Don’t Panic! Mindful Eating is a Long-Term Investment

By Michelle May, M.D.

I woke up early enough Sunday morning for my favorite form of multitasking: spending a lazy morning in bed, sipping coffee, reading the paper, and watching CBS Sunday Morning. In the opening segments, Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said, “The first week of 2016 was the worst ever start for U.S. Stocks with major indexes down over 6%.”

I don’t follow the stock market closely so my eyes glazed over and I shifted my attention back to my paper. She caught my attention again when I heard her ask, “What is a retirement saver to do?” That’s me!

Her advice? “Nothing!”

Money-down-the-toiletAs I listened to her tips, I decided that her advice was also perfect for people who are learning to eat mindfully but are being bombarded with the New Year’s diet propaganda too. It is tempting to panic and veer off course for just one more diet. Don’t do it!

Taking this investment analogy further, when people lose sight of the fact that they are investing for the long haul, they tend sell low and buy high—a bad strategy that will actually put them behind. Likewise, if you panic and jump into the “lose weight” net that’s been cast this month (even if it feels safer and Ms. O says it will be OK this time), it’s a bad strategy. You may see temporary results, but the effects on your body, mind, heart, and spirit will put you back further than before!

Like investing in the stock market, mindful eating teaches you to surf the waves and ride the ups and downs. You learn that not every day will be perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. You become aware of your hunger rhythms and learn to trust yourself to respond to your body’s needs. You notice that your emotions will ebb and flow too, so it is counter productive to push them down with food.

Let me share some of Ms. Schlesinger other “investing” advice:

  • Remind yourself that you are in this for the long term.
  • Keep your emotions in check.
  • Stick to your game plan.
  • Stay put. You’ve been on that ride before.

Yes, patiently investing your resources to build a solid, long-term strategy for meeting your needs pays huge dividends!

If you are committed to investing in your well-being for the long-term, let us guide and support you. Check out our vibrant Mindful Eating Support Community.

 

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