ALLURE MEDICAL - all•u Magazine all·u Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 14

DARYA ROSE When To Be Mindful (And When to Stop Worrying About It) By Darya Rose IT’S NO secret that I’m a big fan of mindful eating. Research has repeatedly shown that mindful eating helps people make better food choices, stop bingeing, enjoy meals more and naturally eat less. sounds great and all, but at what price? meal is also not the point. How can you enjoy your meal when you’re in a tug of war with your own mind? It can help you break unhealthy eating patterns and replace them with healthier ones. It’s a good question and one I’ve wrestled with myself. Your brain is very clever at coming up with reasons why it doesn’t need to be mindful. While mindful eating (and mindfulness in general) does eventually transition from difficult and frustrating to simple and peaceful with regular practice, being mindful 24/7 isn’t practical, nor is it necessary. And it is often the last piece of the puzzle for healthy eaters who still struggle to lose those last few stubborn pounds. Thinking is useful! But mindful eating is hard to do. Your brain naturally rejects mindful awareness and desperately seeks to follow your impulses to think and/or judge your current situation rather than simply observe it. These impulses are STRONG. And fighting them to bring your attention back to the present moment can feel exhausting, especially in the early days of your practice. This is usually when people start to question if mindfulness is even worth it. Enjoying your food more and eating less 14 SPRING 2018 This is my time to relax! I want to eat with my family! This is boring! Let me be free! If you get caught up in this kind of resistance during your mindful practice–– arguing with yourself about why you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing–– that’s a sure sign that you need to keep practicing. Learning to stop clinging to your thoughts and letting them take you out of the present moment is the whole point. That said, torturing yourself during every Your brain is right that thinking is valuable. Letting yourself relax during meals is healthy. And eatin