Saturday, December 14, 2013

Enjoy Your Food #myheartdayresolution


I'm not ashamed. (Okay, maybe a little) I have lost maybe 10 pounds (and gained it back and lost it again) since I decided back in February to lose... 30? In my defense, I have since been diagnosed with some weird thyroid disease that can't decide it it's overactive or under (Hashimoto's), among other things. So, weight loss is going to be a challenge. But I have learned more about myself than the fact that my hormones are completely out of whack. This weight loss journey, as unsuccessful as it may have been so far, has taught me many things about me, my relationship to my body and my relationship to food.

"Enjoy your food" is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given in relation to dieting, and one of the hardest for me to follow. It's not that I don't like food, I love it. I love growing it, smelling it, preparing it and eating it. But to truly enjoy my food, I would have to slow down. I would have to find myself in the moment, taste each bite, feel the texture, experience the aroma, truly enjoy it.

I have a really hard time doing just one thing at a time. When my Sunshine is in the bathtub, I'm either cleaning the bathroom, reading a book or knitting. When I'm watching Hulu I'm either cleaning the living room, knitting, writing or snacking (or a combination of the above). (Right now, Once Upon a Time is on Hulu in another Window) And when I'm eating, if there isn't anyone there to have a rousing conversation with, I'm usually writing or researching. I have to force myself to join my Sunshine when he has his meals during the day. I would much rather have my lunch in front of the computer. When I eat I don't think about the food. I think about all the other stuff I'm doing and the food is just one more distraction.

I know that my tendency for distracted eating leads to a tendency for over eating. The truth is, my fat doesn't come from eating crap anymore. Well, not most of it. My fat comes from me scarfing down food while doing other things, barely chewing, barely noticing I'm eating, not noticing I'm feeling full. And then eating more, because that other thing I was doing while eating is still happening and so I just need to fill my plate again and again until I'm finished with this article. Or that show is over. Or the person I'm talking to decides they're done eating.

Taking the time to be in the moment is something I have worked hard to cultivate. It's not in my nature. I do a Yoga video every morning to focus myself on myself. I take time to read and play with my little boy and force myself to do nothing else at least once a day. It's hard. I mean, it's fun. But it's hard.

Eating mindfully, enjoying my food, is a habit that has been difficult for me to cultivate because eating isn't special. It is a thing that I do 3-5 times a day every day and have done all my life. It's just a thing. Like brushing my teeth. And... well I just have a hard time doing anything that can be done while doing something else without doing something else.

Now that I've totally psychoanalyzed this issue, I'm making it a goal for the month. I may have to begin by increasing the importance of my meals, maybe dressing them up, lighting some candles, saying grace - every time, not just at dinner. This will help instill the "specialness" of my meals and encourage me to focus on them and truly enjoy them. And here is a chart that I found online to help me out http://eatingmindfully.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/final-mindful-eating-marathon-infographic.jpg