Often, meditation instructors start with an exercise called “Raisin Awareness.” In the exercise, you learn to actually eat a raisin. Yes, you’ve probably eaten a lot of raisins in your life, but in “Raisin Awareness” you are actually mindful about eating a raisin – what does it smell life, feel like, look like, taste like, feel like on your tongue?
So much of the time, we rush eating, while doing other things – eating in our cars, at our desks, in front of the TV. We lose our sense of awareness about food. That can be where at least some of our problems with food, weight, and health come from. Either we pay no attention to food and eat whatever, which can lead to health problems, or we are obsessive about food and endlessly count, monitor, and restrict, which can also lead to health problems.
Mindfulness is an approach that allows us to approach food – as it is. Food – a source of energy – a potential source of pleasure – but just food. Research has found that when people learn mindfulness practices such as meditation and restorative yoga, they can improve their weight, without actually dieting. Instead, becoming mindful helps the individual to become more self-aware and more self-accepting – and that can radically change how you relate to and approach food.
My colleague, Health Coach Rosie Bank, makes the insightful perception that for people with food-based addictions, food addiction is the one addiction you have to overcome while still having a relationship with the substance. You can’t stop eating forever! You have to learn how to eat mindfully, and eat to support your health.
Read more about Rosie’s approach, Get Your Body to Love You Back, by clicking here.