~ Albert Einstein
If one of your resolutions was to lose weight, get your body in shape, exercise more, eat better then you’ll definitely enjoy this interview with Paige Burkes. Paige from Simple Mindfulness has written a wonderful Mindful Body Program (Click here to visit Simple Mindfulness.). This is a comprehensive program that uses mindfulness principles to transform how you think about diet, exercise and health. It shows you how fun it is to be healthy. Here is our talk. I learned a lot and am glad to be part of her program!
Betsy: What is mindfulness?
Paige: Basically, mindfulness is slowing down enough to notice all the little things inside and around you without judgment. While this sounds simple, it can be difficult.
A definition of mindfulness that I especially liked is from Wikipedia: The practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is applied to both bodily actions and the mind’s own thoughts and feelings.
We can be mindful anywhere, any time.
When we’re speaking with our spouse or kids, during yoga practice, while brushing our teeth, walking to the car, walking in nature, washing the dishes, while speaking to someone. All the time.
We can be mindful of our bodies: how hard we’re trying to maintain yoga poses or relaxing into them, our breathing, how strong or weak we feel at the moment, aches and pains.
And we can be mindful of our thoughts: thinking about things in the past (a previous conversation or event) or the future (all the things we have to do next, how we’ll handle certain situations, worrying about the future).
And we can be mindful of our surroundings and the people around us: the temperature, the weather, how someone is reacting to what we said, how others are dressed.
Being mindful is simply noticing what is in the present moment without judging it, without labeling it (good or bad, desirable or not desirable) in any way.
Judging is nothing more than making up stories. We make up stories about people and things based on our background, values, beliefs, past experiences and a million other things.
For example, you could put on a pair of pants that feel tight and simply notice that they’re tight. This is noticing without judgment.
If you put those same pants on, notice that they’re tight and then follow with thoughts like: I’m so fat! I look horrible in these pants! People will reject me because of how I look in these pants. – those are forms of judgment.
Lack of judgment is a critical component of mindfulness as it allows us to get past our old stories and see the world, other people and ourselves in a whole new light.
Betsy: What is mindful eating?
Paige: Mindful eating is simply taking the time to notice every aspect of ourselves and our food before, during and after we eat, without judgment.
It’s impossible to be mindful if you’re watching TV, reading or doing anything else while you eat.
To eat mindfully means to savor how your food looks, its aromas, its textures as you slowly chew each bite. Notice how those foods make you feel physically and emotionally.
It means being in tune with your body so you don’t eat things that aren’t good for you, and you don’t overeat because you take the time to tune into your body and emotions and listen to the messages that are always there for you.
An example of mindful eating is to take three full minutes to eat a small piece of chocolate or a luscious berry. Before you bite into it, observe it, notice how it feels in your fingers, take a moment to savor all the smells and textures. Taking very small bites, notice how it tastes when it first hits your tongue as compared to the tastes when you’re almost finished. Notice how it feels as it melts on your tongue. When it’s gone, notice how you feel physically and emotionally.
Betsy: Why did you write the Mindful Body Program?
Paige: When I got pregnant for the first time, I was hit with the revelation that everything that I put in and on my body would become part of a new person growing inside me. That’s a pretty daunting thought.
I started reading ingredient labels on foods, drinks, personal care and household products and anything else that came in or near my body or in the air I breathed. I looked up everything I didn’t understand.
I began to see that the conventional food system does not have our health in mind. We’ve been led to believe that harsh, highly toxic chemicals are required to clean our homes, cars and bodies and that cancer-causing chemicals are just fine to add to our foods.
Rather than turn to medications, I opted for natural ways to manage aches, pains and illnesses. I studied and began to understand how different types and qualities of foods affect our health and emotional state.
As I slowed down and implemented more mindfulness practices in my life, like yoga and meditation, I learned how strongly our emotions affect our health and habits.
During this time period, I realized lasting solutions to long-standing health issues for myself and my family, and I began to teach what I had learned and experienced to others. These people implemented these concepts into their own lives and experienced improved health, especially in areas where they had chronic issues.
My quest is to share this information with as many people as possible, in hopes that it can open people’s minds to new ways of thinking about health and wellness. This program can help people realize that they don’t need expensive and risky medications, special programs or anything else outside themselves.
Everyone has the ability to heal themselves from the inside out.
Betsy: What can I expect when I take the course?
Paige: In this program, I’ll hold your hand on your journey from wherever you are now to your own happy place with your body. We’ll be changing the way you think about yourself and how you see yourself.
This isn’t a diet or something you do for a few weeks before resuming life as normal. We’re creating a new normal.
We’ll re-examine how you look at food and what it means to your body.
We’ll also re-examine how you see exercise. Just like diets, there are many reasons why most people don’t use their gym memberships or maintain their exercise programs. There’s a different way and it’s a whole lot of fun.
This program will change the way you see yourself and your body. The conclusion of the program will be the beginning of your journey to lasting health and happiness with your body for the rest of your life.
Betsy: Why is it important as a parent to practice mindful eating?
Paige: If you have children, they’re observing your habits and behaviors and making them a part of their own lives in their own ways.
Practicing mindfulness with your eating, movement and everything else in your life is the best way to teach the practice to your children.
As mothers, we tend to put ourselves last while we sacrifice our own self-care to care for others. This sets an example for our children to follow. If we want better for our children, we have to be better mothers for them.
We can talk about what our kids should do until we’re blue in the face but it’s our actions and beliefs that have the most impact.
When our kids see how much happier and healthier we are because of our habits, they’ll want to learn and practice these habits in their own lives. What better gift could a mother give to her children?
If you’re interested in learning more about Paige’s Mindful Body Program, Click here to visit Simple Mindfulness.Paige Burkes writes at Simple Mindfulness she inspires her readers to see the world in a new light, experiencing life mindfully and inviting in more happiness and joy. Download her FREE Mindful Living Guide and learn how you can invite more joy, peace and happiness into your life. To check out her new Mindful Body Program, click here. It’s a comprehensive program that uses mindfulness principles to transform how you think about diet, exercise and health. It shows you how fun it is to be healthy.
bio picture: http://www.simplemindfulness.com/Paige