You are not alone & being mindful


Snow angel… you pig out regularly (this is now called Binge Eating Disorder), skip meals, exercise like crazy to make up for your overeating, put yourself on restrictive diets or you use laxatives, diet pills or steroids.

This is disordered eating and it’s extremely common, affecting between 3% and 7% of the population and it’s equally divided between men and women.

What is disordered eating?

Disordered eating is a psychological problem with enormous consequences on a person’s life.  It’s when a person regularly engages in unhealthy and destructive eating behaviours such as restrictive dieting, compulsive eating or skipping meals.  Physically it puts you at risk of osteoporosis, headaches, constipation, fatigue, cramps and obesity.  Less obvious is the misery that sufferers live with every day; the depression, self-hate, negativity and low self esteem.  Disordered eating also puts you at risk of a full blown eating disorder such as bulimia. It’s also associated with laxative abuse, diuretic use and enema misuse.

It’s not what you know

I’m doing a seminar next month on portion control and it’s tempting to dish out the same old spiel about the quantity you should be eating, the ways to measure your meals, how much of your plate should be filled up with protein and how much with carb and so on and so forth – like people don’t already know!  But I’ve seen over and over again with my clients that every single one of them does know they eat too much. They don’t need to be told.  They just have to look in the mirror to know it!  BUT, KNOWING MAKES NO DIFFERENCE!

Measuring your portions, following diet plans, being told what to eat and when doesn’t have the long term results we’d like it to have.  So what does?

Being mindful

Mindful eating is the key.  It’s a set of simple, though not always easy, strategies for focusing your attention on the present when you are eating and overeating.  It includes things like checking in with yourself before you eat to ask “Am I hungry?”, “What am I hungry for?” and acting appropriately to the answers to these questions.  Other strategies include taking some deep breaths before you eat a meal, eating slowly and deliberately, paying attention to the way the food feels, tastes and the texture of it while you’re eating, savouring your food, checking in every so often while you’re eating to check whether you are full yet.

It’s not what you do but why you do it

When you attempt to practice these strategies what comes up is your resistance to them!  It’s normal.  This is where the gold is.  Enquiring into your desire to self sabotage or avoid an emotion opens up a whole new world of self awareness and is the key to healing your relationship to food. It just takes asking the right questions.

Inside your disordered eating is the key to your happiness but you have to dive into it, not run away from it!




Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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