Saturday, 12 July 2008

July 2008 Challenge Update

It's nearly halfway through the month, and I thought I should post an update about how I'm doing with these two challenges. Especially after reading Chile's post about her blog-related peeves, which includes people who sign up for a challenge and then never post about it!

I have had more success with Heather's challenge than with Chile's challenge, I confess. I have mostly been able to sit down when I eat, although I do forget and out of habit will pop a carrot or cucumber slice into my mouth while making a salad for the guinea pigs, or dinner for us. I have also stopped myself a lot of the time though, put these morsels aside and then gone over to the couch and sat down to eat them more mindfully. Or at least stopped what I was doing and paid attention to what I was chewing.

Giving up eating mindlessly is what I'm doing for Chile's challenge. When I do stop, sit down and think about what I'm eating, I am glad. I deliberately think about the sun that has shone on my veggies, and the farmers and truck drivers and soil that have had a part in getting this food right here, right now, right in my mouth. My problem is that this thought process only lasts a few moments and then I'm back to being my scatter-brained self. But, it's a start.

Where I'm really making no progress at all is not eating in front of the computer or while reading a book. I seem to go into my 'do-what-I-wanna' trance state and just plop down and do it, even when the little voice in my head is saying, "hey, you're doing these challenges, remember?" I have yet to figure out why this is so hard for me. I guess 35+ years of doing things one way takes a while to unravel and change.

Time for a gatha, maybe? Here's one from the Everyday Yogini that seems to fit the bill perfectly!

When eating a sweet summer zuppa,
I vow with all Beings,
To savor each spoon of rich flavor,
Thanking rain, sun, and soil in turn.


Heather @ SGF said...

You're doing great! What if you just picked one meal a day to not read or watch tv. Breakfast maybe. You know, inched your way into it, rather than cold turkey. It does feel really weird when you don't let yourself do anything else, but eat, huh? I did for me too.

Chile said...

Not eating in front of the computer is hard for me, too, Theresa. I think maybe because it's just so ... efficient when time is limited. But, I definitely notice that I'm not paying attention to the flavors and textures of the food, and sometimes not the quantity either! Maybe we need to place a sign in front of the monitor at mealtime: Eat First, Surf Later.

Wendy said...

I stopped signing up for challenges because I felt bad that I never posted about them. I was doing them, just didn't seem to have enough to say about it.

And good for you for doing these. The whole mindfulness eating is so important (not that I'm any better at it than it sounds like you are).

It all reminds me of something (I think by Thich Nhat Hanh) about seeing a cloud (and then the rain, earth, etc) in every bite of food. Which really is a lovely thought when you can stop and think about it.

But, cut yourself some slack. Mindfulness is hard. Everything in our society pushes us away from it.

Good reminders, though.

Theresa said...

Heather, yes, it does feel weird. That's a good idea, doing one meal a day - supper would probably work best for me, since I usually eat both breakfast and lunch at work. Although thinking about it, probably snacks would be the thing to do first, since that's when my most mindless eating occurs!

Chile - it's the quantity that gets me, for sure! I can wolf down a whole big bowl of popcorn without realizing it when I'm in front of the computer. I like your sign! I'm going to try that!

Theresa said...

Hi Wendy, you must have been posting your comment just as I was typing mine! Thich Nhat Hanh is terrific - that's where I first read about the idea of interbeing and all the parts of everything that become manifest in our food (and everything else). Mindfulness is hard, and being mindful about the mindfulness is also tough. I agree completely that society pushes us away from it. My conspiracy minded self thinks also that the powers that be don't really want us to stop consuming long enough to think about such things. Imagine if we all started thinking and connecting instead of just constantly consuming! The People would be quite the force to be reckoned with. :)