Are you really hungry?

When you sit down to eat, pause before picking up your cutlery (or the food itself if it is a sandwich) and simply ‘be’ there for half a minute. Take a deep breath and become aware of the sensations in your body. Are you really hungry? Hunger is a sensation not a thought so if this question starts a debate in your mind about whether or not you are hungry, the answer is probably no.

If you are not hungry, what has prompted you to eat? Is it your allocated lunch break? Is it because you need a break from what you’re doing? Is it your habitual time to stop and have a meal? Is it thirst masquerading as hunger? Or are you trying to distract yourself from feeling something? If you are not hungry, don’t eat. Take another deep breath and feel the feeling that arises when you read my suggestion not to eat. Fear? Panic? Relief? Anger? Sadness? Contentment? Simply sit with the feeling (or feelings) and realise that feelings can be present without you needing to do anything.

Don’t try to analyse your feelings. Just feel them. Feeling your feelings is enormously liberating and empowering. The more you are able to simply observe your feelings, the less you will use food to manage them. Feelings don’t need to be managed. They need to be felt or just allowed to be. Feeling your feelings will bring you more energy, self-confidence and self-acceptance.

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