Mindful Eating came to my life in 2012, first through a book, and then through the wonderful ME-CL training. When I first encounter this approach to food, eating and my body, I felt I had found what I was looking for, and what I was already practicing in an intuitive way. It was as if someone had understood what I was going through in that very moment.
All my life I had struggled with my weight. When I was a little child I was told I was too skinny, later I was told I was too fat. It seemed that there was always something wrong with me. Or so I was told and so I believed.
A few months before I discovered ME-CL or the book Savor, I had decided to stop criticizing myself and instead take real care of myself. It was time to make peace with my body and my soul. I started savoring, peacefully and mindfully, the food I was eating. I tried to put aside all food rules, without worrying about my weight. To my surprise it naturally stabilized, and how much I weighed no longer occupied my mind. I found happiness living and eating this way.
Mindful Eating did not become another diet. What it became was a mirror. I discovered that everything changes, I also change and so does my way of eating. Sometimes there is more peace, sometimes there is more rush. The difference now is that I am aware (not on automatic pilot) of when I am eating mindlessly, and I no longer criticize myself. Instead, I try to turn those moments into opportunities to see within.
Through observation I now can see and understand that, like a mirror, my eating patterns reflect the states of my mind and of my soul. The more anxious I get, the faster I go… and the faster I eat! I also see that my weight still fluctuates,and I am okay with that too. The only times I still struggle a little is when I put on those extra pounds and my back hurts. When this happens my inner critic tends to raise her voice. I hear her, but now I don’t fall in her trap. I look at her and gently pat her on the back. I thank her for the reminder and then I go back to myself. With a kinder voice I look within. I see the pain or the worrisome. I remind myself to stay more present, everything is impermanent, suffering too will pass.
Mindfulness helps me to go back to my center to take better care of myself. When I find myself in the loop of anxiety, fear or anger and a bag of chips, I simply remember that there is another way to deal with stress. I use a nice walk, I take some rest or a warm bath. I hug my children and yes, I thank my body, for being there, even if my back hurts.
Have you ever found yourself eating mindlessly when you are troubled? What can you do, other than eating, to bring peace to your soul?
Claudia Vega, Mexico