I am the world’s fastest eater. Maybe not officially, but I’m pretty sure that I could set records. I seem to usually wait until I’m on the wrong side of hangry, and then I inhale my food to attempt to quiet the beast that I am becoming. I know that I need to slow down and be more mindful while eating, but I usually don’t have an hour and half to eat a salad. What’s a girl to do?
Obviously, one of the main things I need to change is to eat before I’m absolutely starving. I know this. The problem is that hangry can sneak up on you before you can even say “cheeseburger with fries.”
In an effort to quiet the diet noise that is constantly swirling around us, I decided that I simply want to try eat more slowly. More appreciatively. And in the least new-agey sense of the phrase – “more mindfully.” Where in the world do I start?
According to the experts in internet land, it should all begin at the grocery store. Or in my case, before I get to the grocery store. I do much better with a list in my hand rather than absently roaming up and down each aisle. Also, I don’t love to cook. I like to cook, but preparing meals for an hour is not my thing. I need to make sure I have quick-to-prepare, healthy foods readily available. And never, ever go to the store when you’re hungry. It’s not good for your waistline or your wallet.
One more note: Eating healthy can be expensive. (Blackberries cost waaayyy more than Cheetos!) Would you rather spend your money at the grocery store or the doctor’s office, though? Your choice!
Why Are You Eating?
Boredom, guilt, loneliness…the reasons we eat are all over the emotional map. Ask yourself if you’re eating for emotional reasons or if you’re eating because you’re hungry. I tend to eat when I’m bored or lonely, so I’ve started to grab a water bottle and go for a quick walk, clean out a drawer, or ask my kids to play a game. Most of the time the distraction is enough to get over the “must-eat-now-for-something-to-do” song playing in my head.
When you sit down to eat, you need to actually sit down to eat. This means getting an actual chair, an actual plate or bowl, and a utensil. No eating directly from the food container at the kitchen counter. No Netflix zombie eating. (Although, I do think this is absolutely necessary once in a while!) Put your fork down in between bites. Chew your food. Chew your food even more. Think about what you’re eating. Do you like it? It is just okay? Too salty? Need more spice? Would you eat it again? Is it your best meal ever? Pay. Attention. To. What. You’re. Doing. Make this meal a non-multi-tasking event.
When you slow down and think about what you’re eating, you are controlling your food. Food is not controlling you. That’s huge for about 90% of us. Because of this, you’ll enjoy your meals more. No stress afterwards that you ate too much, no belly aches, and no (well, fewer) regrets. When you can slow down one part of your life and learn to appreciate it, it’s much easier to do the same for other areas of your life as well.
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -1 Cor. 10:13
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