Mindful Eating

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Have you ever thought about what your feeling when you’re eating? About your thoughts and emotions while you chomp down on your favorite cookie or chip? I mean really, seriously thought about it.No?-me neither.

When I contacted my dietitian, she provided me some paperwork to fill out which included a food and journal to document how I feel when I’m eating. And asking what I want to eat versus what I actually eat. It’s a little different than keeping a list of items I eat so I watch the calorie intact. Some things I’ve already learned about my habits:

1) I rarely eat what I actually want. Mostly because what I want I know can be very unhealthy for me. To be honest, last week all I thought about was cake since my husband’s birthday was coming up and I couldn’t have any on my strict diet rules. So even though I know I need to eat healthier, more viable options, my mind only thought about cake half the time (cake or sweetie goodness.) Very rarely do I actually think about what I want and turn it into what I need to eat for that day. It’s happened maybe once or twice in the last week. Scary

2) Planning meals is a foreign concept to me. I grew up in a household where we cook and eat by the seats of our pants and with whatever is in the kitchen. My mom prided herself on cooking the 30 minute or less meal so we could eat as a family.  When I got older, my mom was sick and my dad had died so food eating was more difficult. I was left on my own.  And of course, college and afterwards included me sitting at home with noodles or rice & butter just so I could say I ate dinner.  I never really consider what to shop for unless I have a specific menu item planned. So I always have staples in the house (milk, eggs, drinks and smackers), but unless I make a conscious dedicated effort, I really don’t think about meals for the next day. This makes is difficult for me planning meals because I look at a menu and think “nah, I don’t feel like making that today” and skip it for grub hub (the online food ordering app.)

3) I also rarely think about what I’m feeling during eating. Lately I’ve noticed I am rarely happy, unless I’m with friends enjoying a nice meal or eating something I worked hard to make. But I’m usually tired in the morning, not awake enough to care about my emotions and have just enough energy to know I need to eat breakfast. This goes along with my less than 30 minute “getting ready” time before work. Only when I have no immediate plans in the morning do I ever take the time to fully get ready and think about my breakfast and cook it.

4) I already knew this but I can control myself the best when I’m on a schedule. When I eat breakfast & lunch, I have to eat at a certain time and its regimented. So that’s one thing less I have to plan for and for some reason, it limits my thinking. However, when I get home, because my husband many times doesn’t get home until a lot later, I am stuck waiting for dinner and don’t cook it because i want it to be fresh and by the time he gets home I just want to sit or want not go out. It’s crazy.

So hopefully this dietitian meeting (whenever it will be), will help me understand things a little more and work on timing and mindful eating. I already know in my head there are hundreds of options for eating healthy and sometimes it just takes cutting down the intake and enjoy everything slowly. I know its hard but it can be done.

One positive note: I have managed to keep up my “plane challenge” and can now hold it for 60 seconds. I can feel my ab muscles getting stronger along with getting a little sleeker in the tummy area.  😀

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