How many times have we eaten too much and regretted it later? When I think about it, I realize that it happens all the time. I ate too much at the barbeque, I should not have eaten that ice cream at night, why do I keep reaching for those nuts? Etc…
We all have these thoughts. What’s interesting is that often when we take a breath and really analyze how much we’ve eaten for the day, the things that we beat ourselves up over are not always our largest food intake. The judge living in our mind seems to be slightly (or not so slightly) arbitrary and possibly not based in reality. Herein lies the problem: We draw negative attention and feelings to eating behaviors that are not so bad and miss the opportunity to make different choices around the more difficult behaviors.
One exercise that I recommend is this – If you are feeling badly about your food choices write down what you’ve eaten. Then sit quietly and find a few minutes of calm, deepened breathing. Once your mind is settled, take a look at what you wrote down. Is it as bad as you thought? Were those food choices so awful that they caused irreparable damage? Can you imagine making a small adjustment that would make the outcome easier to take? Either realize that the situation isn’t as bad as you thought, or gently walk yourself through the easiest way it could be different. Then find several more deep breaths and allow the regret and judgement to release. Let go of the fear and self loathing and allow yourself to expand and learn.
We are never as bad as our minds believe we are. Reality is our ally. The breath will always lead us towards the here and now.
May we all find our breath today,