Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eating without Distractions

This lady has the right idea, or you would certainly think so if you came to my house. Every one of us loves to read while we eat -- we'll even read the cereal box if there is nothing else available. (I think reading while eating is "the thinking man's" version of reading while watching tv.)

Since we have five growing children in the house, we have noticed this phenomenon that happens -- I go grocery shopping and bring the groceries home. The kids unload the car, and emit loud exclamations of enthusiasm as they see all the good food. As I unload the bags and put the food away, the mongering hordes swoop in and pick up a bag of this and a carton of that and four or five pieces of fruit (per person). I can't even get the food put away before a decent amount of it is eaten.

The problem is, sometimes, a lot of times, we don't eat until we are full. We eat until the bag is empty, or we have finished the page/chapter/book/article. I think I have alluded elsewhere to my love/hate relationship with food and eating, and I would rather not pass that along to our kids, even though I may do it unintentionally.

I recently posted a sign on the fishbowl on our dining room table asking everyone to refrain from reading while eating and I explained my thinking. Each time we eat now, we use bowls, plates, silverware, etc., and even NAPKINS! I asked everyone, as an experiment, to just focus on the eating process, the texture and taste of the food.

Here's what I have found out. Eating is boring! If I'm reading a book, I can chew crispy foods for a long time. If I am sitting at the table, I can't chew quite as much food. I just don't want to take the time.

Do you think this could be a major diet phenomena all over the world? Could I get famous and be on Oprah? Maybe not and maybe not, but if I only eat while I'm doing nothing else, I bet I might even lose some weight.


Anonymous said...

Eureka! I've just figured out why eating might be so boring! Because it's meant to be shared with others!!

My first thought when reading this post was my experience of reading the book "Eating Awareness Training"

I found it very hard to get past the first week's exercise of just eating consciously. In fact, I never made it past that week. Still, in reflecting on that experience after reading you post, I first started with the "it's because I have no discipline or spiritual depth that I can't even be completely present to the food I'm eating."

Then I remembered having left-over pizza with you the other day and how dang enjoyable that was and how slowly I ate! for thought.

Note to with others.

xoxo, mjm

Stephanie M said...

My, you were very prolific on Thursday!!! I was gone for 2 days and had quite a bit of catching up to do! Very good point - eating at the table isn't nearly as handy as eating by the computer....