Below are 3 of the over 30 practices offered in The Deeper Cravings Path™ 12 week coaching experience.
1) Practice intuitive eating (Listen to your body’s wisdom).
Using the Hunger Scale:
There is a wonderful tool that can help you: the hunger scale. This is a 10 point scale that can help you determine your hunger levels and can help you gauge when to eat and when to stop. At the top of the scale, number ten, is the experience of extreme fullness, as full as you can ever remember being and at the bottom of the scale, number one, is extreme hunger, as hungry as you can ever remember being. In and ideal picture you would be spending most of your day hovering between a four and a six. When you begin to notice hunger you eat and when you are satisfied you stop eating. As you review the scale below try to connect with a memory of the experience of each number, get a sense of how it feels for you.
10 So full you could be sick.
9 Extremely uncomfortable, stuffed.
8 Uncomfortably hungry.
6 Satisfied, no longer feel any sign of hunger.
4 Can begin to detect the signs of hunger.
2 Uncomfortably hungry.
In order to become proficient at eating according to the hunger scale we need to detect the subtleties of the shifts within the body. We must stay present enough while eating to know that moment when we have had enough. Then we reach what I like to call ‘the mid-bite decision’. That point during a meal when we have clearly heard that we have had enough but there are still some bites left on the plate. In order to forsake them we must develop trust.
2) Understand the emotional and spiritual hungers that you are trying to feed when you reach for food but aren’t hungry.
“Compassionate Curiosity”: Daily engage a practice of compassionate curiosity, as much as possible, when reaching for food (when not hungry) try to notice the behavior with great interest but to not judge it or try to change it, see if you can shift your focus from the outcome (will you eat or not or how much will you eat) but rather try to bring as much attention as possible to how it feels to be in that state. See if you can be there as a loving witness, only noticing, but not judging. When you do find yourself eating past the point of a 7 or 8 on the hunger scale ask yourself ‘What IS it I am hungry for in this moment?’ knowing you aren’t physically hungry for food and food is just a stand in for your true need. Even if you don’t stop eating, commit to finding at least a 1 word answer to that question (hungry for…love, escape, rest, excitement, consolation, punishment… it will likely be different depending on what is going on) When you have selected your word say it out loud to yourself or write it down.
3) Learn to see your body as your partner and friend.
Personification of the body: Begin thinking of and talking to your body (in your mind) as though it were a friend or someone you loved unconditionally. If you insult it or criticize it say an apology to it and recommit to kindness. If you cause it discomfort through your negative eating behaviors console it and offer it the support it needs.
Body Check-ins: Use your smart phone or some other mechanism to build in three reminders to do quick body check-in every day. Become fully present to the experience of your body in the moment. Notices many conditions and sensations as you can. These quick moments of connection open the lines of communication and help you hear if the body is asking for something (shift your position, eat, drink, stretch, go to the bathroom etc). You show your body kindness by responding.