Write down what your conscience honestly tells you before, during, and after eating what you consider to be an unhealthy meal. Reflect on this.
I need to tease out the two separate situations that come up when I read this prompt: eating an “unhealthy” meal and eating unhealthily, i.e. emotionally eating.
When simply eating a meal that’s processed or not super nutrient-dense, my inner voice is usually excited. It’s a treat. I know it’s going to taste good and, because it’s just one meal or so, I’m not going to feel extremely sluggish or tired afterwards. In those instances, my mindset isn’t much different from when I normally eat because it’s really just another meal.
When it comes to unhealthy habits, like emotionally eating, I have a lot of self-talk going on. To begin with, I usually find myself focused on a vague craving of “something sweet.” I know that I’m craving more than food, but I have a hard time pinpointing what it is that I need and how to provide it for myself.
While eating, I have the nagging feeling that I “shouldn’t” be eating more. That continuing to eat, even when I’m not hungry, isn’t good for me. At the same time, I’m pulling myself towards more sweets or other foods because it feels good. Afterwards, of course, I often feel guilty, frustrated, sad, and plain old tired.
It’s a good thing that I can separate these two. Even though I’d like to mostly eradicate food as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety, on most days, I’m able to treat healthy/unhealthy food with the same sense of enjoyment and moderation.
Black Iron Nutrition is offering a 30 Day Mindful Eating Challenge that includes journal prompts and tasks to help bring more mindfulness to our relationships with food. And I’m in! This post is in response to today’s prompt to keep myself accountable and get the most out of my participation. If you’re interested in joining the free challenge, sign up at Black Iron Nutrition’s website here.