Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eating Consciously

I am grateful to not be a binge eater. We hear so much in the media about the horrors of anorexia and bulimia. I may be wrong, but I think there's a lot more sympathy out there for the life-threateningly skinny than for the overweight who overeat as a result of equally serious psychological issues. Since I started reading weight-loss blogs, I've been shocked to read so much about binge eating. It's pretty foreign to me and I definitely feel for those who fight these urgest every day. My heart really goes out to them.

I am grateful to have been raised in a home where we ate healthy, unprocessed foods. As I've said many times before, I'm not a food purist. Nothing's banned from my menu. It's just that fortunately I never have a Big Mac Attack and (unlike my late mother-in-law) Coke is not one of my main food groups.

I am grateful for the ability that I once again have to be able to walk. After a 10 years of increasing disability, followed by a year spent on canes and crutches, much of the time non-weight bearing on one leg, I can now enjoy living in a city with great public transit. I use the car less and less when working in town and walk more and more. I'm even thrilled to have discovered how much a Tensor band helps my knee on a long walk!

I am grateful to have finally discovered that diets don't work for me. That's for me, not you. Whatever you do that works for you is fantastic. Keep it up. There's no single way to a healthy weight and a healthy life.

Indeed, I have much to be grateful for.

Of course, I also have challenges, weight being merely one of them. We all have challenges.

In my world, it's very small things that make the difference between weight gain, weight maintenance and weight loss. I play with quite a small deck of cards in terms of how much energy I can take in based on the amount of energy that I can expend since arthritis severely limits the amount of vigorous exercise that I can do.

I think the greatest challenge I face is learning to eat more consciously. No, I don't shovel my food in, but I know that I'm still eating way too fast and not concentrating on the experience. I think I've always eaten too fast. I also expect myself and others to understand things very quickly, to perform instantaneously, to get things done in a flash. It's a professional deformation. They don't call it simultaneous translation for nothing. Like many people, I'm also a multi-tasker and this too is exacerbated by my job (listen, understand, translate, talk--all at the same time).

Thus, my goal is not to change what I eat but rather how I eat it. I have to lay down the gauntlet personally and publicly. This is my week of eating consciously: lots of chewing, lots of pausing between bites, lots of laying down the utensils during the meal. NO newspapers, NO radio while eating, even though I'm a total news junkie (I never eat in front of the TV so that's solved). NO eating of out the container or the package. If I want the nuts, I take a handful, put away the container and eat each one individually.

It's not the food, it's the 'tude.

An update to follow...


  1. There we go, being twins again. About the eating on purpose thing! Very good post.

  2. Good luck changing how you eat. We've been talking a lot about slowing down the whole process and in theory it sounds great. Unfortunately, it is usually with my last bite that I remember I was going to do that. I was amazed that changing how you eat can be just as challenging as what you eat! I liked the idea of taking out the portion you are going to eat and putting the container away. Good tip!

  3. Very nice. Eating slower and really enjoying a meal has been a wonderful part of my journey. It wasn't an easy thing to learn, but it sure makes a big difference!
    Great job!

    My best