Food For Thought

When I was 16, I snuck out of the house to meet an older boy at the movie theatre. I was a smitten teen who knew nothing of the world, let alone dating. Thankfully, Teen Beat taught me everything I needed to know, so off I went rocking my poufy perm and skin-tight Jordache jeans.

He bought us a large popcorn, but I was too self-conscious to eat in front of him. It didn’t matter if we were sitting in the dark, I didn’t want him to see, or hear me chew. But he insisted, so I took ONE kernel, put it on my tongue and let it sit there like a communion wafer for the entire movie.

Fast-forward 35 years. Whenever I go to the movies these days I can down an entire bag of popcorn before the movie even starts! Unfortunately, my mindless eating doesn’t stop at the theatre. I’ve finished many a meal without realizing it. This typically happens when I’m distracted, like when I eat at my desk, or when watching TV, or like right now as I type this…. I just ate a lovely dinner that I have no recollection of. By the remnants on the plate, I think it was trout, wild rice, and a salad.

Mindless eating is so pervasive in our fast-paced society; we’ve forgotten how to savour not only our food, but life and experiences as well.  I mentioned this to a friend the other day and she sent me a link to an online discussion on eating mindfully. The facilitator was interviewing Dr. Susan Albers, a clinical psychologist and an authority on the subject. She’s penned several books on the topic, and I even happen to have one of them in my 12 in 12 library, which ironically, I haven’t had the time to read… yet!

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Dr. Albers guided us through an exercise that seemed ridiculous, and in all honesty, I wouldn’t have tried it if I wasn’t alone. The exercise is usually done with a raisin, however, she used a piece of chocolate.  Since I don’t keep any in the house anymore, I followed along using a blackberry.

Dr. Albers asked us to:

  • Pick up our piece of food, close our eyes, and feel the weight of it.
  • She instructed us to open our eyes and asked what was going through our minds as we examined it – I was thinking this is silly, but heck, I’m on a quest to find my after and who knows, it might be somewhere in the blackberry bush.
  • She asked us to bring it to our nose and take a deep breath. She asked what the smell invoked.
  • She instructed us to place it against our lips and asked what it felt like.
  • Next, she said to put it in our mouth and let it rest on our tongue.
  • After a few moments, she told us to roll it around in our mouth. She asked what it felt like…. I never realized how rubbery blackberries are… like bumpy, rubbery tonsils.
  • Then she said we could take ONE bite. She asked us what flavours were released… hmmm, earthy, slightly sweet with a hint of tartness.
  • Finally, she instructed us to take a few more slow bites until it was time to swallow.

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Who’da thunk it would take three whole minutes to eat a single blackberry? If I do this with my movie popcorn, I could watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and only get halfway through the bag!

Studies show that mindless eating leads to over-consumption of needless calories. If you’re like me and you don’t have 47 hours to eat your lunch, no worries… Dr. Albers suggests using your non-dominant hand to eat. Researchers have determined that you can reduce your intake by 30% with this handy little tip!

Now to answer your burning questions… the movie was The Elephant Man, and the guy was my now ex-husband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Food For Thought

  1. Atta Girl Mare!!!

    I can see you are more confident and comfortable , and enjoying this current diet.
    I’m happy that you know you can eat and lose by ditching the “white devil” that comes sweetly to your eyes in all shapes and sizes and colours! Sugar is a bad drug, and you are being so strong to avoid it. 👍
    Having that delicious dinner together on Friday night; consisting of a multitude of protein, veggies and God given natural sweet fruit; both filled us up and satisfied us , and we walked out feeling good and guilt free!
    It was a great day all around, and you had the biggest smile on your face when we walked out, cuz you didn’t cave in, but BEAT the SWEET!!!💪👊
    And a BIG congrats that you got through the Thanksgiving Temptations too! That is a winner for sure!! 🏆
    You have a lot to be proud of!!!

    P.S. You look so pretty and proud in the pic holding your plate at Thanksgiving!💕

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  2. Thanks Anna! It was pretty awesome walking out of the buffet satisfied without caving in to the white stuff… WE proved it can be done. Besides, I was having a pretty sweet girl’s day out with you that I didn’t need the sugar xoxo

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  3. Awww thx Mare 💕
    Yes indeed, we had a sweet time all around; without the sweets ….
    YOU are a Sweetie !!

    Luvya …. Keep up the good work!! 👍

    Luvya

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