What is Mindful Eating?

by Dr. Ellen Cullman, FLT Columnist

When people ask me, “What is mindful eating?” I explain that to understand this very promising, healthy way of eating, we need to experience it. My byline, “Mind-Body Awareness, One Bite at a Time!” contains the essence of mindful eating.

We tend to be comfortable and familiar with Mind-Environment awareness, where we pay attention to what is happening outside of us. Mind-Body Awareness instead nudges us toward paying attention to what is happening inside of us. We learn to increase our sensitivity to our body’s internal cues through a heightened awareness of how our mind and body communicate.

Let’s look at our habit of going to the restroom as an example of mind-body awareness. Nothing interferes; it has become natural to us. We can put it off a bit, but eventually we will perform the habit – whether to miss a portion of a meeting, skip a scene of a movie at the theater, get up when we’re about to nod off, or rush off just before boarding a plane – you get the idea. When we sense the internal cue that we need to go – our mind and our bladder have a conversation with each other. That private chatter between our mind and our bladder gets our attention. That is “Mind-Body Awareness”.

Similarly, mindful eating is a way of using our mind to observe our body’s internal experience. While eating, we use our Mind-Body Awareness to observe the private conversation among the observations in our mind, the sensations in our body, and the bite of food in our mouth. With guidance, this act of noticing the chatter gently and gradually leads us to a new experience – the liberating, insightful habit of “Mind-Body Awareness, One Bite at a Time!”

Ellen Cullman, Ph.D., The Mindful Eating Coach, mindfuleatingcoach@gmail.com, 419-494-769.

The Mindful Eating Coach offers individual and group sessions, weekend workshops, and free presentations to your business, club, church or organization. Please call or email to schedule an office or telephone complimentary session. The next eight-session group is scheduled to begin at the end of March.