Good-morning, and happy Friday! Today I wanted to give you a sample of a “VIP Q&A email” in a blog post. I think you’ll love it! Every other Thursday, I answer one of YOUR questions in an email to my entire list. To sign-up for this list & get these VIP Q&A emails, enter your name & email at the bottom of this post.
Let’s dive in…
Today’s question is…
What do you do when you know that you can have any food at anytime but still find yourself sitting on the couch, having great conversation with friends and suddenly you’ve eaten a block of chocolate/wheel of cheese/bag of chips/etc. Some of it mindful, the rest of the time you’re distracted and suddenly it’s gone. I don’t find myself feeling guilty about how much I’ve eaten, it’s more that I’m left confused. Why did I do that? I’m not bored, I’m enjoying the company of my friends, we’re all talking and having great conversations except I am also continuly putting my hand back on the table to get another serving when I’m not hungry – however the food does taste great. I find that I can eat a lot when I’m stressed, happy, excited, sad, angry. All emotions.
Such a great question! And girl, I’ve been there SO many times.
I think what’s going on here is called a “pleasure overload.”
Everything is feeling good: we’re happy, with friends, having fun, in conversation… the evening is feeling eventful (aka, we’re out doing something), there’s good food around, and we’re indulging in all of it – the whole experience.
The real question is: Why wouldn’t we continue doing this?
So, go ahead… and ask yourself…
If there is so much good going on here, why am I asking how I can stop this cycle? What doesn’t feel good about it? I mean, it seems like it’s getting me what I want. The food tastes amazing, I’m enjoying the night, good company… what could be better?
Well, let me take a few guesses, simply based on my own experience…
- You walk away from the FUN evening feeling like, why did I just eat all of that?
- My stomach is so bloated right now, I can’t wait to crawl in bed and wake up feeling better
- Why does it seem like every time I hang out in environments like this I eat so much?
Well, that right there is your answer.
Eating to the point of feeling like what did I just do is really not adding to your fun, if anything, it is kind of stealing from it the moment you leave.
I’ll bet you want to have thoughts like…
- That was SO much fun, I love getting together with my friends
- The food there was incredible – I’m so glad I got to taste everything I wanted
- I could do this ANYTIME and walk away feeling good – I feel in-control
- That was so worth it – so glad I went
Feel the difference?
You want to be able to walk away STILL feeling good.
SO, now I’ll bet you’re wondering okay, how can I do that?
Well, there’s no secret recipe. It’s really is about being intentional and slowing down.
This doesn’t mean you have to think about being intentional or slowing down the whole time. If you really struggle with this, before you head over to your friends place… Take 30 seconds to 1-minute and close your eyes.
Visualize yourself walking in the front door. Visualize yourself feeling authentically you, greeting your friends, saying hello, and feeling glad to be there. See the food table, and notice yourself feeling calm. Wow, that food looks great. No big deal. I’ll get over there at some point and taste a few things.
PAUSE: Here’s a little lesson I’ve learned that blew my own darn mind. It’s not the AMOUNT of something that will leave you satisfied… it’s getting to partake in the experience. Getting to slowly taste and savor something and fully enjoy it. For example: slowly tasting and savoring two amazingly delicious bacon wrapped dates and then moving on to try a little bit of something else VS. scowering the table in conversation eating 15 of them without tasting them much at all.
The second scenario would bring you LESS pleasure.
Okay, back to the visualization…
You’ve just allowed yourself to feel calm about the food. I’ll get to that in a bit. Continue socializing. Ask people how they’re doing, and be genuinely interested. When you get to the food, scan the table. This is mindfulness: What’s here? What looks good? What sounds good? What would I like to try? Then, get a little plate (or napkin) and a small amount of each thing you want to try. Take your plate, and as you’re socializing throughout the evening, savor those things. And if there’s no plate, and you’re hanging around a coffee table full of food, you’ll have to slow down mentally. Instead of feeling super hyper about the food (I literally visualize a dog wagging his tail for a treat as I remember how this used to feel for me), calllllm yourself. If you notice your thoughts getting stuck on food, redirect your attention to friends. You can even sip a cup of tea (or something like this) to help you feel physically calm.
By slowing down with intention, you get to enjoy delicious flavor, conversation, and walk away STILL feeling good, without feeling stuffed wondering why did I just eat all of that?
I hope this answer to your question was helpful! Want even more support in feeling better around food?
- If you want to start making peace with food today check out Finally Free Program where Sim & I are supporting you to do just that
- To sign-up for future VIP Q&A emails, enter your name & email at the bottom of this post!