Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mindful Eating

Loosing weight has been a struggle for me in the past few years.  I have done many diets, Weight Watchers, Raw Food, Vegan, Paleo, French Women Don't get Fat, and more.  All with some success but not with any staying power.   After my children were born, I had gained some weight, not with pregnancy, but when nursing.  I ate more than I needed out of some fear that I may not be getting enough calories.  So after my youngest was through nursing and a toddler, I lost all that excess weight with no problem, then my mother passed away.  The loss I felt was unspeakable and I ate to comfort myself.   Nothing seemed to work for me since then in getting all the weight off I need to. I realized that its not the food, its my thinking, my mindset, my mindless eating.   I have realized after reading book after book on becoming mindful, that so many of the things we do are done without much thought.  We seem to be overwhelmed with thoughts of what happened 10 minutes ago, yesterday, 5 years ago, when we were children and on and on.  Or, we think about 10 minutes from now, or tomorrow, or 5 years from now, or when we get old.  Not often do we spend time on the only moment we are at, the present.  We zone out of the only moment we are in.   We multitask, we pay little attention to now.  In learning to be "mindful"  I have discovered that I may eat a candy bar, eat it fast, not savoring it, not appreciating it, only to discover its gone before I realized that I had eaten it.    I do the same thing with a meal.  Eat it mindlessly.  Quickly.  Never taking the time to enjoy it.  I remember standing in front of a famous painting at an Art Museum, taking time, just looking, admiring the way the light hit it, the brush strokes, the expressions on the faces in the painting, the colors, the details of the lace, the hair on the dog in the painting and on and on.  I stood for a long time, enjoying all the aspects of this painting, savoring it, you might say. In thinking about this experience, I thought about how I sit for a long time, watching the beauty in the clouds, the way the wind blows through the trees and how I could sit for hours watching the grandchildren play, yet, I love so many foods, so happy to have that chocolate bar, yet eat it so fast, its not enjoyed. No, I do not stuff my face with it, I just eat it too fast too truly enjoy it.  I mindlessly eat it.  
With all this being said, I have discovered an amazing book, 

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life 

by Thich Naht Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung.   The book has changed me, changed the way I eat, the way I view my weight loss journey.  The very way I see food has all changed since reading this book and it meshes so perfectly with my spiritual journey.  To be mindful, to live mindfully and to deeply understand what need is.  My life is changing and I like the changes.  I feel more at peace, feel so content.    There is no blame for past mistakes, no blame for past failures, just living in this moment, the only time we are in control of.  The journey is good.

3 comments:

Christine said...

I used to forget to eat because I would be wrapped up so much in my art.
I think you are exactly right. I have a saying taped to my wall....either everything matters or nothing does. Enjoy life, live it fully. This was wonderful.

m said...

I just purchased this book Patti...I am reading Peace is every step, and I can already see the changes in my attitude. I am glad that you are seeing food in a different light.

blessings to you.... m

Patty said...

I just finished reading, Peace is every step and it has given me much to contemplate and has changed my life.