Fit Fridays: A Practice in Mindful Eating

It’s been a while since I did a Fit Fridays post and I feel badly about that.  I enjoy writing these posts but after I let competition prep take over my thoughts and actions I spent the last 3 weeks “un-dieting”.  Aka, overeating, binging and doing everything I write about not doing.

Second dinner?  Sure!

Snacking mindlessly despite not being hungry?  I’m down.

Water?  What water?

Yes, that’s been me the past 3 weeks.

I thought this time would be different and that I wouldn’t feel the need to binge.  Despite it all however, I’m actually doing much better than last year.  This year I at least have some notion of when to stop whereas last year I continued eating myself sick.  For weeks.

At least I can exemplify why I am against dieting.  When you diet, you bounce back.  I’ve done it before and I did it again and in 3 weeks I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost during my 12 weeks of prep.

When I explain my dessert overindulgence and recent passionate consumption of carbs I’ve had people say, “After all the work you did, you deserve it!”  Maybe I deserve to let myself indulge a little but my body doesn’t deserve to be treated like a trashcan just because I can eat it now.  

I want to be able to eat dessert and I want to be able to enjoy carbs and fatty foods but I also want to treat my body with respect.  That’s what brings us to today’s topic: Mindful Eating

As I’ve said in this post and in previous posts, “dieting” doesn’t work in the long run, but maintaining a healthy diet can.

I love food, we all know that by now, and while I want to be able to eat everything, I also want to enjoy it.  I find myself snacking on things just because I want something to do- it doesn’t mean it tastes good or I particularly enjoy it.  I want to stop these habits.  I intend to improve my health and nutrition by eating more mindfully.  What exactly do I mean by “mindful eating” mean, though?

  • Sit Down:  When I’m in the kitchen I often find myself snacking on random things because they are in reach and I just happen to be there.  Meals- even snacks- should be eaten while sitting down and ideally on a plate or in a bowl.
  • Wait: No more diving into meals before they are ready.  Wait for them to cool down properly so you can enjoy the full taste and flavor of each item.
  • Take it Slow: Take time to chew your food- savor each bite and flavor before moving onto the next.  This should also prevent overeating by allowing the body to digest while you eat so that you stop when you’re full.
  • Be Present: Less texting and watching T.V. while eating.  Eating should be a special moment and good food should be celebrated and enjoyed.

Most of my intentions lie with paying more attention to what I’m eating and enjoying the food- eating mindfully.  I suspect this is actually easier said than done, as paying attention to what I’m eating and being patient is not always a strong point but I intend to work on it and see if I can make changes and adjustments each day to live a healthier life filled with delicious food.

Do you eat mindfully or with intention?  What tips do you have for taking time and being present with your food?

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