It’s been 7 days since we started practicing or reading more about mindfulness from a Christian perspective. I’ll take this time as a reminder that this isn’t Christian mindfulness; there is no such thing.
I recently returned to being intentional about mindfulness because I remembered the difference it had made in my life several years ago when I had lost 98 pounds. Mindfulness was the key to my success. After a couple of years I regained all the weight and more. People often asked me how I lost the weight the first time. When I’m asked this question I can tell that others want to know what diet or fitness program I had followed.
I tell them the truth; there was no diet, I don’t diet. I would love to say that my eating patterns and fitness regime was the key, but it wasn’t. What helped me was practicing mindfulness. At the time I didn’t know it was called mindfulness.
DAY 7: Be Mindful While You Work Towards Your Goals
I had learned a variety of techniques for the mind and this helped me to not fixate on food and to enjoy and give thanks for what I ate. Eventually I started to fall back into old habits by allowing anxiety and fatigue to dominate my eating habits. I disliked running so I stopped and didn’t replace it with any other physical activity.
Now that I’ve had to start over again with the weight loss and maintenance battle, I sometimes grow easily frustrated and discouraged. I begin to remember what I felt like after I had lost the weight. My body felt great. I enjoyed being fit and I enjoyed not having my days dominated by a desire to stuff my face with food. But now that I’ve returned to the practice of mindfulness, I’m reminded not to look back. I’m learning to remain in the present, to be fully present with my mind, heart, and body. I want to encourage you as well; don’t look back on what you used to look like or what you used to be able to do. Don’t even look back at your failures or the times that you missed the mark. We are not moving backwards in life, we are heading forwards. We can never hold on to or regain the past. All we have is the present and a hope for a tomorrow.
It is important to have goals, but it is also important not to delay your happiness. Self-worth shouldn’t have the same end date as your goal. With mindfulness you give yourself permission to be present while engaging in the habits that will get you to where you are heading. Be mindful during the following:
-Your weigh ins
If you don’t learn to be mindful, you will miss a lot of good moments on your way to your goal. It might take you several months to a few years to reach your goal, and that is much too long a time to go without being present in your journey.
Today we will try eating mindfully. Follow the simple prompts in the picture from the website Eat, Drink, & be Mindful (Dr. Susan Albers) or read the prompts below.
-Be aware by tasting your food
-Notice the texture, aroma, and flavour
-Make note of the language you use regarding the food, your surroundings, and those you are eating with. Do you find yourself separating food into “good” and “bad”; “deserved” and “undeserved?”
-Eliminate distractions. Turn off or down any music or televisions that might be playing. Focus on what you are eating. Sit while you eat.
-What is happening to your body: feeling full, empty, bloated, tired, energized, warm, cold. Do you feel calm or anxious.
What did you think of this exercise in mindful eating? Is it something you will do again or make into a habit?