What’s Going On When Enough Food Isn’t Enough?

red flagWhat’s going on with us liberated eaters when we keep eating even though our stomachs are telling us to quit?

This happens to all of us now and then. Instead of getting sidetracked by guilt or fear, let’s explore what’s happening when enough food isn’t feeling like enough.

There are hundreds of reasons we might feel compelled to overeat – from old habits to new stressors – but let’s divide these myriad reasons into three main categories so it’s easier to find solutions.

There’s always a way through.

When enough isn’t feeling like enough, check in on these 3 possibilities:

1. Your life is raising a red flag: Something needs your attention. You really are hungry – just not for more food. So the question becomes

“What am I really hungry for?”

Could you need more fun? Connection? Creativity? Purpose? Wiggle room? Spiritual meaning? Peace? These are all legitimate needs that can feel a lot like gnawing hunger.

2. Your food-life is asking you to show up again: Maybe you’re not eating as mindfully these days, which is easy to forget in our distracting world. Thoughtful eating, however, is the strongest safeguard for our food-filled lives. Becoming present before we take that first bite sets us up for sanity and satisfaction.

3. You’ve forgotten what you REALLY want: The more future-focused we are the easier it is to align our daily choices with our future dreams. When your goal of feeling great tomorrow is not top-of-mind today, it’s easy for the other half of that panini to look pretty special.

Keeping a shined-up mental picture of myself dancing joyously at my granddaughter’s wedding when I’m 85 makes it much easier to get to the gym at 59.

So there we have it, three different areas to explore. Here are some questions to think through if you’d like to dig a little deeper…

What might your life need more of right now? Or less? Would you be willing to journal about this or talk it through with a trusted friend this week?

How thoroughly have you been enjoying your eating experiences lately? On a scale of 1 to 10 how “present” are you these days?

How strong is your motivation for reaching and keeping your best health? What does this level of health look like for you? What might change if you focused on how you want to feel one year from today?

6 Things to Know If You Want to Be Thinner

Living in a thinner body means thinking and doing things differently, permanently. Here are 6 things that can serve as reliable compass points along the way…

war with yourself 1. Build a lifestyle you can maintain. Whatever it takes to lower your weight is also what it’s going to take to keep it off. Take time to experiment and discover what works for you.

2. Be Reasonable. If you want to be thinner than your body wants to be, you will live in a constant tug-of-war. Forget our crazy cultural skinny-obsession and listen to your body. You will know your “happy place” when you get there, if you’re listening. Dare to be more connected to your body than to your bathroom scale.

3. Be Patient. Stop thinking fast and start thinking permanent. Fast weight loss leads to fast weight regain. Quick changes rarely last. Your body and your mind need time to settle into your new reasonable way of living and eating.

4. Make Both “Fuel-In” and “Fuel-Out” Lifestyle Changes. If you only work on eating less (fuel in) it will be very hard to release weight permanently. Metabolism slows with age so the amount of food you need will decrease over time. Staying active keeps your metabolism “young”.

At the same time, if you control your weight by exercise only, all it takes is one injury, illness or burnout and you’re right back where you started—with a disordered relationship with food.

5. Be realistic. In order to maintain a certain weight you will need to take in the amount of fuel that fits a person of that weight, at your height, age, gender, and activity level. There is no way around this.

6. Eat enough and make sure it’s delicious. Remember why dieting never worked, and never will. Deprivation will lead to excess. Eating enough satisfying food is the only way of eating you can live with long term. Lucky for you and for me – fresh real food is delicious, satisfying, life-giving and exactly what our bodies are happiest running on!

5 Peaceful Eating Tips for Your Christmas

xmasIt’s the week of Christmas – such a beautiful (and food-filled and hectic and stressful) time of year.

It’s hard to fully enjoy the season if you’re preoccupied with eating – so as we go into this holy-day week let’s remember a few things:

  • You can and should enjoy the food you eat.
  • There is nothing you have to overeat in order to enjoy it fully.
  • Do not eat anything in secret. You don’t have to.
  • Savoring each bite slowly is the best way to eat less and enjoy more.
  • If the idea of dieting in January starts to come up (so you can feel good about eating mindlessly right now) – just remember that it will work about as well as it did all the other years you tried it.

Enough is a feast!

May you enjoy yours.

One Beautiful Bite At A Time

One Beautiful Bite At A Time

Imagine…

What would happen if you thoroughly enjoyed each bite you took? What if no bite went down the hatch mindlessly?

Many of the things we struggle with in our food-lives would practically disappear: overeating, feeling dissatisfied with a meal, carrying extra weight, being sad that a meal is over so quickly.

One powerful tool we have in making this food-nirvana possible is:

Thinking like a connoisseur

Who enjoys food more than a connoisseur? They’re relaxed and present – connected to the eating experience. Fully engaged. Each bite intentionally savored. Every sense employed. The pleasure is so complete that it doesn’t take a lot of food to feel deeply satisfied.

The benefits of thinking like a connoisseur are exactly what we’re looking for:

  • An open, relaxed attitude toward food—no shame or fear
  • Quality brings pleasure, rather than quantity – so weight is managed more easily
  • Food is enjoyed so fully that there is no grieving when a meal is over

As we adopt the mindset of a connoisseur we will gain what we’ve been wanting – not through the strain of white-knuckle-will-power – but through the rich satisfaction that comes through true connection.

As we honor each bite we also come to honor the moment, the meal, the one who prepared it, our meal companions and our own best health.

Now that’s a win-win, one delicious bite at a time.

3 Reasons We Enjoy Holidays More Now

Recently several of you have expressed how good it feels to enjoy holidays and leave a holiday meal NOT feeling stuffed anymore. Here are some of your reasons why – all great things to celebrate and remember!

3 Reasons We Enjoy Holidays More Now3 reasons liberated eaters don’t feel compelled to overeat during the holidays:

  1. They are not starting a diet in January so they don’t feel compelled to overeat all the foods that would soon be forbidden.
  2. There are no illegal foods so “special” holiday goodies do not have power over them.
  3. Savoring each delicious bite makes food so enjoyable that overeating doesn’t feel necessary.

Thank you for the encouragement and the great reminder!