Stressed spelled backward is desserts. For many of us, what may be more true is desserts spelled backward is stressed. As thoughts of “forbidden foods” like pumpkin pie, apple pie and ice cream dance through your head and inevitably make many of you think this is the start of your holiday weight gain, I would like to propose another way of looking at food anxiety as Thanksgiving approaches.
Many of you start focusing on all the reasons you shouldn’t eat the pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes with gravy. But what if you could move from being stressed to enjoying desserts at Thanksgiving dinner this year?
Here’s why: The louder the “shoulding” and “shouldn’ting” gets in our brains, the more and more we want to eat the food mindlessly. It gets us away from the critical voices that focus on our weight, our fat. And the more we tell ourselves something is forbidden, the more we want it and may end up bingeing on it when our willpower hits empty.
Use these strategies of enjoyment and mindful eating to SAVOR the food, deeply enjoy it and add pleasure to your life with each bite.
Here is a portion of a mindful eating meditation from Zimbio:
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
- Before putting it in your mouth, take a moment to smell the food.
- Notice whether you desire this food and where in your body you feel that.
- Take a bite of the food and close your eyes, noticing how the food feels in your mouth.
- Slowly chew.
- What tastes do you notice?
- Appreciate the taste and describe it simply to yourself.
- Swallow when you’re ready.
- Now, with eyes still closed, be aware of any sensations in your stomach.
- Think of the energy of the sun and the earth entering your body, bringing health and nourishment to every cell.
- Savor each bite.
Give yourself permission to be thankful for the delicious food you can eat, enjoy and savor this Thanksgiving. Don’t be stressed by desserts.
What food would you want to move from the “stressed list” to the “dessert list” in your mind so that you can fully enjoy it?