Monday, 3 February 2014

To be honest...

My sweetheart threatened to post the following comment on this blog:

"Liar, liar, liar!!"

I think it was when he discovered me helping myself to a second piece of chocolate birthday cake after he left the room.

My mindful eating practice has hiatus for the past few weeks.  I've been busy and surrounded by yummy food.  Sugar's been weaseling its evil way back into my life (but thanks for all the cake everyone!)  My "grace" experiment didn't take root as I had hoped.  I kept forgetting until after the first few bites of food, and then I'd pause my chewing for a nanosecond or two to spare a token thought for the source of my food.

January is a month of resolutions.  Resolutions, like diets, don't work in my view.  Mindful eating is
about creating a lifestyle change, not blindly following external rules. It's about recognizing unhealthy habits, and gradually use attention and awareness to drop them.  Rewiring the brain, not overriding it.
All animals eat - it's one of the defining characteristics of animal life.  Humans, with our enormous problem-solving brains, have managed to turn an essential biological function into one full of hang-ups and issues.  I estimate I've eaten between 70,000 and 80,000 times in my life - maybe more if I counted every single little snack.  That's a lot of opportunities to reinforce habits and patterns.  So what makes me think I'm going to neutralize all that conditioning in less than a year?  I'm in for the long haul.

January hasn't been a total write-off.  I have a chair in my kitchen I've designated as the "treat chair".  When I'm going to have a treat or a snack, I've been trying to sit in the chair and just eat the snack.  It's surprising how quickly eating a treat can get boring.  I know I have an addictive personality (in that I am easily addicted to things, as opposed to people being unable to resist my charms...).  I can very easily slip into a habit of staying up until 1 am on a work night reading a novel or watching an entire season of a TV drama on DVD.  When I'm doing that, I am very focused on the book or on Dr. Greg House's caustic wit.  Not so with the treat chair.  After 5 minutes I'm ready to get up and do something else.  I'll take my victories where I can this month!

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