
From The Food Fix
By Sandra Stoltz.
By choosing NOT TO EAT
when you are emotionally hungry, you are creating healthy limits, which can
allow you to release and heal your feelings. FOOD will never provide real
support when your are anxious, bored, or lonely. Take some time to sort through:
The Ovals--Developing and Maintaining a "Personal Plan of
Eating" Discover what are you
REALLY hungry for as you learn
a Loving, Self-Nurturing, Inner Voice
So HOW do you
change the HABIT of eating to numb out uncomfortable and distressing emotions
Learn to be your own fitness coach—use your brain and
ask the right questions!
I can see what I do and I can see how to change it.
Choose to become aware:
Acknowledge, accept, and
understand, your pain and
Get in touch with what
ASK: Will this choice
increase my aliveness or decrease it? Free me, or imprison me?
Try several experiments to
learn about FEELINGS:
Touch your thumb and
forefinger together. What do you feel? Pressure? Heat or cold? Now touch a
table top with your finger. What do you notice then? Is it colder? Harder?
Now pinch yourself on
your upper arm, with your forefinger and fingernail-- pinching harder and
harder. Now what do you feel? Pain? Discomfort? Now let go. What do you
notice? Do you notice that the pain subsides? Ah.
Remember the feelings
that you have had as your BODY lets you know that you have to relieve
"liquid or solid wastes" from your body. Have you ever noticed those
SIGNALS, but ignored them because you were really busy? What feelings did
you notice after awhile? Did it get SO PAINFUL that you HAD to stop what you
were doing and attend to your body's needs? We've all had this happen to us.
Use this same
AWARENESS AND PROCESS to provide clues to you about your emotional eating
THE KEY SKILL IS TO
DEVELOP A PAUSE BUTTON--TO STOP!
Just like a tape recorder
has a PAUSE button.
go to FOOD to make things momentarily better.
Notice your habits. Become your
own "gentle observer." Take time to go inside yourself. Explore
feelings that arise in you.
Do You Experience a RAIN of
What are you hungry for? Rest?
Affection? Quite time? What do you really need? Take the time to
the light of self-care towards YOU!
PRACTICE THE SKILL OF
a Loving, Self-Nurturing, Inner Voice
The Horse Of Habit
How to work with
food cravings, and
How—Cleanse and Train The Mind.
It is helpful
to notice how your mind works. In Eckhart Tolle's book, Stillness
Speaks, he shares some helpful insights:
exists in a state of "not enough" and so is always greedy for more.
When you are identified with mind, you get bored and restless very
easily. Boredom means the mind is hungry for more stimulus, more food
for thought; and its hunger is not being satisfied.
When you feel
bored, you can satisfy the mind's hunger by picking up a magazine,
making a phone call, switching on the TV, surfing the web, going
shopping, or--and this is not uncommon--transferring the mental sense
of lack and its need for more to the body and satisfy it briefly
by ingesting more food.
Or you can
stay bored and restless and observe what it feels like to be bored and
restless. As you bring awareness to the feeling, there is suddenly
some space and stillness around it, as it were. A little at first, but
as the sense of inner space grows, the feeling of boredom will begin to
diminish in intensity and significance... pages 18 - 19.
- Stillness Speaks,
(2003), by Eckhart Tolle, Namaste Publishing and New World
Library. From the Introduction: "The only function of
a spiritual teacher is to help you remove that which separates you from the
truth of who you already are and what you already know in the depth of your
being." Enjoy discovering your inner being! See also
The Power of Now,
(1999), by Eckhart Tolle.
Publishing promotes Eckhart's books and other materials. Their mission is:
"To make available
publications that acknowledge, celebrate, and encourage others to express
their true essence and thereby come to remember Who They Really Are." Find
Namasté means, "I honor the place in you in which the entire universe
dwells, I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of
peace, when you are in that place in you and I'm in that place in me, we are
Check out: the
section to notice which emotions are TRIGGERS for you.
Keep track in your
diary. Notice the PAIN or DISCOMFORT that comes to visit you.
Try not to use food to mask your uncomfortable feelings.
Which Puzzle Pieces Contribute to Your Overweight? to figure out your lifestyle
DANGER ZONES--WHAT people, places and things influence your choices.
Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
to develop the SKILL of self-awareness and becoming a self-manager.
A note: many people abandon record
keeping when they have problems.
YOU TO WRITE DOWN WHATEVER HAPPENS. When you do this, you will begin to see
patterns and begin to FIND YOUR SOLUTIONS to transform and manage your
the Daily Check-In
Turn your attention to:
Getting to Know Your Stress and How to Management It
The Spot Stress Managers
to learn new ways to cope.
For some FUN, if all else fails,
you might try out
If All Else Fails: A Refrigerator Air Bag!
You may find that you can't sort
through things on your own and would benefit from the advice, insights, or
support of a trained listener. Consider:
Do you experience overwhelming circumstances and can't
lose weight? ,
Healing and Helping, and
Therapeutic Help for the Journey