This journey to food freedom, as I’ve mentioned before, is not a clear cut easy one. Many times I have thought to myself it would be easier to simply try another diet or, if I’m being honest, usually one that I’ve already tried previously because I have tried most of them! But then I remind myself that that will just end up the same way it always does since my body is designed to fight back from weight loss!
One thing that has taken a lot of practice and that I definitely am still practicing at is being more mindful in my eating. Not mindful about the calories, carbs, sugar, etc (whatever else I used to be mindful of) but to be mindful in being present when I am eating (instead of eating distracted) and being mindful of the flavors, sensations, thoughts, and feelings I am experiencing while eating.
Something that I have noticed (and I invite you to try this and see if you notice the same) is that the first bite always is so much more intensely flavourful and enjoyable than the last one. Weird, cuz it’s the same thing, but that first bite (especially if you are actually hungry) is so freaking good!! Pay attention next time you eat and let me know if you notice the same.
So, now I find myself reassessing how I eat pretty much every meal. See, I have this deeply ingrained habit (I literally do it without even noticing that I’m doing it) to eat the less desirable food on my plate first and leave my favorite part of the meal till last. But, when you realize how things taste so much better when you are hungry, this is clearly not logical at all! I’m thinking this came from the also very deeply ingrained belief that I need to clear my plate and of course if I’m going to need to eat everything anyway, well I want to eat the best last!
What is interesting is that when I catch myself before I do this so that I can eat my favorite food first, I find it much easier to listen to my body’s natural fullness cue and stop eating when I’m full… interesting!
As a random side note, another thing I’ve noticed that I do, especially when I am eating one of my favorite foods, is that I will start out savoring it (this is after intentionally trying to be more mindful before I just plowed through it from the get-go) but then as I go I start eating faster and faster. I spent some time reflecting on this and what seemed to come up for me is that I feel as though if I eat faster I’ll get to eat more of it (something I’m confusing with enjoying most of it because it’s actually more enjoyable to eat slower and savor each bite) because there’s a bit of a delay between your stomach being full and your brain realizing it. Interesting.
Do some self-reflection while eating and practice mindfulness at your next meal time – what sort of strange habits do you notice?