Mind the Gap: A Guide to Mindful Eating

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor E. Frankl

On a recent trip to London, we frequently used the extensive subway system known as the Underground. At every train stop, there was an announcement to MIND THE GAP between the train car and the platform. As an accident-prone person, I came to appreciate this frequent and kind reminder to be mindful to prevent the risk of an injury if I were to mindlessly step off the train.

In our culture, when it comes to food and eating, we seem to encourage the opposite of mindfulness. Our fast-paced lives allow us little time to sit and enjoy food. We are presented with over 200 decisions a day about food.

This provides many opportunities to MIND THE GAP. Food and eating is a powerful arena for using mindfulness because we are so habituated around food and eating.

Ways to Mind the Gap in Every Day Life

Check in with your belly to assess if you are hungry or not when presented with food. If the answer is yes, take a break, sit down, and nourish your body. If not, conjure up some curiosity to see what thoughts and feelings are present for you in the moment. Then ask, what is the best way I can care for myself in this moment? A few calming deep breaths, a nap, a short walk, or connection with a loved one may be the answer.

In our fast-paced lives, we have a tendency to eat quickly and reload our mouth with the next bite before we have thoroughly chewed and savored the food. Slowing down, chewing thoroughly, savoring, and taking an intentional breath between bites is another place we can MIND THE GAP.

Mindful Eating Programs to Support You

In the Eat for Life and Mindful & Intuitive Eating programs, we use the mind-body practices of meditation and yoga to increase our awareness of the many gaps that are present in our relationship with food and our bodies. We run a mindful eating course 3 times a year. If you’re curious about mindful eating but aren’t ready to jump in to a multi-week course, consider attending one of our new 3-Hour Mindful Eating for Beginners Workshops. Join me to rediscover your pleasure in food, appreciate your body, and experience a decrease in mindless eating.

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