Here is a new way of approaching food. Think about eating when sitting quietly. Intentionally choose to sit in a meditative way and for a few minutes let your mind wander, and then bring it to an intentional focus on a bodily function like the air coming in and out of your nose. Don’t control it, just observe it. Then after several minutes, perhaps at a preset signal by a timer or a guru, intentionally focus your attention on eating. Imagine as clearly as possible the many things you can do while eating but always keep these things under your intentional control. Make it part of your basic habit structure, part of your long-term character that you are in charge of your food and not the food in charge of you. This thought should be an automatic idea that springs into your mind while you are halfway through the food placed before you. The goal of the mindful meditation is to place you in control of your thoughts; in this case the thoughts are about eating and when to stop eating.
Some thoughts to ponder during meditation.
- Put a smile on your face and say to yourself, I’m in control of food.
- Have fun rehearsing doing things that are good for you.
- I think of food as nourishment for my body, not as pleasure itself.
- Think fun thoughts about food and don’t get too serious.
- Reminisce over food giving you energy not emotional gratification.
- Imagine playing with food on the plate as fun.
- Potatoes and broccoli can make game pieces to move in your mind.
- Imagine, I am choosing to sit down at a perfectly sized meal.
- I am choosing to look at a menu and identify the healthy foods.
- I smile at the waitress and ask about the daily special.
- I ask in a friendly way what they think the healthiest item is.
- I imagine chewing on a celery, the crunch, the squirt, the strings.
- I feel the cool bubbly bitterness of a single beer.
- I watch the beer flowing toward me as I tip the glass up.
- I smile as I push away the half full glass and walk away.
- I notice when I am no longer hungry.
- I play the game with my companion of seeing strange things on the plate.
- I imagine saying, “Thank you very much, but I never have second helpings.”
- I practice excusing myself halfway through a meal.
- I walk away from giant buffet tables and talk with someone at the periphery.
- I think of situations and say, “I’m in control of food, it’s not in control of me.”
- Think about talking to the greengrocer about vegetable details.
- Rehearse rejecting food products with silly pictures and ads.
- Rehearse setting bottles down when you can’t see what’s inside.
- Think about talking about healthy eating restaurants versus cost.
- Think about walking through a store with a healthy attitude.
- Rehearse walking the periphery of grocery stores before checking an aisle.
- Put a smile on your face when opening your eyes.
These are some ideas to think about to cultivate as automatic habits. The idea is to never feel any anxiety about food, eat as much as your body needs and never starve your body.
Your body will fight back if you willfully try to starve it, and it will win.