What I learned about mindful eating is that it's pretty difficult bordering on impossible. How many times did I manage to truly eat mindfully last week? Two. How many times did I think about it? A gazilliion, but not usually while I was eating.
I have a lot of resistance to mindful eating. First of all, apparently some part of me believes THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME. This part of me is very insistent and wants to do other things while eating. I learned I am fairly powerless against this part of me, but I believe with time and focus, I can win that battle. But let there be no doubt, it will be a battle.
Second, it seems that eating mindlessly is my favorite thing ever. On the two occasions I did force myself to eat mindfully, I felt like I wasn't really getting what I wanted out of the food. I also felt like I needed a lot less food than I normally do. If I pay attention to what my stomach is telling me, I want to stop eating a lot sooner. Those smoothies I've been making? Impossible to consume the entire thing in one sitting.
Third, it's not a good idea to start thinking about where your food came from unless you're sure it came from a good place. If expressing gratitude for the food you're eating will lead you into thinking about the lives you're probably ruining by eating cheap food, then just don't go there. It kind of backfires.
About halfway through the week, I honestly thought I was going to fail at this challenge. Not because I wasn't trying, but because it's impossible. Finally, after days of mindlessly consuming lots of calories, I mindfully drank half of a smoothie. Then I discovered that even if I wasn't able to be mindful about an entire meal, I could be mindful for parts of it.
In case you're wondering, I managed to gain weight while trying to eat mindfully. I think some part of me really, really, really doesn't want to give up mindless eating.
So where will I go from here? I'm going to keep trying! Anything that gives me this much trouble must be worth doing. I had no idea at the start that trying to eat mindfully would prove so difficult. Not a clue.
I'm hooked on this mindfulness thing. I think it's interesting that some parts come easy, such as not thinking bad thoughts about other drivers - well, easy once I learned the naming technique - while others are so freakin' difficult. Mindful eating, I'm looking at you.
On the plus side, I ate mindfully twice today. Both times I had to physically face away from the usual distractions (phone and computer). Both times I didn't feel like eating as much as usual, but the second time, I ate so little I was hungry again an hour later. I wonder if I'm so used to stopping eating when I notice I'm full, and that's usually after I'm really full because I'm not paying attention, that I don't really know how to tell how full I am. That sentence doesn't make any sense, but I think it adequately conveys how well I understand what's going on here.
So this will be an ongoing project. If you've figured this one out already or have any advice, please share! I can use all the help I can get.
Week Twenty-eight: Diet - Mindful Eating