Video description: Jennifer Hnat RDN, LD gets real about why it took her so long to decide to really explore mindful eating: I already know that so why would I need mindful eating training?
The entire interview is really great, but this is the 3-minute clip that I really want you to hear.
There’s a simple phrase I sometimes use—sometimes out loud but usually to myself—that can keep me stuck in an old pattern. (I know I’m not the only one; I’ll introduce you to Jennifer in a moment.)
“I already know that.”
This IAKT mindset is a trap because when the brain thinks it already knows something, it shuts down and can’t learn. As soon as my brain utters this dangerous statement, I can be sure that new information will not be able to penetrate the force field created by my old beliefs.
In many ways, it is an ego-preserving phrase: If I open my mind to hearing something new (or hearing something old in a new way), then I may have to let go of that old belief and perhaps even admit that I was wrong. (Oh the horror!)
A very common example I notice is when someone asks about my work and I say something about “mindful eating,” they immediately start telling me about their latest diet or how mindful they are about not eating carbs! Apparently, the mere mention of “eating” triggered their IAKT shield to go up.
This is what makes IAKT so dangerous. It can prevent someone from discovering how to liberate themselves (or realize liberation is even possible!) from their old prison of the eat-repent-repeat cycle.
I’m not being critical; it happens so often that I am surprised when it doesn’t. Nor do I believe I can’t learn something from them; in fact, I usually do (if I can keep my own IAKT at bay). I’m often able to pick up clues about their relationship with food—but believe me! I am careful about whether I move the conversations in that direction. Any challenge to IAKT can trigger defensiveness and justification—unless or until they are ready to let the force field down even a little.
This was the case for Jennifer. She, like so many others in the Am I Hungry? community, went from believing she knew about mindful eating to discovering she had it all wrong. As she said, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears!”
As someone who is still surprised by how often my own IAKT shows up, I urge you to listen to Jennifer’s message.
You don’t know what you don’t know… yet knowing is what makes all the difference between where you are today and where you could be tomorrow! It did for Jennifer.