Monthly Challenge for August: Eat Mindfully

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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:

  1. Eat when you are hungry.
  2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
  3. Eat without distractions.
  4. Eat what your body wants.
  5. Eat until you are satisfied.
  6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
  7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure.

Now, some notes on those guidelines:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. UGH, NO!!! This item is what has prevented me from trying this for many months. I always read when I am eating!!
  4. Gotta let go of the “shoulds” and the good/bad attitudes toward food.
  5. 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.
  6. Not much of an issue for me but I know lots of people eat in secret.
  7. 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.