Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Your go-to behaviors

Do you know what they are?  I bet you do.  For some stress = eat.  For others stress = no eating.

Does busy mean drive-thru?  Meetings mean takeout?

Changing habits can be exhausting.  The great thing about habits is they free up brain space to work on other things.  Autopilot lets us drive, eat, listen to a song on the radio and plan our conversation with our boss.  Sure, sometimes things go wrong but more often than not, we arrive safely.

People get frustrated with mindful eating because it takes so much thought.  It's not easy.  Why?  Because it's not your habit...yet.  But think back to when you're kids were little -- didn't it take a lot of effort to get them to the point where brushing their teeth was a habit?  And aren't you glad you did?

Mindful eating is the same way.  When you get it -- when it is your new habit -- you will eat mindfully most of the time -- just like you brush your teeth most (or all) nights before you go to bed.

Like many things in life, it is a skill that takes time, practice, and attention.  You won't get it in one week or 3 or 6 or 6 months.  You just won't.

Give yourself permission to practice, learn, succeed, and fail.  This is a life-long process -- your metabolism is constantly changing -- so shouldn't your skills at weight management adapt too?

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