I received the dreaded call a couple weeks ago that my Dad had passed away. Having already lost my Mom 4+ years ago I obviously had a lot of emotions running through me. I’m not going to go into all of that but I will share with you what Mindfulness has done for me and how it helped me through some of my emotions all the way around.
When Mom passed away I was not in a good place food wise. I was still on the Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle which I would eat, feel guilty, exercise a lot and restrict my calorie input because of it, and repeat the cycle…over and over again. It was my way of being “in control” even though I was truly out of control. So, since I was not able to be truly in tune with my feelings for fear of not being in control, I acted the way I felt others wanted me to . I gave tissues to other people at my Mom’s service and comforted them for their loss…even though my heart ached beyond words and I was angry others were not comforting me as much as I felt like I was them (I realize now I didn’t allow them to). And then I would go home and eat a plate of brownies to stuff my emotions and as my way of giving the finger to the world.
This time, I allowed myself to feel. I allowed myself to not be the pillar of strength for everyone else. I did my best to listen and support my brother, sister, nephews, as well as my other family members, but I allowed for my tears to flow. I logged off work completely for a week (which I never do) and knew it could all wait until I got back. I told people what I needed and how I was feeling. I had a classmate from high school tell me she was coming to my Dad’s memorial was rescheduling her work day to be there, which normally I would have insisted she did not do, but I knew I needed her support and wanted to see her, so instead I said “Thank you SO much”. She came and it meant the world to me.
I did not eat and entire plate of brownies and I did not stop myself from having a cookie if I wanted it. I did not eat when I didn’t want to and I ate when I knew I needed nourishment. I did not spend my time thinking about food or how to avoid it or get more. My point…I was in the moment, mindful of what we were going through. For someone who had an eating disorder in the past and has finally found her way out of it with mindfulness and mindful eating, this is huge.
It actually isn’t until being home in FL and back to work that I’m looking back on the past couple weeks realizing that I have made such huge strides. I wasn’t thinking about it then because it wasn’t the focal point.. Where as in the past, no matter the situation, food would have always been some sort of focal point.
Mindful Eating not only changes your life around food but allows you to become more Mindful in every day living. It truly changes your life.