Today’s theme as part of my 10 day ZenHabits challenge is:
This has been a wonderful new level of self-awareness. Yeah, I already knew I ate quickly, but how automatic my pattern of eating quickly was is something I wasn’t quite aware of. It kicked in even before my conscious brain realized I was eating so fast. Sort of like how when you’re driving your usual route to work and realize you’ve been driving for five minutes and don’t remember what you saw or how you got between your house and where you are on the road.
As I would be eating a bite or two into it I’d realize I was chewing quickly, I was breathing a little more rapidly and my mind was focused on the finish line. Like a race I had to get to the finish…fast.
[polly_newsletter_form] What’s the big rush?!
Somewhere along my path I made up that eating needs to happen quickly. I think it’s from all of those rushed lunches at my desk in between meetings. That probably instilled a pattern, or habit, of eating like it was a race.
In May I attended this Tony Robbins workshop in Fiji and learned a ton about food, digestion, toxicity, and overall the balance of food and our health. One of the biggest ah-ha moments for me came when a woman explained that our stomach’s don’t register food that isn’t chewed properly. The stomach then puts food that isn’t properly chewed into a category and it sits there….and sits there…and sits there in the stomach. Waiting to be properly digested. I’m not completely certain this is what happens scientifically, but this is how my brain remembers her story.
When I eat these days I think about that morsel of food going down my esophagus and sitting in my stomach…for perhaps hours or days. I don’t want that…yuck!
So, since May I’ve been more conscious of how well I chew my food. And yet in today’s awareness of eating slower I realize I was still eating more quickly than I needed to. I was even chewing fast![polly_book]
By dinner time I was ready to really put eating slower into practice. I wasn’t super hungry, so I made a small plate of food and just took my time with it all. I even put the food on the plate more slowly than usual (not necessarily on purpose, but I think that was a part of the overall awareness of approaching the process slowly).
As I ate, I chewed mindfully…and slower. I tasted each morsel. And it was so good! I didn’t distract myself with three other things to do while I ate. I just paid a lot of attention to each moment of my eating. I enjoyed even looking at the beautiful pieces of nature on my plate. The eggplant. The basil leaf. The softness of the romaine. The oil from the salad dressing as it slipped into my mouth. All of it was like this incredible dance of deliciousness and nurturing.
Enjoying the process of eating and loving my food.
I was quite in awe at how different my experience of lunch and dinner were. The mindfulness of eating slower at dinner really made a difference in my inner calm. My joy of the experience.
You might try it. I highly recommend it!
Please share your feedback in the comments below. If you would like to create a stretch goal and share it with me, please do in the comments and come back and tell me how you did.
To eating slower and enjoying every bite,
p.s. tomorrow is “drive slower” – another learning opportunity.