Monday, August 5, 2013

Mindful Eating

First up... One more pound closer to my goal!  YAY!  Do I wish it were more?  Yep.  But it's all good.  I guess I keep thinking I'm still 20 years old and can drop weight just by thinking really hard about it.  Ok, so I could never do that, but it'd be really cool if I could.

I was reading a post on the "Blog" last week about "mindful eating".  Seems like the new buzz words for the weight loss community.  So, my interest was peaked as I came across the post on WLW.  Anyway, it means bringing our full attention to the food we eat.  The whole process is brought into focus:  tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings we have during a meal.  I can honestly say I've never really paid that much attention - unless it's ice cream - then I'm all there!

Here's an excerpt from the WLW "Mindful Eating" Post on how to eat mindfully:
Try This Exercise With Your Next Meal: Place a forkful of food in your mouth. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but make it something you love. Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was very good and the next bite is calling your name. Nonetheless, leave the fork on the table. Chew slowly. Stop talking. Tune in to the texture of the food, the flavor, the bright colors, the aromas. Eat with your senses. Continue this way throughout the course of a full meal, and you’ll experience the pleasures and frustrations of mindful eating.

Have you ever tried to really focus on all those things while eating?  I usually only pay enough attention to ensure the fork doesn't stab me in the face.  But today, I paid attention.  Textures, tastes, smells, and even how I was feeling.  I compared it with past meal times.  I'm usually not paying attention to the food I eat unless I don't like it.  Usually, I'm reading a computer screen during lunch or watching a show on TV during dinner.

I tend to multi-task during meals when I eat alone... check email, send a text, or get some work done.

I also tend to "speed eat" hot meals.  I don't like it when my food gets cold.

It dawns on me that this probably isn't the best way to eat.  I know what you're thinking...  "ya think?!?"

I hadn't really thought about it until now.  But it makes sense, doesn't it?  Our brain receives input from ALL of our senses.  So, if I don't bother to smell my food or even look at it, how do I know I'm even eating?  I mean sure, there's the act of shoveling it into my face and ultimately feeling full, but how much longer does that take when I'm not paying attention?  How much sooner does the hunger come back?  Will I remain satisfied longer if I truly "watch what I eat" and smell it too?

Bottom line was that today, when I was really trying to notice what I was eating, I enjoyed my food more.  I could continue to eat mindlessly, but why?  If I wanted a mindless relationship with food, I'd eat those "super foods" like arugula and quinoa at every meal and never worry about gaining weight ever again!  But I want a healthy relationship with food.  I want to be aware of the aromas, textures, and awesome tastes in so many different foods AND be completely satisfied by the amount of food in a healthy serving.  Maybe there's something to this mindful eating.  Who knew?

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