30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge- Halfway Through

“If you eat when you are not physically hungry, then how do you know when to stop eating?”

I heard this question in week one of my 30-day challenge, and it hit me.  I was listening to a Mindful Eating masterclass on my CALM app, while swimming laps in the pool. 

I stopped mid-lap when I heard the question.

How do I know when to stop eating? 

This question the first week of my mindful eating challenge, brought me to a new level of awareness- I did not let myself get hungry.  Truly physically hungry.  I had lost that somewhere over the years and didn’t even realize it.  And when I did think I was hungry, it was really that my blood sugar took a nose-dive because of the amount of sugary foods I had been eating.  I still wasn’t truly physically hungry.

So, hearing the question had me reflecting.  What made me stop eating?  It was definitely NOT being full, as I was stuffed, painfully stuffed, more often than I wasn’t.  So, what was making me stop eating?  The empty bag of chips I just finished?  The acid reflux that was painful?  The nauseous feeling of overeating?  Having to change from my jeans to my sweats for comfort?  My husband walking through the door? 

That question changed the trajectory of my journey.  And I started paying attention to my physical signals for hunger, instead of the emotional, head and heart, signals.  THAT has made a difference.  I have eaten less this second week.  I am eating when I am physically hungry, most of the time, instead of for other reasons.  When I eat for true physical hunger, I eat less.  I am not stuffed.  I don’t have huge blood sugar drops.  I don’t have acid reflux.  I don’t hide food.  And I can wear my jeans all day.

This is what mindful eating does!  I am still not tracking my food.  But I AM paying attention.  I AM being more mindful.  Yes, there are still moments of mindless eating, but they are becoming less often, as I get more mindful. 

This is what this challenge was about. 

So, what is driving you to eat?  Do you know when you are physically hungry?  What tells you that you are physically hungry?  What differences do you see when you are mindful and eat mostly (because this is not a perfect journey) for physical hunger rather than emotional hunger? 

I am feeling so much better already!  More to come on what I have learned these first 14 days.


My 30-Day Challenge– Day 1

I have been slowly trying to change habits and my mindset and I have been working on doing the things that I know to do that work.  But it isn’t working. 

I keep talking to myself, having those conversations about what I am doing.  I tell myself “Today is the day” and then I tell myself, “Oh, one more day of eating chips or brownies won’t hurt.  Go ahead.” 

2 contrasting voices in my head, fighting to be the strongest and the loudest. 

Yesterday I decided it was ENOUGH!  ENOUGH! 

So, I asked myself what my biggest hurdle was, what the biggest saboteur (besides myself) and I realized then that sugar is a BIG issue for me.  I am a food addict and sugar is one of my biggest problems. 

Realizing that, I decided to start a 30 day “No Sugar” challenge.  30 days of not eating anything with added sugar.  No candy, cookies, donuts, cake, etc.  No sweet treats. 

Today was the first day.  And boy was it a struggle.

Today, I paid attention, ALL DAY, to what I was eating and craving.  And I paid attention to what was sending me to the pantry and the fridge. 

It was shortly after lunch when I found myself in the pantry.  Just standing there.  Looking.  What the heck?! 

Standing there, I asked myself what I was doing.  Was I hungry?  What was I looking for?  And my answer was that I was not hungry, and I had no idea why I was in the pantry searching.  So, I left the pantry and went to do something.  Something that would keep me busy.

I was beginning to realize that telling myself this would be 30 days of NO SUGAR was leaving me feeling deprived.  And when I feel deprived, I eat.  Period! 

Losing weight and getting healthy is not about deprivation.  It is not about doing something for a little while (until I reach my goal) and then going back to how I was eating when I reach my goal. 

Losing weight and getting healthy is about changing habits.  And the foods I eat now, need to be the foods I will continue to eat the rest of my life.  Is it realistic to think that I will NEVER eat another cookie or a brownie?  NO!  But if I plan, portion and pay attention then I do not need to deprive myself. 

If I eat mindfully, then I will feel satisfied and still lose weight and get healthy.

That was when it hit me!

My BIGGEST hurdle and my BIGGEST saboteur was mindlessness…. Mindless eating.  Yes, sugar is an issue.  Yes, chips are an issue.  Yes, snacking is an issue.  Yes, not tracking is an issue.  Yes, portions are an issue.  Yes, emotional eating is an issue.

 BUT the BIGGEST issue is not being mindful!

So, my first day of my 30-day challenge is changing.  I am still doing a 30-day challenge, but this one is now 30 Days of Mindful Eating. 

There is a lot to learn when we pay attention to not only what we are eating and when we are eating and how much we are eating, but also WHY we are eating.  And we can only pay attention to all of these when we are mindful.

So today is day 1 of my 30 days of Mindful Eating.  And today I paid attention.  I stopped myself when I was searching for hidden candy (and I have A LOT of hidden candy places!), and when I was standing in front of the open fridge looking for who knows what.  And I asked myself “what are you doing?”  “Am I hungry?”  “Is it physical hunger?”  and if not then “what am I hungry for”. 

I paid attention today.  And I learned that I eat more often for emotional reasons (a struggle I have had all my life) or just out of habit (sit down to watch tv = eat) than I do for true physical hunger.

Today I also learned (I have always known this, but it was reinforced today) that eating mindfully leaves me feeling more satisfied and I eat less. 

And though I did not physically track my food today, I consider Day 1 a success!  

Who wants to join me on a 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge?