Mindset & Mindful Eating
The bad health vortex there's there's so many levels of this is like an onion right? Like how many like like this is a class about getting healthy right and like we have talked about no food almost it all that's right? But this is this is the work you need to dio to really um to be able to do like one we're talking about food and nutrition tomorrow but like it starts here and it and it's endless I mean there's so much baggage like emotional baggage and limiting beliefs and all these things around food and health and it can be so debilitating on that's why I'm spending so much time on this but I'm gonna get into another one and you will probably find it just a cz just ism important and impactful so ah I want to specifically address right now and people who uh are in a bad health situation and no it you know and feel paralyzed by it and have not been able to really change and figure out how to do that and specifically I want to talk about what happens in your brain when you're in a place...
like that um so what is the first thing that happens is like I said, I mentioned this briefly earlier but health is all really like really important right like everyone knows this and when you find yourself in a place where your health is not good there is a tremendous amount of shame associated with that you know both from your you're ashamed of yourself you know you feel like this is such an important thing in my life why haven't I got this handled you feel judged by others you know there's like horrible bullying and like fat rich fueling and you know, at a culture where it's just you know, not treated respectfully and when when you feel like that when you feel I'm so embarrassed I'm so ashamed I everyone thinks I'm a loser that puts you in a very specific kind of mental state which is basically like the world is against me and it's very defensive so it puts you in a very defensive state and what happens you've probably noticed like when you try to address anybody about their health flare like somebody tried to adjust you about your health you know you really shouldn't do that the first thing we do is like put up our duke's right were like yeah, well I'm busy and you don't know about it so you know it's like we get really defensive because like we know we should be doing it but like it's hard and we haven't and defensiveness is our default right um and s o there's a couple things that happens first uh when you feel defensive and shamed you feel very stressed and uncomfortable and the first thing you're going to do is turn tio your natural sources of comfort which is if you're if you're his food is the issue then you're probably turning to food some people turn toe whatever their addiction is but whatever makes you feel safe it's often often food and so there's sort of this downward spiral right it's like you know I feel bad people tell me I'm bad I feel embarrassed I am defensive and need comfort and then I continue the cycle and perpetuate the cycle sort like that dopamine loop we talked about earlier on did you feel worse thing you feel worse and the whole thing keeps going again so this is why I call it the bad health vortex it's very, very easy to get trapped in it I know many many people are there. Um let me talk a little bit about why this is so when you think about, um your biology that you guys ever heard of fight or flight all right? So basically what that means is when we feel threatened as humans or even I mean animals do this too when you feel threatened your body has a whole system and your brain has a whole system designed to deal with this and what it does is it goes into like act in the safest, most quick way possible right and the that mechanism that we have is very, very old evolutionarily we have it monkeys have it dogs have it spiders probably have it you know, like I think I think all creatures have this fight or flight when they feel threatened they bolt and that is very, very much an automatic system, right? It's very automatic base so that's another way of saying habits right, it's all it's almost like reflexive like you get triggered boom I'm out and part of the way our brains deal with this when we go into fight or flight mode, we don't want to be questioning everything like that's dangerous, right? Like buildings burning down you wanna be like should I take the stairs? Or maybe the elevator still worries like no need to just act like really, really quickly and there's actually a system set up to sort of shut down your prefrontal cortex when you're feeling defensive um and that that that is like there that's an evolutionary thing that's happened we've evolved to sort it helps you act faster, right? Because you don't have time to think so. This is great if you really are trying to getting on get out of a burning building, but if you're feeling defensive because somebody makes you feel bad about your weight or because you just ate a pile of brownies, then shutting down your prefrontal cortex is back because that's the part of your brain that controls executive decisions controls planning that controls willpower and all those other things. So while we default tio this so so we shut down our people to cortex and default to this faster emotional system in our brains. Um, and they're actually ah, is a way around this, though, because, like I said it, and if you're in a burning building, please shut off your prefrontal cortex and get the hell out of there. But when you're confronted with a feeling of defensiveness without an immediate threat, when the threat is just sort of in your head, because it's, your feeling defensive and shame shamed, the best thing to do is tio practice mindfulness. So do you guys know, does anybody here wanna share with us what mindfulness is? You know, um, uh, well, my fault, my fullness, is ah, being present, paying attention to the present moment, um, without judgment, so being compassionate towards yourself and others and not judging yourself. Ready action, absolutely perfect, perfect, you hit on both the point. So mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, so not worrying about what the future's going to look like, not worried about the mistakes you made in the past just being very observant of the present moment and more importantly, is doing it without judgment, so, uh, for instance, sometimes like I've been practicing meditation recently and one of the practices so meditation is a form of mindful practice doesn't it's not a religious or spiritual thing? It's literally just a practice I do for my brain and one of the things I do is like, I'll sit down and I'll start to meditate and just sort of focused on my breath sometimes I can feel myself having itch I got my like head or something I like really wanted but when you're meditating, the goal is teo just observed the itch and be like, yep, it itches and then feel it just like, well, it's a it's a feeling it's, a weird feeling but it's not like killing me it's just annoying and you just sit there and observe it without judgment and what's amazing is almost always unless there's actually something tickling you almost always it goes away, you know? You sit there and you don't judge it and you pay attention to it and then it goes okay and it sort of dissipates and and that is the power of mindful practice is when you can observe something without judgment. You often realize that the impulse you have to act on it isn't always necessary and so you can see why this could be power very powerful because it's what when you can step back for one second and just say oh this is what's really going on it could be a lot easier to make a better decision and to not fall into those you know sort of unhealthy habits that its air so easy we have so many of them right? So um so problems they're still going to come you know we're still going toe be tempted we're still gonna have a stressful day and wanted really just like have a glass of whiskey and a pizza for whatever your vices and sometimes that's okay but the more you can be aware of the fact that actually I'm stressed I'm being triggered and I know that I want tohave you know, the pizza and the beer but I'm gonna just go make a healthy dinner and and give myself and like and take a warm bath because a warm bath is also really comforting and then if I still don't feel good I'll eat the pizza you know you can you can give yourself that out but without judgment so and what this really enables you to dio is instead instead of doing the limbic sort of emotional automatic system that were triggered to dio when we're feeling guilty and shamed is turn our rational brains back on turnout prefrontal cortex back on and say what I really want here you know when we talk about this competing goals, the higher goals and the other goals so returning to the rational brain gay on getting out of this like detrimental habit system so again, if you couldn't be mindful thank you and be aware of what's happening when you were being triggered when you're in that hot moment and do what we exercise we did hear instead of thinking oh gosh, I'm really I really want to cook and I shouldn't say actually this isn't a special occasion I only want this cookie for stratfor to relieve stress and comfort what else can I d'oh to really stress and comfort without doing like eating a cookie that's not even that good you know it's an amazing cook eat the amazing cookie but don't do it out of out of stress you know I think that that these are the sorts of decisions sometimes the cookies worth it but it's not worth it if you're just doing it out of stress you just cookie because you've loved cookie you know that's a good reason um so when something goes wrong um the rational brain instead of feeling bad about it, just accept it and analyze the situation you know, it's probably gonna happen again like we talked about in the future my future self they're gonna have to deal with this at some point, so analyze what went wrong and try something new in the future be like oh, you know, I had this breakdown because I didn't have food in the house so I'm going to try to go shopping and see if that helps maybe it won't maybe you'll still be too stressed enough to think of something else but you have to approach it in an analytical way again anticipate future obstacles and scenarios and play out how it might go in your mind and then keep trying alternative approaches so I want to spend a little bit of time on mindful practice because you can see how important it is when you're talking about overriding uh your gut impulses and choosing a better path so actually before we do this and let's uh well, ok let's just talk about what mindfulness is and so we actually really covered this already so it's creating awareness um especially around your mindless behaviors like those are the things I want you to start paying attention to and do this tonight by the way, when you go home I want you teo notice when you're doing habitual behaviors and don't don't judge them like it's not bad just just pay it pay a little bit of attention with what was my trigger but maybe what try to figure out what their reward is and and why are you doing it? They're not all harmful all right? Some of them are perfectly fine, but just being aware of what they ours is really important there are tons of cues in our environment, like we talked about a little earlier that will trigger us to overeat ads just the size of your plate actually has a big impact social triggers like we talked about stress and other things also, in addition to just paying attention to your ah your internal us thoughts and feelings also pay attention to your food, you know what it what it is, how your body feels in my hungry sometimes we never asked that question. How hungry am I? What else is going on in my possibly thirsty? And then mindfulness can help you make value based decisions like we're talking about earlier choosing the higher goal over the impulse and essentially at the end of the day, if you could translate mind mindfulness into your eating habits and we're gonna talk about my inflating next, um, this will actually help to enjoy your food more and naturally eat less, which is really, really powerful because essentially what you're getting is portion control without suffering. You know portion controls almost always is associated with stopping yourself from doing something, but with mindfulness, you get that without without all the pain. In fact, you enjoy your food, more science has shown so let's talk about the reason did you did you did the exercise any any special insights? Anybody want to share their experience? How's your reason not possible to go past thirty seconds you didn't do the exercise but not to its completion yeah it was hard mindfulness mindful eating is very, very very hard that anybody managed to get some insight from the raisin yes, I had a similar exercise but this time was mohr I was more looking at that just the taste of it and so um it was pretty fun to sort of go from the beginning of that texture of the reason when you know when I normally pop five in my mouth and trump them I don't notice like the valleys and the mountains on the actual reason on and then by the end that like outside skin was sort of gone and it was just like both the pulp so as I was about halfway through I realized all this is way more satisfying than I thought it would be and then by the end of that well, I've sort of done with that but it was much more satisfying awesome, yeah I had a very similar experience I I just when I first put it in my mouth was like, wow there's so many flavors I could actually taste that they were made of grapes, which I don't think I've ever had that experience before also when I the first time I made it bite into it I got that sort of burst like you're talking about the texture of I could taste the acidity in it like that sour sort of sweet and sour kind of exploded when I tasted it and then that dissipated and then it turned into this sweetness was really, really interesting and your point is fantastic, which is that when you do focus on the act tributes of the flavors of the food it is more satisfying you enjoy it more like like you said, you could normally eat five without even thinking about it and mainly what you're getting from that is sugar I like the sound of sugar a little bit of raising flavor but when you slow down spent some time and focus on your food you can really get a lot more out of it. Does that online community have anything to say about the race and did they dio I had a feeling you know, nobody would do that at home it's like one of those things like you want you like that sounds like a great exercise I'll totally do it tomorrow. Yeah and the question I have done that exercise before um at a conference with cracker and it was really interesting it wasn't it was similar to the raisin but um once it disintegrates in your mouth you just realize how actually not pleasant it is so with the reason it's a little bit more more fun you go through like I love that point it's a great point so basically what we just learned is like when you eat a real food, you can actually taste all the flavors in the rial food when you write slowdown ate it when you get a process food you you realize like a lot of what you get out of it is just the crunch and sort of the salt on the surface and there's actually not a lot of flavor under it and that's actually the place I've gotten too, which is awesome were processed food that's what I taste now taste bland, salty starch, you know and it's like it's not nearly as pleasant as we believe it is when we're you know, fast food guzzling people that are eating sort of mindlessly um sweet so again so the mont mindful eating practice so what you two d'oh going to get more of this to get more of this is your life. You'll make better food choices naturally over time and you also eat less without suffering. So focus on the attributes of the food itself, the flavors, the text cher's, how they interplay with each other, how they smell all these different factors, how it feels like against your teeth if it makes sometimes foods are like kind of squeaky and sometimes suits kind of pop and like, pay attention to those things and really enjoy it one thing I like to do when I'm trying to remember you mindfully especially if I'm at a restaurant or eating food somebody else prepared is to try to identify all the ingredients like what is that flavoring like dill still sometimes I actually asked the waitress and like I can't put my finger on it what is it and you know end up being something interesting so you learn but it also you know it just slows you down and helps you pay more attention and enjoy more this's a controversial tip but I'm just trying to chew it can be really powerful way tio to slow down and and some people just just counting your jews could be helpful I have a tendency to forget to count my choose eso I've tried to wantto tried this in the past it doesn't work that well for me it kind of works but over time it's stops so put your fork down between bites is a way you can slow down a little bit and and also remove distractions so sort of sound self evident but it's hard to dio but like if the tv's on and your internets on and you're looking at your phone and you having a conversation with someone andrew eating dinner it's really hard to be eat mindfully as you could imagine so whenever you can do what you can to shut down the device is I know it's hard I trust me you know it's hard lots of technology in my house, but it does really really help um and just really quick I'm gonna give you my two second thing on how I actually learned to chew myself so learning to eat mindfully it was by far the hardest thing I ever I had to do like I took me a year and a half to actually slow down because I was like a super super super fast eater on I realize it came back to this trigger and reward as I told you, I couldn't figure out what the reward is, but I finally figured it ended up being that the soft food might when I shoot it all the way and didn't swallow a big chunk of food, but I couldn't figure out a trigger for the longest time until I realized I needed to be right in the routine member it needs to be part of your daily routine and what is the one thing you do before chu you stab your food right or pick up your sandwich? And so I created a rule I made that might trigger and I said, if I'm stabbing my food, I need to ask myself is there currently food in my mouth? And if the answer is yes, I put my foot fork down and I chew and I just chewed up so that it's, you know, soft and that insight is the only thing that the biggest insight that allowed me to actually slow down and I'm now a slow eater. I'm so proud of that. It was like it took me a year and a half, but finally identified the trigger. And so this is my quick use. The trigger is stabbing your food, or you're picking under sandwich. Ask if there's food and if on def there's food in your mouth, just put it down and finish it's really, really powerful. And then again, your reward is just having a soft full of food too small. So that's, that's, my tip of the day. Thanks, guys. Great way to end, how to chew on it sounds so easy, but no one does it pay attention. You know, I think a lot of people don't know how to eat.