Empowering Discussions

Mindful Eating Practice – Filling Your Plate With Mindful Intention

Food is so ingrained in our daily lives that it’s easy to eat without being mindful of what exactly we are putting in our bodies. This week I encourage you to pay close attention to your diet.
My diet used to revolve around three goals; eat to be full, buy the cheapest food, and buy tasty/comfort food. When I chose to spend a month not eating meat, I noticed changes in my body. For me, eating vegetarian felt better. I had more energy and didn’t feel indigestion as often. I chose to stick with a vegetarian diet. As my knowledge about food progressed, I begun to pay more attention and eventually cut out dairy because it doesn’t agree with me.
Now I choose to be more picky when it comes to what I consume. My diet revolves around three new goals; eat nutritious food, buy organic as often as possible, and be conscious of the waste created by my food choices.
Here are some notes and questions to cultivate a mindful food practice:
  • When eating, slow down and savor the taste and texture of your food.
  • Notice whether you have a preference for salty or sweet foods.
  • Notice how different foods make you feel.
  • Why are you eating? Is it because you are hungry, anxious, or bored?
  • Do you eat on a schedule or do you often skip meals?
  • Do you snack without thinking or plan your snacks ahead?
  • Are you eating for nutrition or comfort?
If you want to dive deeper into what you consume, journal about your food for a week or a month. Record what, when, how and why you eat, and how your diet makes you feel.
Peace and hugs, Leah
If you like this mindfulness practice, you can read more on my Patreon page.  You can have access to even more content once you become a patron. Be sure to check out the rewards you can receive when you pledge $3 or more each month.

I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.



Like this image? You can download it for free on my coloring book page! https://impoweryou.org/color/
Empowering Discussions

“How to Achieve a Better Body Image”

How to Achieve a Better Body Image

By Rae Lawrence

As humans, we all have the tendency to fall prey to struggling with body image.  However, there are ways to overcome this trap and re-learn self love and self acceptance.

  1. Stop avoiding your body

    We know that one way to maintain negative body image is to avoid your body. So, in order to break this cycle, stop the avoidance! Face up to your body and get to know it, lumps, bumps and all. Get used to being with your body. If you usually avoid mirrors, start approaching them. Look at yourself as a whole person – don’t just focus on the bits you don’t like. Try to spend more time naked. Walk around the house nude! Practice touching your body: a good way to do this is to buy some nice moisturizer and rub it all over. Try other activities that you would normally avoid: go to the beach, go clothes shopping, go belly dancing! The more you do to get in contact with and accept your body the way that it is, the more you are likely to develop better body image.

  2. Stop checking

    Some people check rather than avoid, which also perpetuates negative body image. Checking is when people repeatedly check their bodies for evidence of continuing “disgustingness”. A person might study their body in the mirror for hours at a time, or pinch their sides to check on the “fat”. Write a list of your “checking” behaviors. Once you have recognized what you are doing, make a point of refusing to check, or try to cut down. If you have “pinch the fat on my stomach” on your list, and you notice you are doing this 20 times a day, aim to cut down to 15 times, then 10, then five … then stop!

  3. Stop comparing

    One form of “checking” behavior is comparison. This is when you constantly compare your physical attributes to those of other people. It can be challenging to stop negatively comparing yourself to others: for many people, it’s such a habit it is automatic and happens hundreds of times a day. Try to notice when you compare yourself to others and make a note of when you compare, who you compare yourself to, and what you say to yourself when it happens. Is it fair? Is it realistic? What effect does it have on how you feel about yourself? What can you say that may be more helpful?

  4. Check out your assumptions

    People sometimes interpret normal, everyday things as evidence of their “fatness”. For example, a lot of women think that if their thighs or stomachs wobble, this means they are “fat”. In actual fact, wobbliness is a normal female characteristic. We’re made to wobble! For other women, the normal fluid retention that happens when they are premenstrual can be viewed as a “sign” that they are putting on weight. Try to notice what you are assuming to be evidence of “fat”, and look for the facts. This may mean doing a Google search, discussing your assumptions with friends and family, or even asking your GP.

