Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
BY THICH NHAT HANH
“Peace is already here, it is within you, in front of you, you only need to be in touch with it. You do not need to chase it. The act of chasing is only wasting your energy and confusing you, and taking you away from peace.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Scientists no longer believe that weight gain and obesity are caused by only the percentage of fat or carbohydrates in our diets. Instead we are learning that our weight is deeply influenced by mindfulness and social context. The book Savor, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung, makes the convergence of nutritional science with ancient mindfulness teachings clear and relevant. Their work introduces science into wisdom and wisdom into science. Together they provide approaches, skills and tools to heal not only the individual but an obese society as well. The result is a practical guide to eating mindfully, attaining a healthier weight and living a more satisfying life.
As most of us know, in order to lose weight, we must eat less and exercise more frequently. But somehow we get stuck along the way. Many of us start “on” a diet only to go “off” of the diet, regaining the lost weight plus more. Though there are many fad diets circulating and our price tag for weight loss being $50 billion, as a nation we are still gaining weight and feeling deep, emotional pain because of it.
Stuck in a cycle of guilt and shame, people spend countless hours worrying and blaming themselves for behavior they can’t undo. Savor introduces us to the concept and the experience of being in the present moment – the only time in which we have the power to make changes in our lives. Offering practical tools and personalized goal setting, a detailed nutritional guide, and a mindful living approach to life, Savor helps us to uncover the roots of our habits and inspires transformation of our actions. We are taught how to adopt and integrate the practice of mindfulness into our lives so that being fully present becomes how we live. Mindfulness becomes our ally, helping us to get out of our own way, to change habits that are counterproductive and to overcome obstacles and challenges that led to our overweight situation.
Only with awareness of the present moment can we change our behavior. And only with awareness are we able to take the steps necessary to both achieve the healthy weight and well-being we desire in our lives, embracing the rich abundance of life available to us in each and every moment. Mindful living and eating will lead us to embody a lifestyle that is not only healthy for ourselves but for our planet as well.