01 September 2011

Un-mindful vs Mindful Eating

Went out to dinner (for sushi and Thai) last night with friends and ate so much I felt bloated. Trying to figure out why I do that. Some part of it is that I can't bear to waste food. I grew up in the era of "clean your plate." I remember lectures from my dad on how there were starving children in other parts of the world and owed it to them to appreciate the food I had. Some of it is about loving to cook and make really good food and the joy of sharing it with others.

This morning somehow I am down 2 lbs from yesterday. I should feel good about that, however, my jeans are still too tight. And I know those 2 lbs will creep back somewhere. Over the past 2 years I have put on too much weight. Some of it is the desk job making me spend more time sitting at the computer. Some if it is sitting in front of the TV where running to the refrigerator on the commercial break gets to be a habit.

Whatever it is I still want to lose 20 lbs. And cleaning my plate at the restaurant is not going to help.

Last night my friend Michelle mentioned she feels that she does "binge eating"--the habit of just eating because it's there, because your taste-buds are bored, not because you need food. Binge eaters eat because they are stressed and want to feel good and, lets face it, good food tastes good and makes you feel good. I don't think I eat because I feel stressed, but I know I am not overeating because I need the food. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I felt hunger pains or felt my stomach rumbling.

My friend Lisa talks about "Mindful Eating." The idea that you choose to eat deliberately--for nourishment, for the sensation of taste, for the beauty of the food and the joy of the moment. I like that. I was thinking I need to pay more attention to whether I am eating out of boredom or out of a real need for food. I like that whole concept. I need to remember to savor the food, not wolf it down like I am starving.

Earlier this year I started keeping a food diary at Fat Secret. This is something Steve's nutritionist told him to do. Just to be aware of what you eat and drink. I was really faithful with it for a while, then in August I got lazy and and busy and just didn't. I'm going back to it again, but I have to admit I don't know if it helps to be aware of the calories in all the foods I eat. I also find the sheer caloric count in prepared foods disturbing. Why do restaurants serve such large portions? Why do I still feel the need to clean my plate after all these years?

Lisa always begins her restaurant eating experience by dividing the food on her plate and asking for a box to take home half of it. Then she's not tempted to just keep eating until it is all gone. I may have to start doing that.

I also need to ask myself more often if I am hungry or if my taste-buds are just bored.

1 comment:

G said...

Funny, you used to ask us that when we were younger... are you really hungry or are your tastebuds bored?

I am not good at paying attention to what I eat or keeping track of it... but at restaurants, ask for 1/2 of your food to come already boxed to go home. It cuts your portions down and then you have lunch for tomorrow. Tip well if you do it, I assume it's annoying to the waitstaff.

Or ask for a box immediately and put 1/2 of your plate into it. Bam. Clean plate and only eating 1/2.

And my hubby would tell you it's not only about how many calories you eat, it matters just as much how many calories you burn.