You've undoubtedly heard
before from others that they feel as the
weather gets warmer and clear skies light up the days that they are consuming healthier foods in ways that feel better to them in their bodies.
Despite the additional fact that some actually enjoy the coolness or the air and mystery of fog, weather affecting eating may not be the case for everyone.
Many are plagued by worries about what they have eaten in a sitting, or what they are going to eat in the times ahead, even if it is beautiful outside. How then, might we use this time of shift to add some
alternative practices around food intake?
Firstly, we want to make meal time something that is far more than just the intake of edibles. As you sit
and enjoy your food, make it a time for soothing music, or the sounds of the outside if you are eating in a lovely outdoor setting, or
able to see out a window into a garden, the ocean or mountains. Aliveness around you, no matter the climate, can represent to
you the life giving qualities in the food and amp the value it has for your entire body and brain.Focus on what you are noticing inside of yourself as you eat,
and any changes that are favorable or less so for you. The point is, be in the now with nourishing yourself; an agitated mind or body that is out of the present place you are really a part of, may keep you
from all the enrichment meant to satisfy and energize your system.
If you are struggling in your thoughts about what you should eat, what you are afraid to eat, what you just ate, and what you must
do to please others around food, take a break for a bit. Allow yourself to instead practice thinking about what peacefully preparing,
eating, or sharing a meal might be like. By practice, I mean that this may appear to be taken over by an older and louder part of
your mind, so even a little change at a time really can get in if you allow it!
A misconception about eating is that we often consider that when the meal over, everything associated with the time at
the table is done. Actually, the tastes, good conversations, book you are reading on a break while you snack or your favorite
show's plot is still with you along with digesting the food itself. Try to linger a little and appreciate the afterwards of the whole experience.
If your mealtime included something unpleasant or even upsetting, take some time to take care of yourself as your food is being
absorbed. The eating itself can be separated from the emotion and soothing can help you keep from negating the idea of meals and nibbling.
It might also be extremely helpful to benefit from guidance with any of these exercises and more, which I would be delighted to provide for you, as a professional who assists clients with eating issues.
Sometimes individuals have shame around food, or fear and numbness can get in the way of taking care of yourself. With some assistance in doing things in a different way than you have
felt stuck in, you no longer have to put so much of your intense focus into feeding yourself each day. Sometimes one may have
successfully turned around the way they eat and be making better choices, but
may be ready to explore in depth how their difficulties really were not about the food.
Finally, let the Spring be a time for putting new life into how creative you can be. When you make meals into an art form of planning, shopping and cooking, you will have a sense of achievement in what you have put together, and then
can decide if you'd like best to eat it in a mild and sunny or a crisp and cool environment, or even by a cozy fire. Sharing with
favorite people or having a quiet solo time is up to you. Either way...Enjoy!
Carol Jaron, MS, MFT, CHT