At the end of one of my classes two friends and I were talking about the fact that sometimes we don’t really take the time to enjoy the food that we eat. I was reminded of a talk show where I heard a woman speak on really taking the time to taste the food we eat. Why should we have to be reminded to take the time to taste our food? For me, when I was overweight, the food choices I was making weren’t about health and nutrition. The food choices I was making were about instant satisfaction and feelings.
As I migrated to the pantry numerous times throughout the course of the day, I usually wasn’t hungry. Most often I was bored, stressed, or anxious. When I reached for my hidden cache of cookies or candy, the last thing on my mind was what do these M&M’s taste like? I never sat down with the big yellow bag and thought, “I’m going to savor these M&M’s and really experience the taste.” No, I grabbed a big handful and dropped them in my mouth. Then I grabbed another handful, and another, until I was “full.” Unfortunately a few hours, or sometimes just a few minutes later, I was back at the pantry again, looking for more. As I’ve often said, “I didn’t get to be obese by eating a lot of healthy food.”
During the year that I lost over 150 pounds, I gradually came to the place where those M&M’s (you fill in your favorite food,) or whatever I was inhaling at the moment just weren’t worth the pounds gained and the guilt experienced. Over time I stopped overindulging in high-fat, high-sugar foods. However, there were times during that year when I really wanted to have M&M’s, or whatever. I worked hard to develop a habit of really thinking about my food and slowing down the eating process.
Rather than pouring the candy from the bag right into my mouth, I would just have a few. And rather than chewing them up so fast that I almost didn’t realize they were gone, I slowed way down. Have you ever eaten just one M&M, or one chip at a time? Have you ever really tasted a Dove chocolate? Can you describe the salty explosion of chips when you first taste them? I couldn’t. But during my weight loss year, I learned how to really taste and enjoy the food I was eating.
I would encourage you to (1) stop migrating to the pantry or break room vending machine, and (2) to stop and experience your food. You may find, as I did, that a little taste of that food you are craving is enough to satisfy the longing for the food without breaking your “calorie bank” for the day. Even to this day, with my weight under control, I still take the time to really enjoy the food I eat. I don’t always sit down at the table because with seven kids, I’m often running in twelve different directions. But I no longer guzzle candy like it’s water. If I choose to eat some candy, or cookies, I eat them with deliberate intent. And I really taste them, and I subsequently really enjoy them.
Have you found that slowing down and really tasting your food helps you control your portions? Diane
I’m going to be in and out over the next few days for personal reasons. If I don’t get to your blogs please forgive me! I’ll catch up as soon as possible! Stay strong. Diane