Sometimes when I talk to people about mindful eating, they want to know when they’ll arrive – i.e., when they’ll get to that point where everything just flows smoothly and thoughts about food and eating aren’t a struggle, and everything is peaceful.
It’s a difficult question to answer, for many reasons. The hardest part about it is recognizing that it’s extremely individual, and that even for those of us who “arrive,” we always have things to learn. Most of the time, people don’t want to hear that, but at least from my experience, it’s the truth.
I don’t get discouraged by this, though, since everything about living is a constant learning experience. We all have days when we’re not our best selves and we just try to muddle through as best we can. We also have days where things go smoothly and as planned, and we’re content and happy with life. But usually we’re somewhere in the middle.
That’s true for me of mindful eating as well. I’m still learning new things about myself, and food, and how I react to food, especially when other people are thrown in the mix. I don’t honestly expect this to ever stop, since I know my body has changed with time, and it will continue to change, so how would I expect my interactions with food to remain static?
But what I do find, and this is probably the more important piece, is that you can get to a point where you trust the process. You recognize that it is a journey, and you decide to simply enjoy it and take what you can as you go. Furthermore, it’s your journey, not anyone else’s, and trying to compare yourself to others, or judge yourself by their actions, isn’t going to do you any favors.
For me, that’s been the best part of all this. To be able to ignore the little voices in my head telling me I should do something, or encouraging me to do something “bad” because it’s more fun, and just find my own middle ground on this path. We are, after all, only human, but then, I find that this is what makes the journey so interesting and enjoyable.