Dr. Lynn Rossy, author of The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution: Proven strategies to end overeating, satisfy your hunger, and savor your life, aims to reduce suffering for people who struggle with food and the body. She says alleviating suffering begins with challenging questions such as, “How do you make friends with your body and treat it with respect?”
Knowledge workers who spend most of their days sitting in front of computers tend to live primarily in their heads rather than their bodies. Spending so much time and energy engaged in thought processing distances us from experiencing the world through body movement and keeps us from using all of our senses to process information. Rossy calls reversing this process, “Taking your life off automatic pilot.”
Rossy encourages readers to become kinder to themselves and their bodies by trying a variety of research-based tools and techniques centered on mindfulness, rather than dieting or creating strict rules around food. She says, “I want people to learn to love and appreciate their bodies, and to be able to love and enjoy food, and not see it as the enemy.”
Techniques include learning to eat more slowly, learning to savor food, understanding what satiety feels like, and developing pause rituals. (To start small, try a simple “3-minute meditation,” a “body lovingkindness” meditation or the exercise on “eating a raisin mindfully”.)
Participants of Rossy’s intuitive eating class, called, “Eat for Life”, have found that mindfulness practices may help them feel better after eating foods they love, or they may find that they don’t actually like certain “go-to” highly-processed foods lacking in flavor.
In addition to learning to love and appreciate food and all it can do for us, Rossy encourages readers to examine what they are really hungering. She asks readers to think about both nutritional and non-nutritional needs they might be attempting to meet with food. She asks, “What do you do besides eat to bring fulfillment?” adding, “We ask food to be our best friend, our entertainment, our partner… but we need so much else to meet all our needs for creativity, connection, and intellect — so that our day-to-day lives have meaning.”
Rossy encourages us to take extra time to explore our true desires and how to meet our needs appropriately. For those who are living fast-paced lives and may be resistant to the idea of taking time out of the day for “mindfulness,” Rossy encourages them to just try a simple exercise such as eating a raisin or a piece of chocolate slowly and mindfully.
She said even her 91-year-old father found some new ideas while reading the book. While the book is written for people who struggle with food issues, Rossy says, “There is something in there for almost anybody who walks and breathes and eats.”
For more information, or to order The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and Indiebound, see Dr. Rossy’s website at www.lynnrossy.com.
Originally published at medium.com