Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beck, Day 5, Eat Slowly and Mindfully

I once heard something about how many people who struggle with compulsive overeating don't really taste and enjoy the food that they obsess over. I can totally relate to that. I can't quantify it into raw numbers, but I just know that when I think about how I eat, it seems that a large portion of what I eat goes in my mouth, barely noticed by my brain.

I know, it's awful.

I wish it were different. I wish that I savored every bite and ate every bite mindfully. It's almost too big to even grasp for me.

Apparently, I'm not the only one with this problem, as evidenced by the number of books written on just this subject.

And that was just a small sampling.

But try, I must, as I am on Day 5 of Beck. The task right now is to commit to slowing down our eating so that, you know how this goes, ultimately, we will eat less. I'm sure you are familiar with that mechanism in our brains which only starts to feel full 20 minutes after we begin eating. Slowing down our pace should result in less food consumed.

Beck details a lot of creative ideas on just how we can slow down our eating and taste our food more. The one that I am going to give a try is to look at the clock when I sit down and begin my meal. I have never done anything like that before. Then look at the clock at the end of the meal. The goal is to extend mealtime. The complicated thing is that this presupposes that I am not in my kitchen also feeding four other people. Maybe this exercise is best done during a workday lunch for me. Way more controllable and consistent setting!

Beck acknowledges the challenges of eating mindfully in the real world and emphasizes the point that we need to learn how to eat slowly in a quiet, non stimulating environment so that we can then apply the skill to our real lives--you know, the meals where we are distracted by the noise and the conversation.

I will try. I promise I will.

Are you reading your Advantages Response Card at least twice a day? Giving yourself credit? Sitting down while you eat?

How is this pace? Should I slow things down?


Amy said...

I am just back from vacation so joining in a bit late!
I find slowing down and eating mindfully VERY hard to do...
Years of managing family meals for small children and now teens got me into the bad habit of wolfing down my meals, so I could help everyone else, and it is very difficult to change. Something I need to work on.

Sindy Warren said...

This is the hardest thing for me. Wish I read it before I just had a nice big bowl of chips that I barely remember tasting! It also feels really awkward to just sit and eat and not do anything else. Thoughts on that?

Anonymous said...

This is the one area in which that I have really improved. Now my problem is not feeling anxious as my eating companions stare me down because they have all cleared their plates and are waiting for me!

Healthy Girl said...

Sindy-is the problem that we all feel really awkard about actually enjoying food? Like food is something that is supposed to be resisted instead of being thoroughly enjoyed? And if we actually really enjoyed it than we are somehow bad? Maybe if we just let ourselves love it, we would be able to love ourselves more.

Anonymous said...

We should all slow down eating. My thing is that I am slow with everything. It takes me an hour and a half to eat dinner, just because my mouth is not able to chew quickly. My boyfriend says that my teeth need to be sharper to eat my kale because sometimes eating my kale takes me more than half an hour. But, I love that I can sit down and enjoy my food now instead of like working at camp where I only had ten minutes. I never was able to learn to wolf down my food. Just can't do it.:) Have fun!

Anonymous said...

From Marcia-I just read Day 4. I think the giving credit piece is really important, and I have never even thought to do it. I like how Beck suggests it helps us build our confidence. I have spent years beating myself up over my mistakes, but poor me has rarely heard a kind word from myself. I am really going to focus on this in the upcoming days. There's a lot to learn in this program, a lot to do. I give myself credit for making time to study it each morning.

Tami said...

Hi Wendy!
I found your blog a while back and have been following you daily. (Love the new kitchen by the way!) You are such an inspiration to me; I relate to everything you are going through. I struggle daily with my food choices, obsess and think about food constantly. I just received the Beck Diet Solution and have signed up for the PEERTrainer system, I'm going to make these things work for me this time. Thank you so much for writing this blog and sharing your life so openly, you are awesome!

Healthy Girl said...

You are awesome too Tami. And thank you for providing me with inspiration and support.XOXO

Suzie said...

I find it impossible to sit and eat without reading or watching TV. It's like torture for some bizarre reason!
The very idea of just sitting there makes me feel anxious.

And bored. I'm the kind of person who absolutely cannot meditate. This feels like a food meditation. Which is a good thing.

You've given me the push I needed to just TRY it. Focus on the tastes, textures and smells of the food.

Thank you Wendy!

Caroline Miller said...

I haven't been doing the Beck exercises (I know I should) but I notice I have definitely slowed down since doing Eat To Live. You have to eat such a massive quantity of veggies that it is hard to get it all down in less than 20 min. I timed my lunch at work the other day and it took me 45-50 min. to eat my salad with beans, fruit, and 1/2 oz. almonds. In fact, I avoid smoothies for this reason - I will consume it within 5-10 minutes and it hasn't registered that I've eaten.

katshealthcorner said...

The pace is great!

I'm trying to slow down and really enjoy my food too! It really makes you feel fuller!

Anonymous said...

From Marcia; Today, as I wrote in my journal, I wanted to turn my evening eating, which was less than perfect, into a positive. Giving myself credit made me turn a negative into a positive. I liked when Beck suggested turning a slip into a learning experience..this is hard, I'll get better. But my own ah ha was that I want to couple my credit with gratitude, which is so empowering. So I'm writing that I am grateful for the lessons learned and give myself credit for noticing.

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