There is something about shopping malls that turns me into the “Cookie Monster.” I walk into a mall and my brain starts screaming, “Cooooookie!”
Before any productive shopping can be done, I march like a robot to the nearest cookie store and wolf one down. I barely taste it and often I’m not even hungry when I eat that cookie. Meanwhile, I’m trying to limit the amount of sugar that I eat because it really wreaks havoc on my physical and mental wellbeing. That cookie may well put me over a healthy sugar intake for the day.
So what’s up with my mall/cookie connection?
Flash back to a shopping trip that I had with my mother a few years ago in which she laughingly mentioned that she would bribe me with cookies when I was a little girl. She told me that we’d walk into the mall and she’d say, “If you are a good girl, I’ll get you a cookie.” My mom utilized the time-tested parenting skill of bribery and I became an unconscious cookie monster! Apparently, I had adopted the “be a good girl and get a cookie” script and rode that unconscious ride right into adulthood.
What is conscious eating?
I coach women into mindfulness around their health and wellness. I tell them my cookie monster story and help them overcome old, unconscious messages they may have around food and their bodies. Some of the stories (like mine) are kind of funny, some are truly heartbreaking, but all of them have helped my clients get conscious and mindful about what they are putting into their bodies and why.
Be mindful of triggers.
When I walk into a mall now, I wait for that cookie trigger. I stop and ask myself if a cookie is what I consciously want or is it part of a habit that has been there for years? Periodically, a good cookie is in order, so I choose to indulge myself but I eat it sitting down, slowly, and savoring the sensory experience of that cookie. The unconscious cookie isn’t enjoyable and isn’t good for me.
Creating a process of mindful eating for myself has been a profound journey and one I’m helping my clients enjoy as well. Can you think of any unconscious messages that make a cookie not just a cookie for you?
– Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC
Lisa Kaplin is the owner of “Smart Women Inspired Lives” where she helps women get really happy and healthy. Lisa trained with iPEC to become a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). Also through iPEC, Lisa recently completed the COR.E Wellbeing Dynamics(TM) program and is now a CWD Specialist. In addition, Lisa holds a master’s and doctoral degree in psychology. Lisa is a professional speaker and blogger with blogs featured on Yahoo, MSN, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, Your Tango, Lifetime Moms, and Mind Body Green. She is the married mother of three wonderful children.
You can reach Lisa at Lisa@smartwomeninspiredlives.com.