A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice

SKILLS - Eating Mindfully

July 17, 2020 Rebekah Shackney Season 1 Episode 8
A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice
SKILLS - Eating Mindfully
Show Notes Transcript

In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a therapist is constantly filling a client's toolbox with strategies and skills to help them cope with daily challenges, anxieties and emotional conundrums. This series of bonus episodes will explore some of those skills and how to apply them to every day life.

In this episode, I discuss the power of eating mindfully, ways of incorporating this simple skill into your daily routine, and how mindful eating can change your relationship with food.

Thanks so much for joining me today for A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice. Remember that the information shared here is not a replacement for treatment with a licensed professional. If you need support please reach out. Call your doctor, your insurance company or contact me. Go to my website, rebekahshackney.com and send me aa message through my contact page. And if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard here, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Hi this is Rebekah Shackney, this bonus episode is part of a series where I talk about skills teach my clients. Today I’m going to tell you about Mindfully Eating 

Mindful eating has the powerful potential to transform people’s relationship with food, to improve overall health, body image, relationships and self-esteem.”  The Center for Eating Mindfully  

Take a moment and think about the old adage: “You are what you eat.”  If you really think about it, the role of food becomes deeply important.  Food nourishes the body, and gives you energy to live your life.  It creates the arms that hold your baby, the legs that carry you on your journeys, and all of the other miraculous parts that embody you.  When considered in this way how could you not mindfully choose, prepare and eat that food.


The term mindfulness simply means paying attention to the present moment, to what is happening in your mind, body and the environment, nonjudgmentally.  When practicing mindfulness you learn to slow down, to focus on one thing at a time and to accept reality as it.


When considered mindfully, judgments about food fall away. Over time the adversarial relationship with food evolves into one of nourishment and pleasure.


Studies find that when people eat mindfully they eat less and enjoy the food more.  When you practice eating mindfully you change your perception about food.  You begin to listen to your body's needs.  You learn to notice when you're hungry and when you're full.  You come to think in terms of balance and moderation rather than deprivation.  So foods you once vilified can now be enjoyed.


Try eating mindfully:  Prepare a meal.  Eat it slowly, putting your fork down between each bite. Notice the smell, taste, texture, temperature as you eat.  Notice any thoughts that pop up.  Just notice them, and let them go.  Notice any emotions that are evoked.  Notice any sensations in the body as you eat.  Particularly pay attention as your hunger begins to be satisfied.  Listen to your body and stop eating when you are full.  When you have completed your meal notice how you feel.


Of course, eating this way at every meal is not feasible for most people, and that’s okay.  You can incorporate mindful eating into your life in whatever way makes sense.  Some days that may mean taking a few mindful bites of breakfast before moving on with your day.  You don’t need to devote hours


By making at least small efforts everyday and larger efforts when you are able you can profoundly reshape your relationship with food.