What I Learned After 6 Months of Mindful Eating

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

What I learned after 6 months of mindful eating
I transformed a fancy Prosecco Bellini candle into two chocolate donuts. Magic? Nope.
I smelled the best candle at my hair salon last summer. It was a $27 Prosecco Bellini candle from Voluspa. It smelled like a sparkling peach Bellini cocktail. I really wanted it, but I reminded myself I was on a budget, and I went on my merry way. 
I stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few things on the way home. I found myself standing in front of the pastry case. It was a uncharacteristic move. Donuts are usually reserved for a special weekend mornings with my husband. I shrugged my shoulders, and selected two chocolate donuts. 
Why the donuts? I pondered this question post donut eating. I had recently taken a Mindful Eating course online. That class, coupled with my daily meditation practice, was increasing my mindfulness around my food choices. It hit me. It was the peach Bellini candle! I really wanted it, and I felt deprived when I didn’t get it. So hello, chocolate donuts! 
This epiphany was huge. I patted myself on the back for my newfound self awareness and mindfulness. I hopped into my car, and drove to Patina gift store. I bought TWO $27 Voluspa candles. That’ll keep me from buying donuts, I reckoned. A few weeks later, I went back and bought a third Voluspa candle. All the while, I was convinced I was Mindfulness Hot Shit. 

Months later, I told my therapist the tale of the candles and the donuts. She gently nudged me to the realization that I swapped one scarcity-based craving for another. Oh. Yeah. So why did I feel like I needed three candles and/or two donuts? That’s the question I’m still trying to unravel. 

I know the solution isn’t to always buy the peach Bellini candle, although it was lovely. I’m happy I bought it. I burned it for months, savoring the scent. Actually, now I want another one. 

As far as the second and the third candle, they had heavy, rich scents. One was Baltic Amber, and the other was Goji Tarocco Orange, whatever that means. I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t crazy about them. I reluctantly took them of the table and moved them into the candle box in my closet, hoping I’d like them more later. 

If I had a do-over, I’d buy the peach Bellini candle, skip the donuts, and skip the Amber and Goji Orange candles. I’d be up by $54 and down by 700 calories. And I’d be up by some closet space. I strongly suspect that the candles will sit in my closet for a few months, and then I’ll toss them out in my next minimalist purging binge. 

BUT . . . how do you know, in the moment? That’s the million dollar question. How do I know what purchases are the joyful Prosecco Bellini candles of this world, and which are the scarcity-based donut or Amber candle grabs? 

I don’t have the answers now. If anything, I have a thousand more questions. I’d like to wrap this up with a pretty little bow for you. I’d like to give you a tidy little takeaway. I guess it’s this: if you pile denial upon denial without stopping to feel your feelings, it can leak out in weird ways. 

“She said to go ahead and feel the feelings. I did. They felt like shit.” Anne Lamott quote

If you're interested in mindful eating or intuitive eating, I can recommend two books. The first book is called Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. I took an online class that featured this book last summer.


I lost 17 pounds in the past year. I attribute this a few things: meditation, exercise, drinking less wine and mindful eating. This encouraged me to read another book about mindful eating. This one is called Intuitive Eating. I listened to this book as an audio download from the library.


There are a lot of overlapping concepts in both books. Mainly, they're about honoring your hunger and cravings, enjoying food, and ending diets. They say that by doing this, you'll naturally reach the size your body is intended to be. 

I'll write more about mindful eating in the future. Have you tried mindful eating or intuitive eating? Are you interested in exploring it? I'd love to hear about it! Drop me a note in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this blog, please share it on social media! Thanks! 

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  • You’re welcome, Mary! I’m curious to know what you’ll think of the books. Thanks for reading!

    Kelley on
  • Love this post!! I’m often left pondering my food decisions after my treats have gone down the hatch. Thanks for the book recs. Requesting from the library!

    Mary on

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