Main course – Artful Eating by Karina Melvin – part 1

Further to my blog Starter – Artful Eating by Karina Melvin I will now try to do justice to the main section of Karina Melvin’s book Artful Eating. 

Again, each chapter has actions and information or knowledge as represented below.

The Main Course represents a period of realignment when you will be introduced to the practicalities of how to lose weight while experiencing freedom with food and flavours.

MENTAL REPROGRAMMING

The story we tell ourselves shapes us, inside and out.  Every action we take is deeply influenced by how we view ourselves, and this has been directly shaped by our upbringing and our relationships.

Action #1: Discover your story – write a page that encapsulates your story, including your thoughts about your weight, your body and the type of person you see yourself as.  Think about when you first remember being unhappy with your body, are there other people in your family who are unhappy with their weight? When you first started dieting? What have others said about your appearance? Etc., etc..  You may have an emotional response to your story but by unearthing, acknowledging and feeling your story you are working on letting it go.  This was a very interesting exercise, I found that once I started writing I couldn’t stop.

Next, we are encouraged to write our new story, filled with love, hope and kindness, which is the blueprint of your best version of you.  Read your new story every morning and evening while you are in the process of realignment.  I confess I put off doing this exercise until I had read much more of the book, but when I did write my new story I found it easier than I thought and quite liberating.

Action #2: Eradicate limiting thoughts – write a list of the beliefs that you have that empower you, i.e. I am destined to have a beautiful healthy body; I love my body; I lose weight effortlessly and easily.  Once you choose to believe that you can achieve your goal, powerful shifts in mindset and behaviour will occur. 

Action #3: What happens if you don’t lose the weight?  Write out detailed answers to questions such as Where will you be five years from now if you do not lose weight? What will it cost you if you don’t change? What will you miss out on in your life if you don’t make this shift now? Again a very powerful exercise where you are encouraged to really feel the pain of not making the change.

Action #4: Start to link positive feelings to losing weight – consider questions such as How will you feel about yourself? What kind of quality of life will you experience when you achieve your goal? How much healthier/happier will you be?  Again using visualisation, really feel the good feelings associated with losing weight.  I struggle with visualising positive things, which is odd as I would say that I am an optimistic person.  However, it just doesn’t come easily to me so I really have to work on this one and I make good use of Karina Melvin’s audio downloads (free on her website).

Practice these exercises daily, instead of focussing on willpower, control, diet plans or cutting out the foods you love.

REALIGNMENT AND INTUITIVE EATING

The time when your body is realigning should be an enjoyable period when you are not focussing on the scales, instead you are working on your mindset.  This is a gradual process, trust if you take the action you will achieve your goal.

Once you have finished the 48-hour Kick-Starter Challenge it is time to start following the four steps to eating artfully (below) which are essential and must be incorporated into your daily eating habits:

How to eat

  • 1.  Eat the best quality food you can access – food should and can taste amazing every time you eat it, the better the taste, the less you need to eat to feel satisfied.  Buy less, eat less. but eat well.  
  • 2.  Eat intuitively – only eat when you are actually hungry.  Do not eat just because someone offers you something, because it’s there or because you are bored, sad or tired, etc..  Only eat when your stomach sends a signal that you need some fuel.  Learn to tune into your stomach, ask yourself ‘Am I hungry right now? Do I need this or do I just fancy this?’  Think of a hunger scale and reside between hungry and satisfied, check in with yourself on an hourly basis:
    1. Physically faint
    2. Ravenous
    3. Hungry
    4. Slightly hungry
    5. Neutral
    6. Pleasantly satisfied
    7. Full 
    8. Stuffed
    9. Nauseous
  • 3.  Eat what you want and enjoy your food – eat slowly, enjoying each mouthful, and savouring the flavours. When you enjoy what you’re eating, your physiology responds by increasing your metabolism and extracting all the good nutrients from your food.  Use your best tableware, set the table beautifully, always use a knife a fork, light a candle or put out some flowers and put your phone away.  Doing these things sends a message to your brain to pause, enjoy and focus on this helpful and pleasurable way of eating.  Eat what you want to eat not what you think you should eat, listen to your body, it knows what you need to eat.
  • 4.  When you feel satisfied stop eating – remember the hunger scale.  We tend to ingest far more food than we need to.  Shrink the size of your plate, use a side plate and a small cup, glass and bowl, remember you can always go back for more if you are still hungry but rethinking your portion size is essential.  Have a half portion of everything as part of the process of retraining your brain to eat what you need to.  This step has worked wonders for me, I marvel at how I can eat half the quantity I used to and still feel satisfied.

As my 4lb weight loss in the first week of following the plan shows, I have found these techniques to be very useful.  

Coming up in my next blog, Karina Melvin’s:

  • Well-being and daily rituals
  • Overcoming emotional eating

 

 

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