Maybe you’re sick of the eat-repent-repeat cycle. Maybe believe there must be a better way to make decisions about eating than looking food up and writing it down. Either way, you have found your way to mindful eating! But what may surprise you are the many life lessons you learn from mindful eating.
I didn’t expect to learn better ways to manage my life as I learned how to mindfully manage my eating, but I did. And I’ve seen these lessons show up over and over in the people I get to work with.
You are on a path toward transformation!
Most people who participate in an Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program or read Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat don’t set out with a clear understanding of the transformation ahead. They just want a better relationship with food.
Many soon discover that the lessons from mindful eating set them on their personal path to wholeness and well-being.
How can this be? Well, as one of my own teachers said, how you do anything is how you do everything.
In other words, how you eat is a metaphor for how you live.
One life lesson from mindful eating
Here’s an example of how your habits with food are likely to show up in other areas of your life too.
Let’s say you see the way you eat in terms of “good” and “bad.” It is likely you see your other behaviors the same way!
Maybe you think that just because you lost your cool with your child, you are a “bad” parent. Or maybe because you skipped your workouts for a few days (or a few weeks), you are a “bad” person who lacks self-discipline.
This good vs. bad mindset keeps you trapped in all-or-nothing thinking.
Mindful eating shows you how to be in charge of your decisions, rather than trying to “be good.” This is a very freeing approach that harnesses your ability to live fully, without shame or perfectionism. It also allows you to feel compassion for yourself and learn from your mistakes, rather than becoming paralyzed when you inevitably mess up.
Lessons you learn from mindful eating
As you learn to eat what you love and love what you eat, you’ll discover the lessons you learn from mindful eating apply to the rest of your life too!
Here are just a few of the many truths that I’ve learned (and shared):
- Transformation occurs when the pain of staying the same outweighs the discomfort of change.
- The answers are inside, not out.
- You have within you the amazing capacity to recognize and meet the deepest needs of your body, mind, heart, and spirit.
- Food (and money, work, perfection, etc.) cannot meet all of your needs.
- Our greatest struggles often provide our greatest lessons.
- Guilt leads to shame and paralysis. Regret leaves the door open for learning.
- All or nothing thinking leads to all or nothing. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
- Mindfulness allows us to fully experience what is present now.
- Sensuous enjoyment of food leads to pleasure and contentment.
- Deprivation leads to distraction and obsession.
- Quality trumps quantity every time.
- Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.
- Knowing what to do isn’t the same as doing it.
- Knowing what to do isn’t the same as knowing how to do it.
- Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
I look forward to helping you explore the life lessons you’ll learn from mindful eating!
This article has been updated from a previously published version.
If you enjoyed this article, here are three more to help you:
Regret and Her Horrible Twin Guilt
What to Do When You Eat Too Much