Bariatric Support Series Part 15

#15: Mastering Mindfulness

Now you are a month into a new habit and I would love to know how it is going for you.  Remember it all takes practice and adjustment to be successful and we are here to help anytime you need it. That is why we are here and why we are providing these videos.

We spend an enormous amount of time living in the past or worrying about the future. It’s easy to think about doing something but when it comes time to put thoughts to action that’s where the true test comes into play.  it’s important to get busy living, not perseverating about what could or can be.  Just make it happen.

Living completely in the present moment is called mindfulness.  Allowing yourself complete focus on the task at hand and enjoying the moment and accomplishment when you are finished with let’s say an exercise routine is living in the present.

There are many benefits of living mindfully.  Stress, heart disease, blood pressure, pain, sleep, depression, anxiety, Weight management

When you try to work on those things you can control then the rest of your mind and body will follow. Taking on tasks and ideas that are both tangible and realistic will keep you in the present and in the moment.  Mindfulness is an extension of treating ourselves kindly. You focus your attention on the present moment and just observe without judgment.

There is no fault in trying hard at anything and giving your best and consistent effort is all that is required.  For most people simply staying on task, living in the present, and finishing each day strong is all that anyone needs to do to feel and be successful with weight management.

You can practice mindfulness while walking, showering, riding the subway or the elevator, playing with a child, giving someone a message, even just doing the dishes—and of course, while eating.

  • Start by attending to the sensations of your body.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • When you breathe in, pull the air downward into your abdomen
  • Focus on the sensation of breathing in and breathing out.
  • Slowly and deliberately proceed with the task at hand.
  • Try to employ every sense into the task.
  • Notice each sight and sound.

If you are eating look closely at the food, its surface and the layers below that may be visible. Attend to every smell

Feel the texture of the food in your mouth and the taste on each part of your tongue.

Inevitably your mind will stray at first and you will find yourself thinking about work, tasks you have to complete, TV shows – almost anything.  Without judgement, gently redirect your focus back to the task you are performing and the sensations you are experiencing.

Now your challenge for the next two weeks.

Practice mindfulness each time you eat. No distractions, no multitasking, just quietly sitting and eating while you engage your mind completely in the act of eating in the moment. Remember, silence your inner critic, be gentle and kind to yourself as you redirect your wandering mind and feel the peace that comes with practicing mindfulness. You may wish to write your experience in your journal afterward so you can track your progress.