This simple but profound statement explains why mindful eating is such a powerful approach for addressing your triggers for overeating. (See my last post for a list of common triggers identified by my readers. Can you relate to these?)
Chances are, if you have one trigger, you have dozens! So before we talk about specific strategies for dealing with specific triggers, we need to have an overarching strategy that will help you handle just about anything that comes up.
FEAST Instead of Eat!
Focus: If your habits depend on your mindlessness, then the corollary is that your awareness is the first step to making a change. So pause, breathe, and notice what is happening in the present moment. This pause allows you to respond instead of reacting (re-acting out the past) mindlessly.
Explore: Get curious! What is the trigger? Why is this situation, person, place, or feeling a trigger for eating?
Accept: It is what it is, and what you resist persists! Denying your feelings, avoiding difficult situations, pushing things away, or stuffing them down with food works like a spring: it takes a lot of energy to hold it down and it will pop back up, often when you least expect it. Instead, accept things as they are without judgment. Admittedly, this is not always easy but it is very effective.
Strategize: Choose how you'll respond, knowing that eating anyway is always an option. For now, consider what else could you do until you're hungry. What could you do to meet this need more effectively than eating? What could you do to prevent this particular trigger in the future?
Take Action: Take a small step--even a micromovement--in the direction you want to go.
You are only powerless over food if you choose to remain mindless. Every time you choose to become mindful, you weaken your habits. With practice, it will become more natural to choose your response instead of continuing to react mindlessly.
Next Post: Trigger #1: Stress