Next Challenge: Mindful Eating

These week's challenge falls in the diet category and I'm going to focus on eating mindfully. 

I bought a book about mindful eating: Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh. I think this may be the first time I've said on the blog that I bought a book about something. And I'm pretty surprised. Although I did listen to the mindfulness lectures, which is where I got the mindful eating idea, I don't think I've bought any books specifically to learn more about the challenges. Typically, no matter what I'm doing, one of the first things you find me saying is, "I bought a book about it..."

Is mindlessness due to lack of caffeine in any related to mindfulness? Either way, my mind is often blank on the first cup. 

Is mindlessness due to lack of caffeine in any related to mindfulness? Either way, my mind is often blank on the first cup. 

Like I mentioned, the idea for mindful eating came out of a lecture about how mindfulness can help with addiction and over-indulgence in general, including eating. This last year, I lost 30 pounds (actually, I lost 30 pounds between March and November of 2014 and I've kept it off since) and the only big change I made was to start tracking what I eat with MyFitnessPal. When I tell people that, they either say something like "also you run a lot" (actually I sometimes, at best) or they point out that tracking calories forces you to pay more attention to what you eat, which is more like it. 

And paying more attention to what you eat is a form of mindfulness. Not exactly the kind of mindfulness I'm hoping to cultivate this week, but a form nonetheless. I no longer eat entire bags of things without looking at the calories. I'm better at judging what a portion looks like, and I can pretty much guess how many calories I've had by how full I feel. 

I hope that by cultivating more mindfulness, I'll be able to better control what I eat. I often eat while doing something else, such as looking at my computer or phone, unless I'm eating with someone else, which isn't all that often, but when I do, I try to pay attention to them. And if I'm not paying attention to what I eat, and I'm not in any of those situations, I tend to overeat. Find myself too full, or regretting what I ate. I'd like to stop doing that. 

I've rounded up some tips for mindful eating that I'd like to try: 

  1. Think about where the food came from. Be thankful for whatever allows you to enjoy the food. 
  2. Pay attention to each bite. Think about how the food tastes and feels in your mouth. 
  3. Only eat; don't distract yourself with other activities. 
  4. Pay attention to how you feel as you eat and stop eating when you feel full. 
  5. When eating with others, try to guide the conversation toward the food itself. 

That's what I've got to start with. Today was day one and I can tell this is going to be a struggle. I'm trying to get this post up before someone comes by, making writing impossible, and I was hungry, so I ate some pizza while writing. Multi-tasking, so tempting yet so ineffective. I know I'll have a tough time breaking some of these habits, but I think it will be worth trying. Wish me luck!

Week Twenty-eight: Diet - Mindful Eating

  1. What I Learned