Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A conoisseur, I am not!

Now, everybody knows who this is, I'm sure.

In my new phase of mindful eating, one of the things I'm doing is imagining I'm in Matt Preston mode. While I chew my food, I'm taking more notice than I can confidently state I ever have of the taste, texture, flavour, etc of all the food I'm eating. I'm not doing this because I'm some sort of gourmet or hoping to become one. I know there is no way my palate will ever be that sophisticated. :) But taking time to actually assess what I'm eating has led to some interesting outcomes. Today, for example, I was out at my favourite coffee shop, Michel's. I decided to have a coffee and a piece of cake. Now, remember, I'm not "on a diet" so there's nothing wrong with me doing this and it's not an everyday exercise, but I thought I felt like some. Anyway, this piece of cake, I decided to eat it as mindfully as I could and the plan was to leave some on the plate, which I did. Now, I've been making a point of leaving a bit of food on my plate as part of a "fake it till I make it" exercise. It's not because I couldn't finish what's on my plate because there's no doubt I could. It's more to get me used to the idea that it's OK to do this because the conditioning to clean my plate every time is so strong. But today, well, I left some of that cake on the plate because - incredible story - I didn't really find I was enjoying it. Now, for a sweet tooth to say that, it must have been a pretty damn average cake. It really was. I was sitting there, chewing slowly and putting down my spoon between bites. It seemed to me that at times I felt like I was eating a spoonful of actual sugar and I didn't like it. It was just TOO sweet. Not only that, it was pretty stale and that wasn't good. Cake should be fresh. But in a non-mindful state, that wouldn't have stopped me finishing it. Now, I want to see things differently and if I'm going to have something like a piece of cake, I want to be sure I enjoy it, otherwise what's the point? It totally ruins the experience.

The other things I'm beginning to realise now just how often I've gone on eating when I'm not enjoying things, even to the point when I feel quite ill, sometimes for hours and hours afterwards. I know this is binge behaviour and I'm not proud of it, but it is true. And I really don't even know why I have always felt the need to eat every single morsel of whatever unhealthy food I thought I wanted. Hell, I live by myself - it's not like anyone's going to take it away from me! If, as I suspect, it's because I feel I can't trust myself with these foods and so it's better if they're not there, this is very specious logic. I might have moved house but I'm a five minute trip from a shop. If I wanted to get this stuff, it's hardly difficult. So another thing I have started to do is, if I buy this stuff, measure out a small amount, eat it mindfully and slowly, and then put the rest of whatever it is away. I've never done this in my life and it's very new to me, but so far I've had a bit of success. I have a few honey mustard soya chips in a container which I think I bought over a week ago. I've found, when eating them slowly/mindfully, that even though I like them they don't really agree with me so I've just left the rest there. My next project with this is going to be something sweet because that's a harder thing for me to refuse. But I feel confident I'm ready to give it a good go. :)

Anyway, enough of my philosophical ravings for one night. I've been for a nice swim today and I think I'll sleep well tonight. Ciao, blogosphere1

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