My clients often tell me that now they are much more aware of what they were thinking in those difficult moments when they indulged.
I will ask, What was passing through your mind when you ate the …………. (fill in the blank with cookies, ice cream, too many nuts, big bowl of pasta, etc)”
And it is always fascinating to learn that they know exactly what was passing through their minds.
And this awareness (even after the fact) can transform a “cheat” into a lesson.
I have learned through my own food journeys that I can view an indulgence or overeating as either a dismal failure OR a reason to dig deeper into why I do the things I do.
Let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to be a perfect eater 100% of the time!
It is what we do with those experiences that determines our success.
I also believe pretty strongly that those mistakes, or failures or whatever you want to call them, are actually NECESSARY for change and improvement.
If you want to be better, do better, and realize your health potential, I would argue that those moments are an essential part of the process.
So let’s embrace them!
Let’s examine what we were thinking, how we were feeling, and what was driving us to make bad choices.
This is part of being mindful.
Think back to the moments when you ate something you knew was bad for you or you felt awful about eating afterward. And explore what was going through your mind.
Did your lower brain convince you it was the right thing to do? (read more about lower brain/higher brain here).
Were you eating to alleviate boredom, stress, pain, fatigue, loneliness or some other issue?
If so, then consider if that food actually helped. Did it? Really? How did you feel afterward? Was it worth it?
Explore these questions honestly with yourself.
Journal about it so you can see patterns and hopefully an improvement over time.
The mind is very powerful and we have a LOT more control over our behavior than we think.
The first step is being aware of those dialogs.