Mindfulness Mondays 64: Savor
November 29, 2010 by Dr. Lam
As we enter the holiday season, I decided to read a book aptly entitled Savor that tries to help individuals lose weight and keep that weight off. It has been a steady two years for me in which I have continually lost weight down to an almost ideal weight for me without any yo-yo-ing except for 2 to 3 pounds. The book advocates that we approach food with mindful intention, as we should everything in life.
Too often we blame will power, where will power is basically a short-lived contrivance. When we force ourselves not to eat or have an adversarial relationship to food, we fail shortly thereafter. We cannot wage an ongoing epic battle of the bulge, as will power is only a temporary fix job. We must open ourselves to transforming our relationship with food so that we do not resist, fight, and binge.
For myself, I do not like overeating because it now makes me sick. Eating refined sugars and other processed foods no longer give me joy, as they once did. That does not mean I do not enjoy a dessert or some chocolate every now and then. However, I do not crave it or desire it with eager desperation. When we start to become more mindful in every arena in life, we become more mindful toward how we eat food.
In short, the author advocates that we consciously eat our food. Today we tend to scarf it down in a blink (of which I am still a culprit but am learning to let that go). We often live our lives in a multi-tasking mode with the Internet, the radio, the television, and various other distractions around us so that we do not mindfully even taste our food. Chewing each bite 20 to 40 times not only allows one to savor the taste but it also allows us to mechanically break down the food and help with important enzymatic digestion of every morsel.
This week, be mindful of your food and be present with it as you eat, savoring the taste, the nutrition, the labor that went into its preparation, the gratitude of having it and turn off the mindless distractions that would otherwise invade our presence of mind with that food like the Internet and other invasions.