Mindful vs Mindless

What changed to help me lose over 100 lbs after jumping from diet to diet?

I started to pay attention. Pay attention to my food consumption. My habits. My mannerisms. My associations with myself. I began to really open my mind and began to say that I was a person who could run, could cook, could lift weights, and many other things. When I opened my view of self, my thoughts turned into dreams that turned into plans that turned into actions that turned into the result that I am now.

I once said that I would never be a runner after a horrible experience with a gym teacher. But one day I saw a woman running on the side of the road that looked so peaceful. And after sitting on that thought for a week, I got out of my own way… and I started to walk because I knew I could do that. Then I started the couch to 5K program. And then ran a 5K and then ran a 10K and then a half marathon, and then a marathon, and then an ultramarathon.

My choice to change my thoughts took me from no belief in becoming a runner to a person completing an ultramarathon in 2 years’ time by continuously pressing into the processes. I didn’t dream of ultramarathons… I dreamt of running day in and day out…easy runs, tempo runs, long runs, speed repeats, hill sprints, fartleks, strides… all of them… and then there I was… an ultramarathoner x 2… and down over 100 lbs.

In the process of becoming a runner, I also changed so many other outlooks, because I knew I could now. I knew I could change the way that I ate because that didn’t have to be fixed either. I knew that I could change the way that I thought about my body.

Essentially the more mindful I became, the more I changed my life. When you look to embrace more mindfulness, these simple actions can help greatly.

Develop self-awareness

You can try to begin by becoming more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors surrounding food and your body. Do you notice any automatic or mindless patterns encouraging choices? For instance, do you tend to stop at the same eaterie on the way somewhere whether you are hungry or not?

Practice mindful eating

You can bring mindfulness to your eating habits. Slow down and savor each bite, being fully present with the experience. Notice the taste, texture, and sensations of the food. You can pay attention to your body’s cues of satisfaction and stop eating when you feel comfortably full.

Cultivate mindful awareness

Have you noticed your daily routines, habits, and triggers for unhealthy choices? By observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment, you can better understand the underlying causes of mindless behaviors.

Mindful movement

Try to be more aware during exercise. Pay attention to the sensations in your body, your breath, and the environment around you.

Emotional well-being

Mindfulness can help you try to regulate emotional challenges better. Practicing meditation or other techniques to cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of your emotions.

Practicing self-compassion

Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Acknowledge that change takes time and effort. When facing setbacks or challenges, approach yourself with understanding and self-care, rather than harsh self-criticism.

Vital Connection

Connect with those around you that understand your struggles and can provide encouragement. Joining a support group, working with a therapist, or finding an accountability partner can help you stay motivated and committed to your goals.

Working to maintain a mindful approach is essential for long-term success. Try to be patient with yourself, and practice self-compassion.

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