Think and How You Eat Matter ©Deborah Barr
It’s rare to find someone who eats joyfully and
This means having a hearty appetite—an appetite for
foods that are calming and energizing, that help focus the mind,
are easy to digest, and have pleasing tastes. Joyful
the flavors and textures while engaging all of the senses.
They chew thoroughly in order to enjoy every last morsel.
eating means receiving and eating your meals in the spirit of
gratitude for nature, the farmers, the food distributors, the
retailers, the cook, and for yourself. The first stage of
eating begins in the mind. Your attitude towards food
determines its effects on your body.
Most importantly, joyful eating means no guilt, no fear, and
no food phobias. Many people worry about and fear food
constantly. These toxic emotional and mental states have far
greater impact on the effects of the food than the ingredients
themselves. The food you prepare and eat receives your energy
and your consciousness, then returns it to you. Hence, you
become what is most like your thoughts, and often, that's
overweight, unhappy and unhealthy.
Your cells are thinking mechanisms that communicate with each
other and respond to your thoughts. Your attitudes penetrate
your cells, and your body responds to your mind at a cellular
level. You become what is most like your thoughts. So, if
you're calling yourself fat and waging war on your body,
it will respond by being fat and unhealthy and giving you more to fight
against. Guilt, fear and food phobias give you the same result.
about food and learn to stop giving your power (to create what
you do want) to any food. The moment you judge or criticize you
give more power to food to create the opposite of what you
want. Lighten up. It’s not the end of the world if you’ve
eaten something on your personal prohibited list
of foods. The lighter you feel mentally, the lighter your body
How You Eat Matters
What's your eating style? Do you eat on the run? While
standing, walking around the house doing chores, working,
driving the car, or talking on the phone? Doing so will
inhibit digestion and assimilation and you will never be
satisfied, always looking for more.
Creating time to sit down, relax, chew and enjoy your meals
enhances the positive effects of the food on your body. You'll
metabolize more efficiently, be more satisfied, and feel
nourished physically, mentally and emotionally. Giving thanks
further adds to the positive impact as does taking 3-5 long,
slow deep breaths before eating. Create your own pleasant
rituals around eating, and you'll discover that doing so enhances overall
wellbeing and helps with weight loss. Do this even if you’re
eating what you label a bad food.
You Think Matters
Stop Calling Yourself Names –"
binge-eater", "food addict", "compulsive overeater",
etc. Each time you think and speak these labels about yourself
you reinforce their power over you and your body. Your body
always obeys the instructions of our mind (even when you’re not
aware of your thoughts), and if you’re calling yourself names
you are keeping yourself in bondage.
Reality and thoughts are not separate. Giving your attention to
these negative labels enhances their effect on your body. One
of the most effective actions you can take toward losing
unwanted pounds is to create some new labels that are
positive, empowering, and make you feel joyful when you use
them. Think and speak them daily
Food Judgments and Labels
While it’s important to exercise discernment when making
food choices (any choice for that matter), it’s counter
productive to make food good or bad.
The reality is there is no good or bad, only choice, and the
effects of your choices. The effect comes to a large extent in
response to the judgments you make about the food, and how you
feel about your choices. When your mind is truly aligned with a
healthy, fit body, you simply will not want anything that
opposes it. This requires consistent inner work.
What labels do you put on food? Here’s some I’ve
heard: These foods get me into trouble; this is sinful,
fattening, or off-limits. I just have to look at that pie
and I gain weight. This is bad for me. I’m not allowed to
have this. I’m going to “cheat” and eat this. I’ve been
good, so I’m going to eat this banana split. Jot down some
that you hear yourself thinking and saying.
How do you feel when you hear yourself thinking and making
these statements? Every time you criticize, defend or
justify your choices/actions, you disempower yourself.
It’s another way of saying something is wrong with your choices.
That attitude will keep healthy and overweight.
Can you soften the judgments? Can you cultivate a positive,
feel-good attitude about all of your choices? You
could say things like, “everything I eat turns to health,
longevity, and beauty”, or “I’m not keeping this particular
food in my house anymore because it’s not really something I
want”; or “I’m choosing not to eat this because I don’t want
it”. Work on your internal conversation.
If you do choose something that you feel opposes your goal
of a healthy, fit body, then please enjoy it. Say something
like: “this is delicious and rich and sweet and a few bites
really satisfy me”. Or, “these salty chips are just what I
seem to need at this moment”. Or simply, “I’m eating this
because I want to.” Sit down, chew and savor, stay present,
and let go of the judgments.
I know a woman who says she’s decided to be good
all week and then eat whatever she wants (or be bad)
on the weekends (her therapist suggested this). This way of thinking is antagonistic and
opposes health, happiness, peace, satisfaction, and
contentment. You’ll experience these qualities by making
everything you eat what you want to eat. Start
saying that to yourself—no matter what you’re eating.
Telling yourself you are going to allow yourself to have
something you believe to be bad for you
occasionally is self-defeating and unhealthy. When you stop
making it bad (in your mind), the food will lose
its power over you and you probably won’t want it much anymore.
This takes practice and awareness.
Practices for Health and Happiness
Let go of the idea that there is good and
bad food. There is not.
Adopt the idea that there is only cause and effect.
Food is not a moral issue.
Let go of the notion that you blew it if you ate a
few cookies or chips. You did not.
Find your balance point—what makes you feel light, free, alive
cravings are a helpful guidance letting you know what you need
for balance. You don't need excesses of sugar, salt, fat,
or protein. Get help figuring this out.
Understand how guilt is paying you. Does it allow
you to continue to prove how unworthy you are? Think about this
and figure it out.
If you’re eating certain foods because you’re stressed,
depressed, anxious or upset, ask yourself how you feel after
eating those foods. Do they make you feel calm, peaceful,
relaxed, centered, grounded, and empowered to find solutions to
Become fully aware of why you choose what you
choose; how you feel about your choices; and how your
choices make you feel.
Eat mindfully no matter what you
Make a very big deal out of all the positive choices and changes
you’ve made—every day.
End every day by reflecting on how far you’ve come and all the
choices of thought, word and action you’ve made that reflect
what you really want. Do NOT think about all the things you
Permanent success in creating
good health and weight loss will be a long, slow, tedious
journey unless you work at the level of mind, emotion, and
spirit. Your body is urging you to do so. If you
need help, take advantage of some of the resources listed below,
or give me a call if you prefer individual counseling/coaching.
Your success is waiting for you to claim it.
Wouldn't you like to create a plan for reversing
health conditions and
creating a healthy, fit body
and mind permanently in safe, effective ways that are
nourishing and feel good to you?
a session with 28-Year Holistic Health and Nutrition
Expert. Sessions can be
done by phone, skype, or in my Pittsburgh office. You can also
call 412.361.8600 or email
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