The Mindful Eating Experiment

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I’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.


9 responses to “The Mindful Eating Experiment”

  1. Oh boy, do I know that feeling. There is such a fine line between mindful eating, and mindless eating, and the good and bad in both. It’s not always good to be mindful, because sometimes it can prevent you from having fun with the people you are with (as in, you are thinking too much about the food), but mindless eating can cause you to overeat and feel like crap! The key is to learn where that line is and become comfortable with the in-between. Thanks for this post 🙂

  2. Gina says:

    Wonderful post! Funny how we need the proof 🙂 Sometime we can’t even see how far we have come until we experiment as you did.
    Nice blog and information I’ll be back for a second helping of this!

  3. […] sure you check out my blog post on A Weight Lifted, which is Green Mountain at Fox Run’s blog. I conducted a little […]

  4. Marsha says:

    So glad you shared this, Mary. Learning to eat what we want — which includes how much — involves a lot of experimentation. Your attitude of acceptance — “Okay, I did it, and now I’m moving on.” — is important to learning, too. If you felt guilty and like all is lost, you’d risk slipping back into the diet mentality, e.g., “I need to make up for that overeating.” But all that does is set us up for overeating again at some point. So great for you that you experienced this, and have learned a valuable lesson for yourself.

  5. Julie says:

    Wonderful post! For me, feeling comfortably full after the meal is just as satisfying as the meal itself.

  6. pligg.com says:

    The Mindful Eating Experiment, healthy eating, food, overeating, mindful eating…

    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…

  7. Isn’t it funny how that “eat when you are hungry” it so straight forward but so hard for many of us!!!!!

    I go by mindful eating! It is amazing once you get it, how it does work!

  8. […] sure you check out my blog post on A Weight Lifted, which is Green Mountain at Fox Run’s blog. I conducted a little […]

  9. Could Gluttony be Good for Us? | Zero Cellulite says:

    […] The Mindful Eating Experiment […]

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