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Three Times to "Slow things Down" with Food, Eating and Body Image

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: Kirby Medical Center
Three Times to "Slow things Down" with Food, Eating and Body Image

Three Times to “Slow things Down” with Food, Eating and Body Image

At any moment when food, eating, and body image feels overwhelming, learning ways to Slow Things Down can offer benefit.

Here are a few common nutrition and body image situations that can benefit from Slowing Things Down.

  1. The Mental Spiral: One time to Slow Things Down is when you notice your thoughts about food, eating, or body image moving very quickly. Often these are times when you want to immediately and desperately change something about your eating choices or your body image. The mental spiral with food, eating, and body image can sound different from person to person. The spiral is your routine thoughts about food, eating and body image. Usually these thoughts spiral because they are moving very quickly, feel overwhelming, or feel out of control. Often it sounds something like “I’m never going to stop eating…I’m out of control…Something is not right…I have to change”. There is usually a sense of urgency and often fear, disgust or other painful emotions present.
  2. The Mindless Frenzy: Another good time to slow things down is when you notice you are eating very quickly with little awareness of the experience. Maybe you catch yourself hurrying to eat before other people see what you are eating. Maybe you catch yourself standing up in the kitchen eating whatever is easiest to grab. Maybe you are watching TV and hardly even notice the food as you eat. Maybe you are driving and trying to finish the meal before you get to your destination. As soon as you notice the mindless frenzy, see if you can Slow Things Down. You can still eat the rest of what you are eating, just experiment with pausing first and showing up with a little more attention to the experience.
  3. The World is Ending Cravings: These are the types of food cravings you feel you MUST have RIGHT NOW or the world will end! Maybe you are not even hungry, but for some reason that one special food is calling to you. In fact, you would do just about anything to get it RIGHT NOW! Again, there is a lot of intensity here and Slowing Things Down will offer benefit.

The goal of Slowing Things Down is to help you feel a little calmer so you can make a food, eating or body image choice from a calm and centered space. This usually leads to choices with more intention that better support your health and well-being. Anything that provides you with a little space from the intensity or frenzy will offer benefit.

Ideas to Slow Things Down include:

  • Take a breath
  • Go outside
  • Pull out a journal
  • Notice what is around you
  • Notice your 5 senses
  • Take a nap
  • Spend time with a pet
  • Go for a walk
  • Call a friend

Make a list of 5-10 things you could do to Slow Things Down when you feel overwhelmed with food, eating, or body image.

Once you have slowed things down, you will feel more settled, calm, and clear headed. Once you have Slowed Things Down, notice if there is any lesson to learn from the mental spiral, mindless frenzy, or the world is ending cravings.

Looking for Support to Create a Healthy Relationship with food, eating, or body image? Learn more about the Peaceful Eating Group