- Continue with Key to Conscious Eating #1 – eat only when my body is physically hungry.
- Continue Key to Conscious Eating #2 – Reduce the number of distractions in order to eat in a calm environment.
- Add Key to Conscious Eating #3 – Eat only when sitting down.
Most of the Keys are designed to help us to correctly evaluate our hunger level. If we have reduced distractions, for instance, we are more likely to notice when we approach “satisfied” which is the point that we want to stop eating. We can also eat more mindful of the pleasure of eating when our bodies need food!
If I eat when I am sitting down, I will be more likely to be present in the experience. When I eat when when I am standing up or moving in the kitchen, it is as if I don’t note the food at all. Eating when sitting down (but not driving!) helps me to relax, take the load off and delight in the joy that God intends!
Give it a try and see what happens for you! 🙂
All of the Keys to Conscious Eating are introduced in chapter 3 of Get Thin Stay Thin, though with a different name: Principles of Weight Mastery. Same thing, different name. Before introducing all of the keys, however, the Hallidays share more wisdom that causes us to understand the detriment of relying on legalistic dieting rules.
Which of the following statements resonate with you?
By imposing self-discipline and losing some weight, we obtain a self-awarded victory that may temporarily provide us with a false sense of superiority or significance. In the process, however, we become self-satisfied and further repress our awareness of the real issues beneath our low self-esteem or discontentedness. GTST, p. 63
Oh, how I can relate to this! Having released 100 pounds I definitely knew the experience of having a false sense of significance! In time, however, the victory was clearly hollow. And in that collapse of what I had unwittingly relied upon, I was left with the truth. I am still a beggar in need of bread. I am still a wandering sheep in need of my shepherd. I still want, still lack.
…because we focus only on the symptoms, the doing only, we actually inflame our eating behaviors further. GTST, p. 63
I think this may be one reason why, after a year of “holding it together,” of maintaining the weight…I gained some that is now sticking to me like glue. Again, I have to realize some of this may be legitimately stuck to me for life. I am no longer drinking diet soda at all, let alone in copious quantities–it acted as a diuretic, expelling water from my body–and no longer on a prescribed diuretic besides (since my blood pressure went back to normal). So some of this weight is legitimately MINE. But my eating behaviors were definitely “inflamed.” It was like the rubber band was stretched as tight as it could go after a year of holding it, holding it holding it…then WHAMO!!!!!
I believe I had focused too much on DOING. God is after my being. I don’t know really what that looks like yet, but we are on our way doing it… <–ha…look at that statement…DOING! See how ingrained this is in me? Wow, does God ever have a lot of work to DO… (ugh…there it is again! LOL!) The promise of what is ahead is here for me…in the quote below…
Grace is “receiving a gift with open hands:” legalism is “keeping rules with clenched fists.” Grace evokes in us a desire to conform [to Christ, to God’s will]; legalism provokes our desire to perform. Grace allows us to be; legalism compels us to do. Grace redirects our focus away from perfection to correction. When we strive for perfection, we attempt to master and control life by trying to measure up to some external, idealized standard. Striving for perfection, we are living the lie that we can make ourselves more acceptable to ourselves, to others, to God if we just follow the letter of the law. Under grace we are free to turn to God as we really are, free to learn from our mistakes, free to change and grow, and free to allow him to help us become all he intends us to be. Under legalism our response is “have to;” under grace it is “want to.” Under grace we respond out of love, out of our desire to please the one who first loved us. Our inclination springs from a heart yearning to respond to our loving God. GTST, p. 65
“Focussing on the symptoms” without changing the causes of overweight, disease, etc. is what many docs do nowadays, partly because most Americans want quick fixes for their symptoms. They don’t want to change their lifestyles, eating habits, etc. They want to continue their same processes (overeating, no exercise, insufficient sleep), but not suffer the consequences. Although diets require some lifestyle change, people can follow diets without doing any introspection or considering how their use of food caused their overweight. “Conscious eating” allows us to pay attention to not only what we eat, and how we eat, but also how our bodies feel and hopefully notice when we are no longer hungry and can stop eating. Above all, eating ‘sitting down in a calm environment’ allows us to hear our thoughts or even ‘conversations’ in our head while we eat. When I was struggling to understand why I chose to continue eating after I noticed I felt satisfied, I decided to journal (blog) about the ‘voices’ I heard in my head telling me to stop eating and telling me I ‘deserved’ to eat as much as I wanted, despite my full cues. I suspect the voice of reason was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I could only hear that voice when I eat sitting down, in a calm environment, without other distractions. We may seek God’s help to resist temptation to overeat. However, unless we listen to His guidance while we eat, we may only be expecting miracles, like the doorbell ringing, to drag us away from the table when we ignore our fullness cues. When I focus on eating, my stomach cues, and my thoughts, I distinctly hear God’s guiding voice telling me ‘enough’.
Yikes…I faltered big time yesterday during the Super bowl party we hosted at my house. Today’s a new day though. I have a tummy ache…so ‘repenting’ is pretty easy. Time to correct! I’m praying for all doing this study.