I talked last week about enjoying your food. Now I'm going to talk about one of the things that makes the biggest difference in enjoying it. Eating mindfully rather then mindlessly.
When you're in a poor eating spiral, it becomes so easy to just put food in your mouth. Grab a cookie while heading out the door, eating ice cream while watching tv, eating your sandwich while driving to an appointment. I've certainly done all of these things.
Food fills both a physical need and an emotional need. If you are eating without thinking about it, you've filled the physical need, but you're still going to be looking to fill the emotional need. Which means you're going to eat again. And if again you eat mindlessly, you're going to be constantly feeling like you need more.
So, what's the solution? Pay attention to what you eat. Plan what you are going to eat and enjoy the food that you are putting into your mouth. Whenever possible, get your food ready, and then sit down at the table to eat it, and don't get up until you are finished.
Don't eat out of a bag or box. Decide how much you are going to eat, then put it on a plate or in a bowl. Look at it when you eat it. Seems like that goes without saying, but when you stop to think about it, how often do you actually look at your food?
Now, this is of course the ideal. I know that this isn't going to happen for everybody at every meal. I'm a stay at home mother to two toddlers, so it doesn't always work for me either. The point is to stay aware.
I just sat down and ate a bowl of cream of wheat with peaches, cinnamon and milk. Miraculously, I was even able to remain sitting while I ate the whole thing. You know what? It was good. Really good. I enjoyed it far more then all those quickly eaten cookies I had before Christmas. I actually tasted every bite.
And, the next time I have one of those cookies, I'm going to look at it. I'm going to taste it and I'm going to enjoy it. Then, I won't need another one right away.