DAY # 26
EAT FAVORITE FOODS.
Today I will eat my favorite food!
Today I want you to only eat the things you TRULY enjoy and stop when you are 75-80% full instead of feeling super full or stuffed. Your goal today is to eat your favorite foods until you feel content. You could eat more, and you might later, but right now you are just experimenting with stopping at “pleasantly content” and seeing how it feels to nourish your body with the food you enjoy instead of punishing it by overeating.
For some people the thought of giving yourself permission to eat your favorite food might cause anxiety. Pay attention to any mental dialog that is taking place right now as you think about eating your favorite food. Does this challenge cause joy or fear? Observe your thoughts without judgment. If you feel that eating your favorite food is not an option, then choose another food that you will enjoy so you can start taking baby steps towards an “all foods fit” philosophy. For example, if you love ice cream and have a tendency of polishing off the pint every time, then make it a special experience and go out for ice cream. Order a single scoop of your favorite flavor and eat utilizing your mindful eating skills.
What we are doing is laying down the blueprint for a new you. A new habit. A new relationship with eating your favorite foods. Building solid confidence one meal at a time that you can eat and enjoy your favorite foods without guilt, shame or judgment…. or overeating, ideally (but in the event you do, don’t lose the lesson! Figure out WHY you overate… perhaps it tasted amazing and you never allow yourself to eat your favorite foods, perhaps you were super hungry and set yourself to overeat due to low blood sugar levels, perhaps you ate while distracted, perhaps you ate out of the container).
Another way to approach eating that can help slow down the process and stop when you are content, is what many already do. Every time you eat a bite of food, look at it, smell it, explore the tastes like it is the first time you have ever eaten it. Take a breath, give a word of thanks for the food you are about to build your body with, and slow the fork down! Explore the taste, texture, flavors and consistency on your tongue.
If you don’t trust yourself with your favorite food, that’s fine. My favorite expression is Know Thyself. You can baby step your way into eating your favorite foods by first eating something else that you enjoy but won’t trigger you or cause anxiety about eating it. Tell a spouse, friend or loved one about what you are doing for support and make time to dine out with them so they can help you slow down and enjoy each bite of your safe food. You do what is best for you. Only YOU know that.
Today I want you to be very intentional and thoughtful about what you decide to eat. I really want you to choose foods that you love, mindfully, without judgment and until you feel content and not full or stuffed. You can either use a smaller dish to serve yourself or leave a couple bites of that favorite meal or snack that you can eat again later today.
Observe any thoughts of “let me binge eat or abuse my body today by eating junk all day” and think about where they came from. Honor them and try to re-write another story but embrace it if this is your path today. When you practice the mindful skills and stay intentional during the meal, it’s difficult to overdo things. But if you slip in old habits and behaviors, no judgment. My hope for you is that you enjoy a variety of foods and balanced meals. But if not, I want you to feel what a day of eating your favorite foods feels like from a physical, mental, emotional and energetic perspective.
The reason I want you to eat your favorite food today is so you can learn to eat it on another level of enjoyment, ideally no guilt. Extract the wisdom from the experience.
Ok, what is your favorite foods? I love my loaded avocado toast, green juice, loaded yogurt bowls, homemade salads, stir-fry with cauliflower rice and roasted sweet potatoes as well as a variety of grains and beans (see my Instagram feed: @nutritionatlanta if you don't already follow me). I also love tiramisu, truffle fries, homemade pasta, my mom’s chocolate mousse ladyfinger cake, my neighbors pistachio cake, really good cupcakes and other treats. So I will definitely find something that I’ve been craving for awhile and enjoy it very mindfully. Do the same and let me know how it works for you!