This one thing that is now making a monumental difference is basically a return to mindfulness while eating. (They say we teach that which we most need to learn!) Simply put, I made an agreement with myself that I would no longer multi-task while eating, but rather give my full, seated attention to the meal at hand.
When the decision was made lying in bed one morning, I thought it might make a difference, but I had no idea how much it would impact my whole life, much less my weight. The first realization came when I had to shift my morning routine of writing while eating breakfast to one of just mindfully eating breakfast. I noticed instantly how this was going to affect my weight when, paying attention to how my body felt as I ate, I didn't finish but half my usual portion because my body was saying it was full--I felt completely satiated. Hmmm... And I noticed more of the flavors and the textures of the rice, quinoa, tofu, boiled egg and Braggs that is my morning fare.
Nor did it occur to me the impact it would have on my efficiency. Not able to read or peruse email or Facebook during lunch, enjoy dessert or popcorn while watching a documentary or some other video in the evening, or even snacking on chips and nuts while driving actually has larger ramifications than I thought.
I'm hypoglycemic, which means I'm charged with eating small, protein-filled meals throughout the day. On the first day I drove to Calistoga for some research on the forthcoming book (www.Compassion-BasedMindfulness.com) only to come head to head with the fact that eating while driving is multi-tasking. Yikes! Thank goodness the road construction on Hwy 29 this summer includes waiting at a stop light where I was able to put the car in park and snack slowly on a few multi-grain chips. Usually, I would snack most of this journey. Surprisingly, this held me over until I reached my destination, where I slowly finished my left over salad from lunch--as again, I was full before I finished the normal portion. So I'm learning! A lot!
On the second day I quickly made the exception that I can carry on a conversation while dining with others, or talk with someone on the phone while I'm eating slowly, bringing the added pleasure of sharing a conversation over a meal with a friend.
I'm continually amazed at what I'm discovering from this new habit!
Okay, so you're probably wondering where the obligatory bullet point list is for sensational posts such as this. Here goes...
Gain these 6 SENSATIONAL benefits from a commitment to NOT multi-task while eating:
So maybe the title of this post could have been: "Lose weight, feel better and experience more enjoyment when you change this one powerful habit with your food." (I just can't seem to get into that style of writing!)
I'm curious: do you multitask while eating? If so, I invite you to spend a week trying to not and see what you discover. Then share it here so we can all take part in the power of mindfulness applied in our daily lives.
JoAnn Saccato, MA is a mindfulness teacher, author, life coach, educator, and consultant in Northern California. She is author of Companioning the Sacred Journey and the forthcoming Mindful and Intentional Living: A Path to Peace, Clarity and Freedom