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Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care

The Gentle Politeness of Our Bodies
Posted on 11/01/2013 @ 10:35 PM

As I continue to practice listening to my body as the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating program encourages, I’ve started to notice how gently and politely it “speaks.”

For example, a level 4 on the Hunger and Fullness Scale is similar to my body saying, “Excuse me, I recommend you make plans to eat soon.” A 3 is equivalent to, “Just sending you this friendly reminder, you can eat anytime now.” A 2 is like, “Okay, p-l-e-a-s-e listen to me and eat.” And a 1 is, “Yep, this is what I was trying to avoid.” Then, of course the other end of the scale is similar messages regarding fullness. Instead of my body communicating to eat, it is communicating to stop eating with the same politeness and strength of messaging.

But, my emotions are not as well-mannered. Giddy excitement shouts, “Let’s eat because it’s fun!” Stressed-out feelings cry, “Let’s eat because it’s distracting.” Exhaustion lures, “Let’s eat because it’s soothing.” Boredom nags, “Let’s eat because it is something enjoyable to do…right now.”

The key is to pay attention. Do I feel like I’m being shouted at? Then, it’s probably an emotion, and it’s time to discern which emotion is trying to send me a message, so I can respond appropriately. Unless I’ve been ignoring them for too long, my hunger signals are much more subtle.

It’s not particularly easy to listen to those quieter messages among the shouting, but it is definitely worth it.

I’ll keep practicing.

Michelle May M.D.

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Charlene's Journal

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Our Relationship to Food is Not a Problem to Be Solved; It is a Process to be Lived

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Practicing Am I Hungry? Concepts in Other Areas of My Life

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