How Practicing Yoga and Mindfulness Helped My Eating Habits
Yoga is not only an amazing workout but it teaches you mindfulness; a tool that helped eliminate my food addiction. After college is when I packed on quite a bit of weight. I had gained and lost weight quickly by simply working out when I was younger but this time my attempts to get fit were much, much more difficult. There are several reasons why this may have been:
- I’m older and my metabolism slowed
- I’m less active
- I began eating junk food again and became addicted, I mean that stuff is delicious
- Finally, I moved in with my boyfriend who is more than twice my size (not a joke but an actual fact) and I forgot what portions for a 5’0 (usually 100-105 lb) girl looked like.
Okay, okay so it’s probably all of the above, but portion control was a HUGE problem for me. Of course this morphed into a food addiction where I became a snack-a-holic. I felt like I needed dessert after every meal and a bag of chips or popcorn just to watch a show. Obviously, this was not good.
Then, I found yoga. I had always been interested in yoga and taken the occasional class, but it is so expensive to practice it truly, fully, and regularly…or so I thought. Lately, I’ve become addicted to Youtube workouts. I discovered the most amazing channel in the world: Yoga With Adriene. (In fact I’m currently on day 7 of the #YogaRevolution challenge. Click the photo above! Namaste.) I am obsessed with these videos. By practicing yoga at home, following Yoga With Adriene, I’ve learned to be completely aware of my body, my emotions, and how I am feeling both physically and mentally. I’ve learned to be completely mindful of my actions. “How does this help with overeating and food addiction?”, you may ask. Well let me tell you!
Being mindful of what I am feeling has helped me determine whether I’m hungry or eating because I’m bored. Now when I feel hunger, I first drink water and wait. A lot of the time you feel hunger, you’re actually just thirsty. If I am still feeling a little hunger stirring in my stomach, I then eat. Here is where mindfulness really helps!
With each bite, I am aware of how I am feeling. I think to myself, “Is this food making me feel good or bad?” “Is my hunger satiated?” or “Does this taste as good as imagined?” That last quote is mainly for when I am splurging on junk food or dessert. If I am not thoroughly enjoying a meal that is NOT healthy for me, I simply stop eating it. It is unreal how much the simple act of practicing yoga and mindfulness has totally transformed my eating habits, it is almost impossible to explain exactly how. Mindfulness opens something within you and creates a whole new level of awareness. I know, I know I sound like a total hippie right now, but I am dead serious. If you want to control your food addiction, find a yoga program that works for you.