Ok here we go. Day 2. Woohoo!
To me, eating in presence means truly enjoying my food. It means turning off the TV, putting away my phone, maybe putting on some tunes, sitting down with my food, and enjoying it. Alone. Without distractions. Not in the car, not on the subway, not hovering over the sink or standing in front of the fridge.
When I first heard about mindful eating, I shook in horror at the idea of sitting down and focusing on my food while eating. I didn't think I'd make it. It sounded so BORING. And lonely. Really lonely.
Plus, the idea of actually permitting myself to eat food and be present for it seemed preposterous. Food was to be eaten in a compulsive sweat in front of the fridge at 11pm! Obviously.
With practice, I've learned to prefer to eat in presence. To sit with my food, turn off the distractions, and focus on eating. Being present for my meals allows me to find pleasure in each bite. And when I enjoy my food, I'm less likely to binge later. In fact, I firmly believe that mindful eating is an essential KEY to overcoming emotional eating. If we're not present for our food, we'll go on eating to try to get the pleasure we missed out on.
If the idea of sitting at a table and having a proper meal seems out of reach, just try sitting down. Anywhere. No matter where you are (except in a car), sitting down automatically gives you more presence and makes you more available to enjoy your food.
There are no rules to eating in presence, but here are a few tips that have helped me get the hang of it:
- Sit down
- Turn off devices (music is okay)
- Look at your food
- Smell your food
- Place your fork or spoon down between bites
- Finish chewing and swallowing each bite before you pick up your fork or spoon again
- Try to slow it down
- Remember to breathe
Some of the benefits from this practice:
- Overcome emotional eating
- Find out what you actually enjoy
- Avoid overeating (because you're able to feel your fullness)
- Experience blissful pleasure
- Expand your self-awareness
- Plus, you can apply the practice of being present in all other aspects of your life!
I can't wait to hear how this goes for you! Post a picture on Instagram of the meal or snack you're going to practice eating in presence with the hashtag #honoryourbodychallenge, and tag me (@alidryja) so I can cheer you on!