Lately I’ve been thinking about the conversations that run in our heads about food. The “Will I or won’t I?” “Should I or shouldn’t I?” “Be good or bad?” “Have this or that?”
It’s exhausting for sure, but hard to find the off switch. Seems no matter which choice you make, the chatter keeps chattering on a constant loop.
It makes sense that when you’re judging or restricting something - even in your thoughts - you’re going to push back against the control and want more. That’s why diets boomerang. That’s why being “good” for breakfast and lunch too often means overindulging around dinner. Denial + judgement = big time cravings.
Before you ask (I can hear you): no, this does not mean eating with wild abandon. You’re right, in a way, that’s the opposite of denial and restriction, so it’s a really smart thought. But instead, what it means is stepping out of that conversation altogether.
How? First, notice that all this chatter is happening in your beautiful mind, but you’re not your mind - you’re the person with the mind, thinking the thoughts, busy having the conversation with yourself. But you also have a body that speaks to you.
In order to quiet the noise in your head, drop into your body. Change the channel from M to B. Your body knows how to eat - it sends signals of hunger, satiety and thirst that you may be out of the habit of hearing if you’ve been distracted with all the thinking.
To make this shift, it helps tos l o w w a y d o w n. See the food, smell it, and feel the sensations in your body. Do you feel physically hungry? No? Then go take a walk, call a friend, pet the dog. Yes? Then choose whole, high quality foods your body will thank you for. If thoughts and emotions bubble up, see if you can name them, allow them. Sometimes we eat fast and a lot in order to push feelings away. When you slow down, there they are, and they’re not always fun. Let them out as much as you can.
Enjoy your food fully and indulgently - s l o w l y, and listen for signals from your body when you’ve had enough. If your mind tries to interrupt and make the decisions (Clean your plate! or You’re So Weak! or even You deserve it!) simply thank it for trying to help, and then change channels again to reconnect with your body. That’s where the food wisdom is.
Your mind is beautiful, but with food, practice letting your body run the show. Instead of asking which voice in your head to listen to, see if you can hear what your body is saying instead.