Your Relationship With Food Affects Your Work

“One of the first steps to being healthier is to stop focusing on your weight because it is not a great indicator of health, says Alexis Conason, a New York-based clinical psychologist who teaches mindful eating. So when you eat a piece of colleague’s birthday cake, stop seeing yourself as being bad. She also considers it a bad idea to respond to overeating pizza by doing something like a juice cleanse, which she argues will throw your body out of whack.”The more we fight against our bodies, the more disconnected we are,” she says. “We will eat an entire pizza and lose touch with our internal cues that tell us when we’re full.” Conason advocates mindful eating, learning to notice when you’re hungry or full, and being aware of how certain foods make you feel.”Mindful eating is a process,” she says. “Each person needs to discover what works for them. Everyone is different, and what works for me won’t work for you.”The key is not denying yourself access to food, she says.”When we deprive ourselves, it sets us into a crazy mood around food,” Conason says. “But when you have access to what you want, then you can think about when you really want it and eat it mindfully. You smell it, enjoy it and taste it. You then make a choice about when you are satisfied.” Such mindful eating can help raise our self-esteem and allow us to stop punishing ourselves for what we eat. That confidence in our own decisions and body can translate into making food decisions that leave us energized and focused — and that can make us more successful at work, she says. A healthier you can begin by being kinder to yourself, Conason says.”Take the attitude of ‘This is my body, and I’m going to treat it well,’ ” she says.

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