So many people constantly struggle with their weight, the way their body looks like, and their eating behaviour. They then try to work on their diet, but often do not even do a check- in with their mind. What I have learned with the help of my psychology studies, my certification as a nutritional coach and through life and my own experiences is that our eating behaviour most of the time is an expression of what is going on in our mind, rather than the source of a problem. So we should choose working on our mind over working on our diet. What exactly I mean with that and how it can be done I will explain further on.
The theme of our two weekend retreats in the past two weeks was Detox Mind & Body. What most people think of then is a weekend where food consumption is restricted and mainly consists of juices and soups. We did make sure that the food we were eating was healthy, but instead of it just being low in calories we chose food, which would be filled with nutrition and ingredients supporting the natural detoxification process of our body and with that also not irritating the mind, but allowing us to feel good. I truly believe that a detox does not necessarily start with the body but rather with the mind. A healthy self is not only determined by what we eat but rather by who we are, how we feel, and to what degree we live in line with our true self.
We have much more power over our well- being than believed by many. Our adult brain is very malleable and continuously responds to our lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and actions. We can take action and by that rewire our brain to think and guide us towards positivity and the way we want to live. A key to a healthy life is exploring and getting in touch with our self.
When we are able to be still, calm our mind and explore what is going on in our head and inside of us we can strongly influence our well- being and choices. If however, we only look at our diet and constantly try to change that we might not at all heighten our level of well- being even if we reach a goal we set or we might never at all reach the goal because our inside is not ready for it.
Our mind needs to be explored first and one of the results will be that the diet will automatically and unconsciously shift. Once we engage with our mind and start to live our life in line with our authentic self we will eat less and long for healthier food. When we are content we automatically want to be good to ourselves, which will lead to eating healthier. Additionally that inner hole, which we falsely fed with food, is now nourished by self-love and living a life in line with our true self and the amount of food we eat will most likely automatically go down.
Interestingly enough there is another positive effect of having cleaned up our mind before cleaning up our diet: in a person who is happy and eats with delight the food will be metabolized much better than when a person is unhappy and feels stressed while or after eating a certain kind of food. So feeling bad after eating that chocolate or potato chips has no positive effect whatsoever. It puts our body in a stress response, which leads to disturbed digestion and food absorption in the body. Much more food will be stored in the body as fat and more toxins will be released into our system instead of being secreted than if we would eat relaxed and with enjoyment. Once again you can see how much our mind influences our entire physiology and even the way food is being processed and taken in by our body. The same goes for feeling bad about our body or being in constant stress. It will influence our entire system and the way food is being processed. Another reason to engage with our mind and increase our well-being starting from the inside rather than the outside.
One side effect of knowing your inside better and adjusting your lifestyle accordingly might be that all of a sudden without any weight change you might be completely satisfied with your weight, the way you look and the way you eat. So instead of stressing yourself with your diet and constantly thinking about it I recommend channeling that energy towards the source: your mind. There are all kinds of ways we can get in touch with our mind and since we are all different you will be able to connect to some of them and to others not so much. We have to keep in mind that getting to know ourselves, adjusting our life according to who we are, and heightening our well- being by that won’t happen within a day. It is a continuous process, which develops gradually and requires consistent practice and patience. It basically is a life long process. Not only are different people different, but we ourselves change over time, responding to different phases and ages and the needs that come with it. Here are a few exercises, which you can practice in order to work on your mind and get in touch with your self:
- Self- reflection
- Mindful Eating
- Visiting a psychologist or coach
- Practicing Yoga
- Writing a Diary
- Practicing Meditation & Breathing Exercises
Within the next weeks I will be posting articles on how some of the above can be practiced. So if you are not sure how, visit beingmebysarah.com regularly in the next weeks. If you are interested in beginning a meditation practice you can find some tips here in this post.
Wishing you all a mindful day,