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For August, my monthly challenge is to follow the 7 Eating Guidelines outlined in Geneen Roth’s book Women, Food, and God. Here are the 7 Guidelines:
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
- Eat without distractions.
- Eat what your body wants.
- Eat until you are satisfied.
- Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
- Eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure.
Now, some notes on those guidelines:
- I often snack throughout the day out of boredom or just because I was triggered by seeing the kitchen. I’m working on eating less often and truly letting myself get hungry before my first meal of the day (this is about 13-15 hours after my dinner meal). Nothing flavors food more than hunger!
- This is a challenge for me with a toddler. I’ve been doing this challenge for three days and have yet to sit through breakfast without more than one disruption. But I do my best to stick to the spirit of the law.
- UGH, NO!!! This item is what has prevented me from trying this for many months. I always read when I am eating!!
- Gotta let go of the “shoulds” and the good/bad attitudes toward food.
- Not much of an issue for me, although I do tend to pick at my plate if it remains in front of me, even if I feel full.
- Not much of an issue for me but I know lots of people eat in secret.
- In other words, take the time to enjoy what you are eating! Embrace the pleasure of good food.
These are such simple rules, and not very challenging. So why make this a monthly challenge? Because there is enough of a behavior change involved for me that I think I will benefit and learn from this challenge. I don’t tend to eat in the car, hide my eating, or over-eat too much. But I do distract myself when I eat, I do nibble on dinner as I’m cooking (to the point that I often end up not eating the dinner once it’s on the table), I do have hang-ups about good food and bad food, and I could stand to be more mindful of eating and enjoy it more. This challenge is a way to be a little bit more intentional about my food consumption at a time when I am feeling I have gained a few pounds but don’t want to bend over backward to lose it. A slight course correction and attitude adjustment might be all it takes to right the ship.