The Mindful Eating Experiment

By Mary on 11/04/2009
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OvereatingI’ve done something I shouldn’t have done.  Something I never thought I would have done while I was here.

What did I do?

I ate without being mindful.

In fact I ate purposefully without thinking about my food.  In a way it was a mindful thing to do because I gave myself permission to eat without thinking and to eat way more than my body actually wanted to.  I wanted to see what would happen if I went back to old behaviors where I purposely zoned out to eat.

I made sure I was distracted so that even though I enjoyed the food I couldn’t focus on it too much.  I ate more than my body wanted because when I hit the point of fullness, I recognized it and kept on going.  I was mindful in the fact that I recognized my body’s cues, but mindless in the way that I blatantly ignored them to keep eating the delicious food.

It was an experiment for me.  I knew mentally that mindful eating was making a difference for me, and that it was helping me with my healthy weight loss.  But I wanted to test that.  I wanted to have proof.

So now I have proof in the form of 30 miserable minutes after eating and a night spent in a food hangover.   I was groggy, tired, felt sick, miserable, gross, and unsocial.  I knew food could affect me but it was astonishing how much the over-consumption of it affected how I felt about myself and my interactions with other people.  It’s a feeling that was familiar to me from occasions in the past, but it is not one I want to repeat ever again.

I want to enjoy the benefits that mindful eating offers, so I will remember five keys to successfully eat mindfully according to Green Mountain: eat when you are hungry, eat what you want, eat until you’ve had enough, use the healthy eating plate model as a guide, and enjoy your food.  Nothing tastes good enough to put myself through a full evening of feeling poorly.  Nothing tastes good enough to push past what my body is trying to tell me.  Nothing tastes good enough to forget how wonderful I feel when I am eating healthy and mindfully. A very important lesson, especially right before the holiday season when overeating is almost a ritual activity.  I will keep all of this in mind and remember these tips for mindful eating during the holidays, so I won’t slip into the foggy aftermath of unmindful overeating again.

Lesson learned.

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