Self-compassion and mindful eating

As you work on your mindful eating journey, it is important to be kind to yourself. While it is important to take note of what you eat, when you eat and why you eat; it is equally important to not judge yourself harshly. Self-judgement and criticism can lead to unhealthy eating habits, shame and leave you unmotivated.

The practise of self-compassion can assist in your awareness of how you feel about yourself and the underlying reasons for mindless eating. It can help you become more accepting of your mind and body as your true self.

When you feel good about who you are, it increases your motivation to continue proactive action towards your health and wellbeing. This relationship helps to change your mindset and puts you on a path of self-kindness for accepting yourself with openness. It doesn’t mean that you ignore the mistakes of your past, it allows you to acknowledge them, understand their cause and most importantly to put in place actions so that those mistakes don’t derail your health goals again.

Practising self-compassion helps you overcome the need to constantly compare yourself to others which can result in you feeling inadequate. Instead you embrace yourself for who you are, faults and all, and enjoy the connections you have with others.

Self-compassion can assist you become more aware of your body and what it does and doesn’t need to function. This includes identifying food allergies which impair functioning through to those foods which provide energy for optimal performance. Understanding how foods make your body feel also help you recognise genuine hunger opposed to stressful hunger.

As you continue to practise self-compassion on your mindful eating journey, the cravings for non-essential foods should decrease. You will start to ask yourself why you are eating this or questioning if you really are hungry or not. You will be able to identify the emotions that have surfaced and recognise that you are actually stressed or bored rather than actually hungry.

When you identify the behaviours that have led you towards food cravings, you can set a positive intention to how you choose your foods. This doesn’t mean depriving yourself of your favourite snack, but you plan mindfully how to enjoy foods that bring you happiness while sustaining a healthy approach to eating.

Self-compassion is a powerful tool to have in your wellness toolkit in managing your health and wellbeing. When you listen to your body’s natural rhythms, you understand when you need fuel to function and when you are experiencing stress. These messages can put you on the path to success so that mindful eating becomes a natural part of your everyday decision making because you know your body better than anyone.

Use your Food Journal to record these messages your body sends you to assist you plan your healthy eating goals.

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