This week I’ll continue with the theme I’ve been exploring recently – the importance of bodily awareness in overcoming compulsive eating.

Almost all of us are disassociated from the body to some extent. James Joyce put this tendency memorably in one of his stories, when he wrote, “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.” Or as psychologist Ken Wilber writes more seriously, “Few of us have lost our minds, but most of us have long ago lost our bodies.”

Decades of psychological research have confirmed this split that most people feel between mind and body. We say, “I have a body,” or “my body,” as if it were our possession, or an appendage, not actually part of who we are. It’s as if there were a miniature Wizard of Oz up in our heads, pulling levers and pressing buttons that control the body. Because we remain in our heads, devoted to our thoughts, we rarely give much attention to the body.

This split between mind and body is one of the primary reasons that you may feel out of control when it comes to eating. Just as it’s impossible to be in control of your golf game without being aware of the golf club in your hands, it’s impossible to be in control of your eating without being aware of your body.

In the coming weeks I’ll discuss the origin of this split between mind and body, and how it can be healed.