DAY # 17
EAT WHILE DISTRACTED.
It's the day you and many participants have been waiting for....
Today I will one meal or snack UN-MINFULLY on purpose while I'm distracted (i.e. can be in the car, in front of the TV or on the phone, checking email, reading a book or magazine, etc).
So what this means is that you can eat one meal or one snack unmindfully and distracted. ONE meal or ONE snack. What this does NOT mean is to graze all day long unmindfully, throw in the towel and go buck wild today eating out-of-control whatever you want. This is not permission to overstuff yourself and undo all the work you have done. Unless that is your journey....if it is then own that decision.
The point of today’s challenge is for you to compare and contrast the past 2+ weeks of developing mindful eating skills to eating unmindfully today. You may or may not notice much of a difference. You may or may not enjoy unmindful eating. There is no judgment. Just see if you can observe any difference between when you eat mindfully versus while distracted. Pay attention to any triggers or emotions that have surfaced yesterday and today.
So I've done this mindLESS eating challenge in the past but this time it just didn't feel the same. This time it was really eye-opening to me because I think I fell prey to something being my habit for so long that I really didn't pay much attention to it. I mean, it's just what I used to do. And even though I always felt guilty about it, the truth is I never had any true intention of changing it because I just didn't give it much thought. I'm pretty sure I would justify my actions somehow. "Oh, it's only once a week" or "I've had a really crappy day" or something like that. And that's OK, but if it's done mindlessly, that's when you can feel the residual guilt which can lead to other negative eating behaviors and thoughts.
My Thursday night ritual looked like this >>>> hello couch, hello *FRESHY* fresh bag of beanito's (I promise they taste the best when just opened), hello pinot noir that I didn't care to measure a "proper" 5-oz pour, hello Housewives (don't judge me, I am curious about what it's like to have THAT much money, THAT much time , and THAT much openness that all your privacy is evaporated. I would HATE the lack of privacy but that's just me). Hello mindless Thursday ritual when I've had a hectic day.
DidI mention that I had the house to myself? The television to myself. No judgment on what I wanted to watch? Ah that privacy factor can be the perfect catalyst to let your hair down and do whatever it is that you want to do.
As I took an unopened bag of Beanito's to the couch with a big glass of red wine, assessing my hunger levels (1.5 to a 2 so I was REALLY hungry)- I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I even told myself, "Jennifer, you know what you are walking into the fire on three, no five obvious counts, right?"
1. You are VERY hungry... you know from experience that it is very difficult to make a healthy decision right now with low blood sugar.
2. You are eating the Beanito's straight from the bag, which means, based on your history, you will eat more than you prefer.
3. You are eating them by themselves which, in the past, seems to give you permission to wipe out half the bag (ok reality check = more) before recognizing that you have eaten too much. When you eat them with a meal, often times you don't even eat an entire serving. That always feels good, like you are in charge of your food instead of your food being in charge of YOU.
4. You are mindlessly eating them in front of the television watching a mindless Housewives show (ohhhh, this one feels exceptionally judgy on myself). Again, based on your past = eating wayyy more than you do when you are mindful and aware of what you are doing, and actually enjoying the chips seated at the table.
I went through all of this, the internal check list. And I said out loud "YUP, it's the mindless challenge and I've got this, I can stop whenever I want without guilt."
So guess what happened. I overate them. I REALLY could have wiped out the entire bag. Easily. I was distracted with the ridiculousness of the fake drama and had to turn the channel. I can't do it anymore, that show hurt my brain. It was a BIG big big learning lesson. I will find other ways to destress after a hectic Thursday that doesn't involve my personal habit of beanito's + pinot + housewives. I'm really thankful that I revisited that habit because I realized that it just doesn't fit or feel right for the new more mindful me. I think what I will try moving forward on, in this situation, is making a green juice. It takes 5 minutes, I never ever feel regret for making that! and then go walk Kingston in the park while I decide what I truly will enjoy and want to eat. Yup, that sounds like a good replacement!
Okay everybody, use today a personal experiment. See how mindless eating feels. Once you start on the mindful path, the mindLESS eating becomes less and less attractive. Promise!
(PS: I don't work for Beanito's but would totally work for these bean chips!)
CHECK-IN WITH YOU
After your meal or snack ask yourself if you enjoyed your meal at the same level as when you eat it mindfully? Maybe more, maybe less. You want to be aware of any subtle changes, if any, and share with me if you feel like doing so.
CHECK-IN WITH ME
If you shoot me an email (or have a scheduled appointment) we can discuss your experience and I can share with you mine. Happy UNmindful eating!