Tap into your inner Goldilocks

by Dr. Ellen Cullman, FLT Columnist

Goldilocks, a bright and inquisitive youngster, taught us a lesson about throwing caution to the wind and taking impulsive, mindless risks. Even so, a closer look reveals that she had something to teach us about mindfulness. Recall how she sampled the porridge, the chairs and the beds. Being picky, she wanted to find the one that felt “just right.” Using her alert mind and body’s wisdom, she did just that.

You, as well, tap into similar wisdom as a trustworthy guide. Do you remember the last time you purchased a comfy chair or mattress? What did you do? You sat in the chair and tested the mattress to see how they felt. Just like Goldilocks, you wanted to make a wise choice that was “just right.”

While eating, Goldilocks again used her alert mind-body wisdom and didn’t mindlessly ignore how her body felt. She only intuitively ate what felt “just right.” With the degree of pickiness she seemed to possess, I would venture to say that she wouldn’t have eaten baby bear’s porridge if it didn’t taste good. Nor would she have thrown caution to the wind and continued eating beyond a “just right” feeling in her tummy. After all, she could have returned to papa bear’s now cooled porridge and eaten it, but she didn’t risk spoiling her satisfied “just right” feeling. Instead, she went on with her life – to the chairs and the beds.

Being alert to your “just right” mind-body feelings and following them when you eat is mindful eating. Learning it requires two essential commitments. The first is to be committed to noticing what you are thinking and feeling as you are eating. For example, if you are thinking “This doesn’t taste good” then consider that as your mind-body wisdom tapping in and move onto something else.

Second, be committed to also noticing your body’s “thoughts” and “feelings” and aim for the wonderful sweet spot in your belly of feeling, again, “just right.” When you frequently throw caution to the wind and ignore them, your health is at stake.

Granted, these thoughts and feelings at first can be subtle and nuanced, but with determined and regular practice you will learn they are discernible and eventually become second nature to you – as they were when you were born! So, resist throwing caution to the wind and listen to your inner Goldilocks.

Dr. Cullman welcomes your questions for an upcoming column. The next Mindful Eating Workshop will be scheduled next Fall. Call 419-494-7699 or email mindfuleatingcoach@gmail.com to schedule an individual appointment. Dr. Cullman also conducts presentations, seminars and personalized retreats. See all her columns at www.firstlocaltoledo.com/columnists/dr-ellen-cullman.