  5. Separate feeling bad from feeling fat

    When you have weight or body image issues, it can be hard to separate feelings from how you feel about your body. For example, if you have a stressful day at work, a fight with your partner and get a parking ticket, you start to feel bad. You may then start to also feel “fat” and unattractive. If you start to feel this way, ask yourself what has triggered this feeling. Try to identify the real issue, and separate it from your body-image issues. Another common experience is for people to feel “fat” after they have eaten. In this instance the trigger is body image-related. When this happens, remind yourself that your weight and appearance was the same before this feeling hit. So, though you may feel different, your weight hasn’t changed.

  6. Practice self acceptance

    Having a negative bod image is like having a critic in your head. The critic is a harsh, derogatory narrative that makes nasty comments about you. For example, “I look disgusting in this outfit” or “I can’t believe how fat I am”. The critic makes you feel awful, because you believe it. Because you feel terrible about yourself, you look for ways to feel better. You may eat something, which gives momentary pleasure, but minutes later the critic is back to comment on how much of a pig you are for eating. The big key to changing negative body image is to kill the critic, and learn self-acceptance. This means accepting yourself as you are. Cognitive techniques are very effective in helping identify and change critical thinking. It can take time, but it’s worth it!

Check out more of Rae Lawrence’s work at http://raelawrence85.wixsite.com/raeacrossamerica & https://www.facebook.com/RaeAcrossAmerica.

Rae is currently a 3rd year doctoral student where she is studying psychology. She aspires to work in the field of forensics. Rae suffered from an eating disorder for 10 years and has been in recovery for nearly 5 years. She finds that she feels her best when she is helping others.

As a result of this, she has created a non-profit organization, Rae Across America, where she creates and hosts several fundraisers per year which raise money to help send individuals in need to eating disorder treatment. Rae and her husband, Ryan, live in Richland, Washington. Together they enjoy hiking, watching football, spending time with their children, visiting family, and traveling.

I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon. For as little as $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Empowering Discussions

Good Health and Empowerment Go Hand In Hand

Today we have the pleasure of a guest post by Scully at Large.  I asked him to write an update about his new life routine and how being healthy has improved his state of mind. Let’s all remember that exercise and nutrition are an important part of empowering ourselves. When we are overweight, out of shape and eating foods that are body can’t handle we are not in full control.  We feel sick, have allergic reactions and are not as strong as we can be. This post is a reminder that it takes work to stay healthy, but if you stick with a routine you will succeed. Enjoy.

Approximately six months ago I made some positive changes in my life. These changes was recommended to me by a nutritionist. I know six months isn’t really a long, long period of time, but I would like to let you know how I’m doing, and what I’ve been doing.

At this stage in my life. After six months of practicing the recommendations of my family friend the nutritionist, I am in a great place. I didn’t think that I would be in this place, at this point and time, six months ago. Right now I’m in the best mental and physical shape of my life! I am attributing my high self-esteem, my mental and physical health, to my unwavering dedication to my fitness routine, my good eating habits, and my steadfast practice of getting a good night’s rest, every night!

I exercise five days a week. My exercise routine is dominated by weight training. One day I will exercise with weights only. The next day I will go bike riding or I will go jogging. I practice eating right everyday, by making sure that I’m getting proper nutrition.

This is what my exercise routine is like:

On Mondays I do weight training for approximately two, and one half hours.

On Tuesdays I ride my bike for approximately one, and one half hour.

On Wednesdays I do weight training for approximately two, and one half hours.

Thursdays are my jogging day. I will jog for approximately one hour. Sometimes I’ll put in a little more time.

Fridays it’s back to working-out with weights for approximately two, and one half hours.

In regards to my eating habits;  I try my best at all times to make sure that some of the foods that I eat are loaded with carbohydrates. I don’t eat any meat. Eating a lot of fish is a big part of my diet. I juice all the vegetables and most of the fruits that I consume. Raw vegetables are very potent. If you’re having any problems sleeping, don’t juice your vegetables, it will only make your sleeping problems a lot worse! I drink a lot of protein shakes and I also drink a lot of water.

Those are the things that I’ve been doing for the last six months. And it has gotten me into the best shape of my life! Exercising regularly, and eating right is very addictive. I don’t know if anything that’s addictive, is a good thing to do. But I love doing it! And I’ll recommend exercising regularly, eating right, (proper nutrition) and getting a good night’s rest to everyone!

… Continue to follow Scully’s blog at http://scullynne.blogspot.com/