As many of you know, I have struggled with sugar cravings since my teenage years. In my twenties, I became bulimic. In my thirties, I was fortunate enough to have good health insurance to begin treatment. After my discharge from an inpatient eating disorder unit in 1987, I graduated from being a bulimic to an "emotional overeater". This was no small feat, because I now had to "own" everything I ate, and most of my self-esteem back then was wrapped up in how pretty I was, or how thin I was. I also found out that I was using food to soothe myself from a mild depression.
After a couple years of therapy, my depression lifted, and I was feeling better. But over the past 30 years, I was still bingeing about every other week. I couldn't shake the sugar cravings! When I began meditating 5 years ago, I became more and more aware of their presence: their frequency and their intensity.
Two years ago, in my search to end my sugar cravings, I started reading about mindful eating. I learned the BASICS of Mindful Eating from Lynn Rossy, PhD, at the University of Missouri. She recommended that before eating,
B: Belly check before you eat for hunger and satiety
A: Assess your food
S: Slow down
I: Investigate your hunger and satiety
C: Chew thoroughly, and
S: Savour your food.
This practice has helped me tremendously. It's not so easy to do, and it takes practice. But it works! By using all of your senses to explore your eating experience (sight, hearing, touch, smell as well as taste), you're sending signals to your brain that you are becoming full and satisfied! I hope you all try this for one meal on Mindful Eating Day!