Why Did I Just Eat That? How to Deal with Mindless Eating
Mindless eating. That moment when you eat something, and then you wonder why you ate it? Maybe you eat it before you even realize you’re doing it or eat more than you planned.
“I should have never eaten that!”
“I was bad today.”
“Why can’t I ever pass that up?”
“Why did I just eat that?”
“I feel gross.”
“I have no willpower.”
Chances are you’ve spoken one or more of those phrases before. I know I have.
Why do we gauge our worth on how we eat? How did our food choices become the thing that determines whether we are “good” or “bad”? A jug of milk goes bad when it’s kept beyond its date. A carved pumpkin goes bad if it’s left on your porch until Christmas. You say “good boy” when your puppy goes outside to potty instead of doing it on your carpet. You tell your toddler “good girl” when she picks up her toys without being told.
Yes, we can choose to make better choices when it comes to our food, BUT those choices don’t determine our worth. We must begin seeing our food choices separately from the definition of our worth. Just because I eat something “bad” (although I don’t feel like anything should be labeled “bad”, but more on that here), doesn’t mean I’m bad. It just means I’ve not made the best choice at that given moment.
The next move we make is key. And if we separate what we ate from the definition of who we are, it’s easier to say “Ok, so how do I get back on track?” “What do I need to do next, so this doesn’t turn into a downward spiral?” It just is. It just was. Move on and make a better choice.
I know…it’s hard. Especially if you’ve always tied your worth to how you look, how much you weigh, or what you’re eating. Many people are either “on” or “off”. They’re following a certain and very specific eating plan, or they’re just eating whatever. It takes practice, and it’s a process, to get away from those feelings of guilt and shame around food choices. But to live in true freedom, it’s worth the work and the time and practice to get away from that mindset.
And that work to overcome mindless eating begins on the inside. It actually begins with how to think about and talk to ourselves. Friend, you are a special creation. You are unique. And the key is beginning to believe that. And when we believe this truth, we want to treat our bodies differently. We become more aware of our needs and how our bodies respond to certain foods and situations.
Mindless eating happens less when we can slow down and be present in our bodies in that very moment.
Take a minute today to slow down and think about your next choice. You’ll be glad you did!
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