Hello everybody!

Welcome to You Own It. I’m so excited to be writing my first blog for the website and I’m looking forward to getting to know you.

So as you have probably read, each month I will be setting myself my own personal wellness challenge and it would be amazing if you guys could join me. If you don’t fancy doing the same challenge as me, then feel free to choose your own wellness challenge and keep us updated by social media.

I don’t know about you but I was so gluttonous over December and I really need to sort out my eating habits for January. But one of the things that I disagree with is dieting. Dieting is not a long-term solution for weight management and when I have tried dieting before, I have lost my love for food – that’s not exciting is it? So if I’m not dieting, how can I learn to manage my weight, eat what I like and feel healthy? Well, after doing my research, I have decided to focus on mindful eating.

If you are on Facebook then please accept my invitation to join me for #MindfulMondayMunch via Facebook lives over your lunch break from 12-1pm on these dates: 16th (today), 23rd and 31st January. If you cannot join me live, you can always re-watch the video at a later time. During the lives, I’ll be mindfully eating and demonstrating how you can do it too!

What is mindfulness?
So before I explain the concept of mindful eating, I thought it would be a good idea to explain what mindfulness is as that’s the principle which mindful eating is based upon.

Research describes mindfulness as an awareness of what’s going on internally and externally and being ‘present’ in each moment. We live in such a high-paced society that often we ignore the world around us and don’t stop to notice it. We can get so caught up in our own thoughts and emotions and often this can lead to negative health habits or behaviour. Being ‘present/mindful’ encourages us to use our five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and sound. Once we begin to slow down to take notice of these things, it can lead to positive changes in our perceptions towards ourselves, others and the world.

What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is a fun and healthy way to maintain a positive relationship with food. It is NOT a diet and focuses on the way we eat food rather than what we might choose to eat.

Mindful eating involves us being fully present when we eat our food and requires us to give our full attention to that activity, without being distracted, so that we can truly  enjoy the experience of eating. It’s not just about the way we eat either, it can extend beyond this in terms of how we prepare our food and taking pleasure in this activity.

Why is mindful eating important?
Research has shown that when we mindfully eat we are more likely to be in tune with our body’s needs and not binge-eat or overeat. If we’ve struggled with our relationship with food in the past, it may also help us to find our love and appreciation for food again. This makes eating food a relaxed and happy experience which can create positive emotions as well as fulfilling our physical need for food.

How you can begin to eat mindfully?
I’m going to go into more detail about the techniques of mindful eating next week but here are some pointers to get you started on your mindful eating journey:

– The next time you go shopping, choose foods that are rich in colour, have different textures and smell great.
– When preparing your meal, make sure you are fully engaged with that activity. Turn the TV off, put your phone on silent and enjoy the cooking process.
– Lay the food nicely on your plate and take pleasure in what you’ve created.
– Sit down to eat, free from distractions.
– Before taking in a mouthful of food, notice the colour of it, how it feels and how it smells.
-Put your utensils down whilst eating your food and chew slowly. Give full attention to how the food feels in your mouth, the texture and notice the flavours.
– Enjoy your meal. This should be a fun experience and the slower you eat, whilst giving your full attention to eating, means that your body will indicate to you when it is satisfied and you’ll get fuller quicker!!

Your turn!
So have a go. Let us know how you get on. You might love it or it might not be for you. Either way, I hope  you gain something from this experience!

I hope you have an amazing week.

Until next time,

R