Do you feel the need to eat when you’re tired or in pain? Do you tell yourself, “Just for today, I won't eat healthy,” and then cope with these feelings through unhealthy eating?
You're not alone. Many people use food and overeat to get temporary relief from their discomfort. However, eating healthy is not something you do only when it’s convenient — it's a commitment.
In today's episode, I will talk about managing physical pain, illness, and discomfort while still maintaining the goal of weight loss or freedom from disordered eating. I will also give you two tools to help you be mindful even in a distressing situation.
Tune in to the full episode to learn more about eating healthily while dealing with pain and discomfort.I am now offering a virtual 10-week CLASS!
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Keeping your eating goals while managing physical pain, illness, or discomfort is challenging. If you're having a hard time trying to stay focused when you're feeling awful, that’s understandable. It's hard to break habits that you’ve had for many years.
However, a healthy diet can reduce the physical pain and discomfort you might be having. Therefore, mindfulness amid pain is vital as it contributes to your healing and overall health.The 3 Layers to Painful or Uncomfortable Situations
According to the Mind-Body Training Company, pain or discomfort happens in three parts. It involves (1) the physical sensation, (2) your emotional reaction to it, and (3) the story you tell yourself about it.
When you're dealing with pain or discomfort, you tell yourself a million different stories. You might feel frustrated, regretful, and helpless. And you might continue eating unhealthily because you think you've already failed anyway.
However, remember that all of these are just stories. They are misleading and mostly based on fear.The First Tool: Mindfulness
The Mind-Body Training Company tells us to use mindfulness to manage and reduce discomfort or pain. Here’s how:
Listen to the full episode for a more in-depth discussion of each step!The Second Tool: Tracking Your Pain and Discomfort
One of the tools in managing your pain and eating habits is to find the pattern to your discomfort and physical pain.
Have you ever wondered why people are still shortsighted despite knowing the possible consequences of their actions? Why do we binge eat even though it makes us feel guilty? Why do we drink too much even though it can make us feel sick?
According to Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, it’s because humans underestimate the odds of their future pain and overestimate the value of current pleasures.
If you struggle with physical pain and discomfort due to chronic disorders, keeping track of your pain and discomfort may help you eat mindfully.
Creating a food diary (writing down what you eat, the time, and the hunger scale) can help you observe your eating habits. You can see how you respond to specific food triggers or if there was a very stressful situation that triggered your pain to flare up.
We can prevent pain if we are aware of its pattern. Some situations and stresses in life will trigger you to feel actual physical pain. But you have to remember that we are mind-body beings — we cannot separate our thoughts from our body’s physical sensations.Real-Life Miracles That I’ve Seen in My Practice
I have seen people who come to me for weight loss, hating how their bodies look. But through time, they have completely changed their lifestyle for the better. They’re now planning, being patient with themselves, eating intuitively, tuning in to their hunger, and allowing themselves to eat freely. They don’t have as many forbidden foods; instead, they opt to consume real, minimal-additive foods.
As they lose weight, the long-standing physical ailments they've been struggling with disappear. Once they start eating a diet rich in plant-based, colorful foods and replace all the convenience foods with real food, their bodies begin to heal. When you clean up your lifestyle, miracles can happen.5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
“There are a million different stories that we tell ourselves. But that's what we need to remember; it's a story. It's a thought, and it's a fear.”
“All experiences in life come and go. Everything is temporary. We all forget that in the midst of a crisis, in the midst of pain.”
“And here's the statement: As human beings, through much research, we learned that we underestimate the odds of our future pain. And we overestimate the value of our current pleasures.”
“We are mind-body beings, we are not just a physical body, we are a process. You cannot separate your thoughts from the physical sensations — that is impossible.”
“Once we're aware of the pattern, we can prevent it.”If you listened to the podcast and enjoyed it, please share and post a review!
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To making peace with eating,