I've been practicing mindful eating for a couple of weeks and simply can't believe the changes its caused in me!! I've known about it for years but got inspired by the recent NYT article. Been Paleo for almost 2 years.
Immediately I felt soooo relieved to eat mindfully. I even feel noticeably annoyed now if something interferes with my mindful meal and eating pleasures!!
EPIPHANIES: I have often eaten hurriedly and TOO MUCH out of a desire for MORE TIME (not really food). This in turn created an unconscious anxiety in me that I was not having enough enjoyment (while feeling overwhelmed by the occasional drudgery of work---sometimes there's nothing you can do about a couple days of boring tasks/deadlines etc). I would not enjoy my meals cos they were eaten in a hurry. This fostered an overall general feeling of deprivation and hurriedness in life and I would just eat more--and eat quickly and not enjoy it. All a vicious cycle.
I've tried changing my diet (fairly strict paleo) but have not been able to tackle my anxiety and emotional relationship to food.
I've come up w/some rules for myself that are similar to other recommendations: -eat only sitting down -no reading/talking/distractions/computer while eating -chew slowly (this is instinctive once you have no distractions around) -put utensil down between bites
If I don't want to take time to eat then I just eat less since I'm simply not allowing myself to eat on the go.
I now look forward to meals, knowing that I will enjoy them. I also feel "heard" by myself about my feelings of the day because I am making some kind of space in my life and breathing room for relaxation and full enjoyment. I console my hurried feelings during the day by knowing I have a slow meal to look forward to at some point.
I feel like I just can't really overeat if I eat slowly like this. The belly and brain kick in and say "enough!" And honestly, the thing that makes it all easy is: I'm relaxed and attentive enough to notice.
I just offer this in case others need some inspiration.
asked byladyp (561)
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on March 02, 2012
at 01:28 AM
As far as "not eating with others unless we eat in silence goes"- because you are never going to be able to control how everyone around you feels/acts/sounds, this is an issue that is yours to deal with. For me, practicing mindful eating is also about practicing the food experience in the context of your culture. That can include preparing the food, cooking the food, serving the food, and sharing the food. Some of the best discussions and most intimate moments I have ever had have occurred over food, but that didn't mean the food was just being mindlessly shovelled- it is a different kind of mindfulness, maybe a little more about the emotions of the people around me and the environment than the silent kind of mindfulness. Long, leisurely meals with friends can be just as therapeutic sometimes as the quiet self reflective meals. It's just different.
The wonderful experience you have found by eating mindfully is a skill that can be applied to eating with others- either that, or you can always choose to eat alone (though, this will most definitely bring up some etiquette friction).
on March 02, 2012
at 04:42 AM
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was an influential spiritual teacher of the early to middle 20th century who taught that the vast majority of humanity live their entire lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but that it was possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential.
He used to go to a noisy cafe in Paris to write down his thoughts. A friend once asked him why does he go to a noisy cafe, and not to the quiet mountains to write.
He replied that the noise is in our minds, not in the cafe. And the quiet has also to be in our mind and has not to be of the mountains, to enable him to write.
Just go on Enjoying your food..!