Shirley Roe is a fully qualified nutritional therapist. She believes we all have the ability to live long healthy lives, full of energy and vitality. Ahead of a new course she blogs about her own journey of discovery and how she learned to eat mindfully.
When I was growing up in the 1980’s it was very common to see advertisements everywhere for dieting, slimming, losing the fat, whatever you want to call it, losing weight was the end goal.
I was as young as 15 when I embarked on my first diet and even started jogging because according to Elle magazine I was fat.
I was quickly an expert in calorie counting with varying degrees of success in calorie control.
I read every book and magazine article and soon felt I was an expert on the subject.
To me then, healthy eating meant eating in a way that controlled my weight. My weight went up and down over the years as I tried this new trend diet, got bored then tried and another and another.
However regardless of what diet I tried I still gained weight.
When I did gain weight my inner critic kicked in saying things like “you aren’t trying hard enough”, or “see you lack resolve, you’ve put on ½ a stone again”.
Or the inner perfectionist in me got to work planning a lack lustre entirely unsustainable low calorie eating regime for the month.
I never listened to what my my body actually needed. I often felt miserable and shaky on days when I obviously needed more calories than I allowed myself.
There was an underlying sense of power in controlling my food choices by deprivation and guilt.
I experienced no love in the act of eating, dieting sucked all the joy out of it.
I studied Nutritional therapy for four years and developed a much better understanding of my nutritional needs. But it wasn’t until I found Mindful eating that my way of eating changed. I changed what I ate a little, but the most noticeable change was how I ate.
By eating mindfully I now feel I have a supportive relationship with food.
Eating mindfully has made me truly savour my food. I eat with attention and fully in the moment, which helps me delight in the smells, textures and flavours of food without all the mindless inner chatter.
Now I listen to my body and eat what my body needs and wants. I am certainly not driven to eat according to what magazine or newspaper articles tells me I should eat.
The joy of eating food has returned I can now say without fear or guilt. I LOVE FOOD.
A Mindful Approach to Eating With Orla Burchael & Shirley Roe starts on Friday September 22nd at 2pm and runs for six weeks. You can book your place here for €195.