The 10-minute Food Fix – (that you can do in your PJ’s)

Food Fixes

I want to thank Audrey Holst for writing a guest blog this week for us about fixing our food fixes!  I’m so excited to have her contribute some wisdom for us as I’ve been following her for a while.  I also love that she is also based in Boston!    Here’s a little bit more about her:

“When people are stressed, they feel like it’s something they’re doing wrong which makes them even more stressed out. Audrey gets it. As a former stress addict, she now helps busy people with no time that want to do good things in the world get rid of overwhelm and anxiety and worry. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Certified Bikram Yoga instructor and blogs about things that will make you sigh with relief at”

Take it away Audrey!

Jenny rocks and I’m psyched that she has asked me to come by and share some stress reduction tips! Since we’re halfway through January already we’re finally waking out of the coma of holiday overindulgence. I don’t know about you, but I certainly spent the better half of last year with a brownie in one hand and a plate of pigs in a blanket in the other. I’m ready to get back to a normal eating schedule and life schedule.

Jenny’s advice to turn inward when it comes to addressing our relationship with food is a really good one. Whether it’s dealing with our relationship with food or our relationships with other people or even our relationship with ourself, turning inward is the first place to start to make changes. But what does that actually mean? How do we turn inward?

A simple starting point is what I call a ten minute sit. Ten minutes can seem like an eternity so if this is something you are just starting, five minutes may be enough. I prefer to do this first thing in the morning to set the tone for my day, but you can do it anytime. You may personally find you like to do it before bed. Here’s how:

  1. Find a spot you can sit comfortably for 5-10 minutes, however long you’ve decided to sit for. Ideally you want a location with no distractions in front of you (facing a wall is actually great) and a seat that you won’t be slouching into, maybe a dining room chair or something similar.

2.   Set your timer for your sit. I use the one on my phone and then put my phone on vibrate away from me so I’m not tempted to check it.

3.   Sit evenly on your sit bones and put your feet flat on the floor if possible. You can fold your hands in your lap or place them anywhere casual they can remain for the whole time. Take a deep breath and imagine someone is pulling your hair up to the ceiling to stretch your spine. When you exhale, let your spine remain long. Don’t force it, just feel for that lift.

4.  Keep your eyes open and soften your focus. The idea is to allow your gaze take in the landscape. If things look a little fuzzy, that’s normal. You may be tempted to close your eyes but I encourage you to keep them open.

5.   Hang out in this position and just breathe naturally. Notice the way the air feels going in and out by your nose. Notice how the air feels on your skin. Notice any sounds you may hear around you. Notice the physical sensations in your body. Just notice.

6.  You may also notice all sorts of thoughts bouncing around in your head. You may wonder if you’re doing this right. You may feel irritated. You may feel confused. You may get bored. You may start thinking about what you want to eat for lunch. You may wonder if you left the stove on. Just like you noticed all the physical stuff, notice the mental stuff as well. You don’t need to address any of it, just watch it. You may see these thoughts as subtitles or word bubbles or some other way in your mind’s eye.

7.  When the thoughts come up, notice them, but then go back to feeling your breath, noticing your body, and other sensations you physically experience.

8.  Keep noticing, keep breathing, keep being the observer of the experience.

9.  When your timer goes off take a few more breaths and you are done.

What did you notice? Was your mind like a talkative and busy subway platform? Was it quiet? Did you play out a whole scenario in your mind while you just sat in a chair looking at a wall?

The point is, we have a whole drama going on inside of us that we never really get a chance to watch because we are so busy being caught up in it. We have a thought about being hungry and we have food in our hand before we’ve even noticed that we had a thought. We get angry and instantly open the freezer before we’ve even stopped to wonder why. Sitting down starts to create some space between the thoughts and feelings we have and the actions we take. We start to realize we have more control over ourselves than we previously believed. 

When you sit for only 10 minutes on a regular basis, a thought may pop up during the day and you will see it and then be able to decide what to do with it. A feeling will come up and you will feel that feeling without having the rest of your world fall apart because of it. It seems unbelievable but I can attest to its power!

What do you think about sitting for 5-10 minutes a day? How can you use what you observe during that time to help mold your relationship to food?

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