Self Discovery with Mindful Eating

Check out our Mindful Eating Book


What I Learned from a Mindful Eating Book Study

I learned so much about my eating habits and my relationship with food from the Mindful Eating Book Study Longview Yoga offered several years ago. The things I learned have continued to impact my health. 

Prior to learning how to eat mindfully, I had been obsessed with everything I put in my mouth. I was constantly thinking about food. Obsessing about what my next meal needed to be before I had finished the one I was eating. There was zero pleasure around food.

I was hyper-focused on weight control. I weighed myself every day. If there were any fluctuations in my weight, I would look for reasons why that could be.

I would blame “missteps” in my eating or not enough exercise for weight fluctuations.

It was clear I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I labeled food as “good or bad,” and praise and happiness around food relied upon whether I ate the “good” food or the “bad” food. I was incredibly unhappy, and thoughts about food began to invade every part of my day. I was obsessed. 

During the mindful eating book study and the years to follow, I started to uncover my unhealthy beliefs around food. 

I realized MOST of those beliefs had all come from external sources. Articles, diet books, tv shows, diet gurus, personal trainers, news stories, friends, and parents were all sources I relied on for information about what, when, and how I should eat. The one person I didn’t rely upon was myself. I had ZERO trust in myself when it came to making food decisions that were right for me. 

I was eating on a schedule to prevent myself from getting hungry, so I wouldn’t “lose control.” This led to an inability to sense hunger or fullness, disconnecting me further from any interoceptive awareness around eating. I had no barometer or measure for hunger. I did not know what hunger felt like anymore or where hunger lived in my body. I had no idea what I was hungry for. Yes, I had cravings, but I realized later that hunger and cravings were not the same things. 

I had felt all the FEELS with food.
I had felt scared of it, stressed and anxious by it, shame, blame, guilt, disenchanted, and disconnected from it. What I hadn’t felt from food (at least not as long as I could remember) was appreciation, gratitude, nourished, safety or trust.

It was not until I started eating mindfully that I realized how dysfunctional my relationship with food had become. 

Mindful eating practices led me to stop relying on external resources and start paying attention to how food made me feel. I started paying attention to what I was eating, how I was eating, and why I was eating.


I started noticing how critical I was of food and myself for eating the things I did. That AWARENESS allowed me to be more curious about why I was choosing certain foods and eating at certain times. 

Instead of denying myself specific foods, which would lead to me bingeing on them when I was stressed, tired, at holiday events or birthday celebrations, I started allowing myself to have all foods in moderation. 

I stopped labeling foods as good or bad which stopped me from using “good” foods (like salad) as a punishment for eating “bad” foods like chips and hamburgers. I realized that using salads as a punishment made them psychologically less desirable, even though I liked salads!

I stopped obsessing about weight every day. Letting go of the need to get on the scale every day gave me the opportunity to pay more attention to what was going on inside of myself instead of relying on a number on the scale to dictate my health. 

It took time, but eventually, I began to trust myself with food. I began to trust hunger and became less afraid of losing control. I began to look forward to all of the good things that come with the holidays, including the food! 

Some old habits creep back in sometimes, but instead of feeling guilt or shame, I have so much more compassion and certainly more curiosity and awareness around my actions. The fear, guilt, and shame food brought me in the past is virtually non-existent now. 

The tools I learned in the Mindful Eating Book Study have given me peace of mind around food.