Where "Mindful Eating" can Sometimes Miss the Bar
In my recent episode with the lovely ladies of Good Morning Guru, we got to chat about all things yoga, Ayurveda + mindfulness. If you missed this convo you can access it here. One of the things we got to talk about in depth in our interview was the subject of mindful eating. While I 100% love the doors mindful eating opened for me on my food + body journey, that's exactly it- mindful eating (mindful anything really) is a door. But it is on you to figure out how to open it and then walk through it to see what's on the other side. So first let's get really clear, what exactly is "mindful eating"?
The Center for Mindful Eating states that mindfulness includes:
"Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption, by respecting your own inner wisdom.
Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
Acknowledging responses to food without judgement
and learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety to guide your decision to being and stop eating"
- an exert from Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Reche
I first learned about mindful eating during my studies at IIN, and started practicing being more mindful at meal time on a daily basis. But when it comes to letting go of all the fear of gaining weight; letting go of all the worry and control around food- mindful eating only took me so far.
Enter Intuitive Eating:
all the principles and practices that mindful eating advocates in addition to cognitive distortions (aka the inner critic, the black and white thinking, the beliefs we have about our bodies etc.), emotional eating, pleasure, environment + access, stress, and more.
It's about making choices that make you feel good in your body regardless of what you've been taught about food in the past. It's about trusting and respecting your body enough to give it the space to do its thang regardless of how you feel about its current shape. And it's about learning to get curious about what you really want and giving yourself the permission to have it- food or otherwise.
I'm not saying that Intuitive Eating is better than mindful eating. What I'm saying is that if you struggle with eating "normally" mindful eating might not cut it. A combination of both mindful eating and Intuitive Eating principles is like the key to Narnia.