Mindful Eating and the Battle of the Bulge

I’m working on new habits as I focus on my transformation from church zombie (someone that goes to church and doesn’t think for themselves) to a real person.

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All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.

I Corinthians 6:12 (b)

Eating and food have always been my comfort and my coping mechanism since I was a girl. This is something even Jesus couldn’t shake from me all these years, but now that I’m more focused on me and building who I am, I’m zooming in on bad eating habits.

This week, I went to see the movie Harriet.  When the idea of seeing a movie just to get away from it all,  first popped into my head,  immediately, my mouth could taste the popcorn.  Movie popcorn is my weakness. I just love the taste.  My big decision of the night was what to eat while leaning back in my comfy seat. Do you know that a bucket of popcorn is over 1600 calories? So that was out.  In stark contrast, a hot dog is only 240. OK. I can swim that off next pool session in a few laps. Popcorn, on the other hand, will have me swimming to Indiana. So I chose the hot dog, and I snuck in some lite popcorn from Walgreens. I had survived without the buttery puffs of goodness.

(By the way, the movie was good and even though I knew the story, it was well told without feeling too formulaic. Hats off to lead actress Cynthia Erivo and director Kasi Lemmon.)

 Mindful Eating

Have you ever just watched TV or Netflix binged and snacked until you realize you’ve run out of food? You reach for the bowl and realize it’s empty! TV just doesn’t seem right without a bag of something nearby. Bad habit, but it’s as American as apple pie (with a scoop of ice cream). I say American because I recently learned that the French (don’t we love to hate them?) take their time with food. They make it an event. They actually sit at the table and eat 90% of the time and it’s part of their culture.  Americans are so in a rush to everything, and we pride ourselves on multi-tasking.  We rarely sit down and eat undistracted, just enjoying other people’s company and paying attention to the food.

 Distracted Eating

Well, here’s one American that plans to change.   That’s my goal to change the way I eat.

Wish me well.

Pray for me.

‘Cause this is a tough one.

When I’m eating, I’m either scrolling through my facebook timeline, catching up on friends, news, looking at YouTube, or researching some random thing that came to my mind. I’m rarely just eating. Just chewing and eating, slowing down, and enjoying or tasting my food. Eating is just this thing I have to do while I’m doing other things.

images.jpgThose Ivy Leaguers at Harvard University have concluded that distracted eating may add to weight gain (www.health.harvard.edu). My Noom app is telling me to PAY ATTENTION  with lessons on how to change this part of my life. Hey, it takes a village. The research seems pretty clear on the connection between distraction and eating too much.

  Eating at the Table

download.jpgWhen my kids were younger, we made a habit out of eating at the table. I thought they needed the Leave it to Beaver model growing up because they needed stability–dinner at 7PM. But as they got older and their schedules got crazier, I did it because I wanted to find out more about their friends and it was a good way to be nosy about their lives.

Now, I’m tired and want them to leave me alone. I am not one of those clingy moms.  

My youngest, the 17-year-old, complains that we don’t eat at the table anymore. Who asked you? Roll with the punches kid. I don’t even cook dinner anymore. I told you and your sister to fend for yourselves, and you guys agreed (like you had a choice), and now you’re complaining.

This is the kid who, I’m convinced, doesn’t even belong with our family. He helps the homeless (on his own!). He’s Captain of his football team, has decent grades. Illinois State All-Conference football Defensive End, National Blue-Grey Football Bowl in January 2020 – Linebacker selection, interviews with local newspapers—where did this guy come from? Love him, but he just doesn’t fit with the rest of us misfits.  

Anyway, he puts up with us and pats me on the back when I tell him I just came from the gym. He’s genuinely happy to see me working on me. Mike wants to be a personal trainer/physical therapist, so I told him to start with me and my thighs. They seem to want to do their own thing and not slim down with the rest of my body. I’m going for Beyonce or Lopez, I’m a thick thigh girl. But I want the tone-tone, not flabby thing 1 and 2.  My girlfriend recently lost over 60 pounds and is such an inspiration. She keeps telling me I can do it, and I believe I can. I’m really beginning to feel it. 

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Author: Renee

I am an author and a retired minister. My passion is helping others find their sense of self and identity after so many years of losing my own. So often we go to church and are still not aware of our disconnection with our true selves. The person inside that God deeply values. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have 3 children. I love gourmet cooking, swimming, all kinds of music, and political and religious discussion- the two things my mom said never to talk about at the dinner table.