Mindfulness is a big thing at the moment and I do think eating mindfully has helped me to work on my eating issues. I try to take time to think about what I want to eat, I try to eat slowly (putting the food down between bites) and I try to leave some food on my plate. It all seems to be helping.
But I was thinking last weekend, whilst having drinks with friends, of how much mindless eating I do. I became aware of some eating I did without thinking a while back and stopped most of it. You know the sort of thing: I go to the cinema so I have to having something to eat while I am watching a film – why? I go on a long drive and need to take food/sweets with me – why? I’m always amazed when I watch a tv programme about people who don’t understand why their weight keeps going up and they discover they have eaten whole meals without really being aware of doing it. I hope I don’t do that.
Anyway, back to the drinks. I was aware of how much I like to eat a few snacks when having a glass of wine. My love of crisps is no secret but I think I expect to have something to nibble on whilst I am having a drink. I noticed that some people (with or without any obvious weight issues) did the same whilst some didn’t want anything. Were they saving themselves for the meal we were having later? Did I eat less dinner as a result of having a few (well probably more than a few – that’s the trouble with a large bowlful) snacks beforehand? I suppose it’s something I need to keep an eye on and ask myself whether I am actually hungry (having a glass of wine does tend to increase my hunger). I don’t want to tell myself I can’t enjoy snacks but how do I get this balance right? Do I allow myself a few and eat them slowly, savouring them? Something else to work on.
I’ve been having a bad time: not with this stuff but with life in general. I’ve had a few knock-backs and am feeling vulnerable, sorry for myself. So what is the best thing I can do? Eat, of course. Now we are not talking about 12 packets of biscuits, 10 loaves of bread etc but it was mindless eating And I’m doing this even though I know it doesn’t work.
I came back from a disappointing meeting and before I knew it I was sitting on the sofa eating crisps. How did that happen? It was all very autopilot: I didn’t make a decision to do it, I just found it had happened. Disappointing, especially on top of the other things in life but when I came back to consciousness about what I was doing I felt pleased that I had put the crisps into a bowl rather than downing a family-sized packet on my own and I was pleased I became aware. I knew what I was doing and I carried on doing it but I think that momentarily pausing, at least in my head if not the journey from bowl to my mouth, is important. It makes me feel things can get better, they can change. My problem is that when I’m feeling down I have an attitude of what does any of this matter? My diet, the size of my body, seem irrelevant and by eating more than I want or need I seem intent on making an another stick to beat myself up with. I suppose I still yearn for slimness, feel my life would be better if my thighs didn’t rub together, and yet I do things to sabotage myself. I might never be any smaller than I am now and maybe I just have to get my head around that. My ongoing fear is that I will end up much bigger than I am now because I am not watching everything I eat, allowing myself to eat what I want, I’m not weighing myself. That side of my life feels out of control and yet I know the control I used to have didn’t make me happier, healthier or slimmer. I have to persevere but I feel like I have jumped out of a plane and I’m not sure my parachute is going to open. It’s all very scary.