In Thin Within, our primary boundary is typically eating “0 to 5” or between the parameters of physical hunger and physical satisfaction.
There are a number of behaviors that can set us up for success in keeping this primary boundary, however. If we don’t establish these “secondary boundaries,” we may find that we are not as successful in keeping our eating within 0 to 5 parameters.
In Thin Within, the most logical secondary boundaries are the Keys to Conscious Eating.
KEYS TO CONSCIOUS EATING
1.) Eat only when my body is hungry. This is one of the primary boundaries so we won’t elaborate on it.
2.) Reduce the number of distractions in order to eat in a calm environment. This is a great secondary boundary. If we try to become calm within, even if we can’t make our environment calm, we find that we can enjoy our food. We “record” the dining experience in our minds and this goes a LONG way in helping us to keep our primary boundary of 0 to 5 eating. Judy and Arthur Halliday say that a chaotic environment produces chaotic eating. Turn off the TV, the computer, quiet the loud noises, and try to establish a quiet spirit and environment if you can.
3.) Eat when sitting down. Eating in the car doesn’t count! 🙂 Much of our unconscious or “mindless” eating is done while driving. Standing up to eat often means we aren’t taking note of the food we are eating. That, too, makes it easier to break out primary boundary of 0 – 5 eating.
4.) Eat when my body and mind are relaxed. Invite the Lord into your meals. When you pray asking God to calm your body, mind, and heart, it is easier to respect your primary boundary of eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are no longer hungry.
5.) Eat and drink the food and beverages my body enjoys. Be authentic. We can eat and enjoy whatever our hearts desire and whatever our bodies tell us they need—all with thankful spirits and no guilt! Be sure to acquaint yourself with the phases of Thin Within shared in yesterday’s blog post. In Thin Within there are no forbidden foods. Ask God to show you what your body needs and you may sense him nudging you in a particular direction.
6.) Pay attention to my food while eating. If you are eating with others, attempt to establish a rhythm as you eat. Look at your food, take a bite, chew deliberately and fully experience the flavor. Then, set your fork down and focus on your friends or family. Repeat. 🙂 Again, ask the Lord to help you with this and you will be amazed at how doable it is! It also helps in maintaining your primary boundary of eating 0 to 5.
7.) Eat slowly and savor each bite. Eating fast may be one of the most common reasons we overeat. We just blow right by the “satisfied” signals. As we eat more slowly, our stomachs can accurately signal our minds about when we should stop eating.
8.) Stop before my body is “full.” Again, this is a part of our primary boundary, so we don’t need to elaborate. Just be sure to stop at a place of comfort where you have had “just enough.” The goal is not “How much can I eat before I am too full?” The goal is, instead, how little does it take to be satisfied? Our bodies are remarkably efficient!
Which of these keys can act as a secondary boundary for you? Have you thought of other secondary boundaries you might establish? What are they?