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Eat. Here. Now.

By Mary Beth Sodus

The present meets the past.

Sometimes I feel that there are two of me. There is the Mary Beth of the present: here and now, alive and well in the world, doing good work for myself and others, feeling healthy and happy. There is a second self: one that still hurts from past pain, one that disappoints and self-sabotages. Sometimes I eat for both the past and the present. Sometimes I eat too much.One man between past and future.

In the past, food “worked” for me. Heavy carbohydrates for sleep; sugar for a short pick-me up; buttered toast for anxiety (a lot of butter for a lot of comfort). But there were unhealthy consequences for me.

Eating based on the past is eating from a place of uncertainty. It is eating that is self-defeating: to avoid painful feelings or to fight off a false fear left over from a time when the world felt dangerous. That was how I learned to cope: to numb myself, to silence those voices, to bury unwanted feelings. However, I must accept that the past is over. No candy bar, chips, or ice cream can go back and change it. However, I can choose how I’ll deal with my feelings in the present.

When I eat for reasons other than hunger, I might rationalize it: It’s time; I want to fit in; I’m lonely at the end of the day; and thousands of other reasons. All of them based on the past.

Here and now, I can choose to pause before I automatically reach for food to cope. I can choose to create a self-care buffer zone.

Like a breath of fresh air, mindful eating has awakened me from past habits, bringing into awareness that which was hidden. It is like gray clouds opening to show slivers of silver light. Learning how to stop eating to feed my feelings has been revolutionary! It is the choice to live. To quote Ram Das:

Be. Here. Now.

Or, my version:

Eat. Hear. Now.

Eat the food that most nourishes me. Hear my body’s signals. Stay in the now.

Is it time to let go of the past and the self-sabotage? Is it time to let go of the past habits, of hiding in the food? Is it time to let in a silver sliver of self-confidence and passion for life? Mindful eating slowly opened up a world of connections and confidence beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe it will do that for you too.

With the questions you learn in Am I Hungry?®, you get to choose growth for a healthy future over comfort in a stagnant past.

  • How do I want to feel when I’m finished eating?
  • Where does my energy go? Will it fuel self-loathing or self-love?
  • Will I eat what I love?
  • Will I love what I eat?
  • Will this meal fuel me and my passion for life?

This may be the most important choice you ever make…to live in the present.

Taste this moment. Feel your body move. Listen to your hunger. Listen to its story; it will tell the deepest truths you will ever know if you are willing to listen and accept. Then speak your truth to yourself and the world.

Just for this moment, just for this meal, this bite, this breath, choose life. Choose to Eat. Hear. Now.

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About the author

Mary Beth Sodus is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Therapist. “I appreciate the Am I Hungry?® philosophy because it encourages awareness, participation and a commitment to a life of liberation from self-imposed rules. My passion is coach clients to achieve optimal health and wellness via powerful goals and the powerful skills needed to achieve dreams. I am fascinated by the connection of neuroscience to nourishment to achieve and increase focus, peace and joy.” You can reach Mary Beth at http://www.amihungry.net/index.cfm?p=amihungry_mindful_eating_workshop&fid=5588

One Comment

  1. “Where does my energy go? Will it fuel self-loathing or self-love?”

    So, so powerful.

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