We are on to Thanksgiving, and if you sneeze or blink you could miss this special holiday. Christmas can overshadow the stillness that Thanksgiving calls us to, so let’s allow ourselves to slow down and appreciate this month.
I thought a great way for me to enter into this season of thankfulness would be to attend a series wellness classes offered at the Women’s Center For Healing & Transformation in Abita, Louisiana. These classes were taught by some of the community’s most gifted healers and teachers.
One of the classes I attended was on the topic of mindfulness and how it profoundly effects our health. Mitzie R. Meyers, RN, MSN, CNE, AHN-BC, presented in one of their cozy rooms in the Women’s Center. The small group of like-minded women combined with a rainy Fall day made the class that much more wonderful.😊
As a health coach I have experienced through heart felt conversations how many struggle with not having a good relationship with food. The fundamental reason is that we’ve forgotten how to be present as we eat.
Have you ever looked down at a plate of food and it has vanished?! You feel a sense of disappointment that you didn’t even taste your food, and then the internal critic shows up and ruins the pleasure of eating.
It’s time for us to show up for ourselves and put an end to this cycle.
The recipe for mindful eating calls for the warming effect of kindness and the spice of curiosity. Jan Chozen Bays M.D.
What is mindful eating?
It is much more than eating slowly & without distraction, although that is a big part, it involves so much more. Meyers shared these definitions:
- Giving focused attention to your meals (put away electronics)
- Using all your senses with the process of eating
- Being aware of your hunger and satiety (see hunger scale http://www.whereineedtobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Hunger-Scale.jpg)
- Making choices that support health and well-being
- Awareness without criticism or judgement.
- Having intention and attention both internally and externally. For example, at your Thanksgiving meal think about where the food came from, the process it took to get to your table & allowing that to expand your appreciation. 😇
Here is a visual to help you practice these ideas:
Why is mindful eating important?
In her presentation Meyers said,
research shows a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and reduce the risk for Type II diabetes. Some other benefits she shared is that it improves digestion, increases the enjoyment of food & reduces over-eating.
After the class I had an opportunity to ask Meyers about how mindfulness can help us enjoy the holidays without gaining 15lbs. in the process-;) She said, “have an intention for what you want the holiday to mean and make that happen.”
We talked a little bit about how the holidays can lead to depression for some people, but she says, “you can feel empowered to make the holiday what you want it to mean to you. This openness in the heart will allow gratitude to come in.” When we are grateful it removes us from walking under a dark cloud, and we realize the abundance that is present in our lives. “It all starts with intention.”
What will your intention be for Thanksgiving and this time of the year? What is the reality you want to create? How will you show up for yourself and your family?