Wednesday, May 15, 2013

If You Could Read My Mind

     The topic of last week's Weight Watchers meeting was about "mindless eating". This is a topic that comes up quite often during a weight loss journey. During the meeting we discussed the ability to eat without distractions. This is an extremely hard task. There are very few moments in my life that go on without distraction. Oh sure you're thinking " Carin, you do not have distractions when you're sleeping" but you would be wrong. My old man snores and at any given time during the night it may wake me up. On any given night there is a cat scratching on my bedroom door because it was lonely or hungry. During the waking day I am drowning in emails, texts, phone calls and in-person requests. It does not matter if I am eating or in the bathroom, distractions come easy.
        However , my wonderful WW leader Melanie gave us the homework of eating without distractions. The next day I started looking for articles on mindless eating and trying to figure how to approach my homework/evil at home science experiment. Here are my findings;

Day 1) Ate dinner without television or reading. I recruited my old man to eat without distractions as well. I concentrated on a home cooked meal of pineapple stir-fry chicken with veggies and brown rice. I took my time. Towards the end of the meal, I realized that I was bored to death of eating my dinner. Also, I was satisfied halfway through eating . I packaged my leftovers for lunch the next day.
Day 2) I cooked meatless pasta . I wound up eating with distractions very late because we got home late after my son's little league game. Even though there was television, I paid attention to the smell, texture and taste of my meal ( which I have cooked the same way many times before). I also took my time but ate the entire plate probably because I was hungry.
Day 3) I caught myself knocking back sunflower seeds mindlessly. We had pizza for dinner with distraction and ate it mindlessly.
Day 4) This was Mother's Day. This is the day no calories count (or so I deluded myself). So I had meals served to me in bed.  I asked for and asiago bagel and fast food. My old man also found other pastries he thought I would like. Unfortunately, this could not have happened at a better time. I tasted the delicacies that I so craved using sight, smell and taste, but I could not eat that much because I recognized when I was full. It was like that episode of the Twilight Zone when Burgess Meredith is in a post- apocalyptic world with all the books he wants to read but his glasses broke.
Day 5) I was back to normal eating. Again I enlisted my old man to the distraction free dinner. I found myself bored halfway through and ate until I was satisfied.
          This experiment was a revelation for me because I did not realize how easy it was for me to eat more or even more than I should because I was watching television during dinner. Does this mean I will always eat without distractions? No, it does not. I am a product of modern American society. We must multi-task at all times. But when we can, we should try to focus on what we put in our mouths while we are eating.

I don’t have a problem eating out. It’s eating at home. I don’t even know why I go home.
You never lose weight mindless eating but you always lose weight mindful eating.

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