It’s funny the things we don’t see. I am fortunate to have the blessing of nearsightedness to remind me of how lucky I am to have contact lenses. But isn’t it interesting that despite having crystal clear vision, too often much of what’s present right in front of us goes unnoticed? This morning I woke up with an idea about weight loss and how so much of the struggle we deal with regarding weight issues has to do with what we do not stop to see.
When was the last time someone gave you something really decadent and yummy to try and you took it? Was it a slice of pie? A fresh pizza slice? A piece of chocolate or a juicy mango? Well, let’s not get into the good vs bad perception we have of any of these foods. That’s for another conversation. But think seriously about what you did with that yummy treat once you received it. Did you look at it? I mean, REALLY look at it. Did you notice the glistening of fat, the oozing cheese or the crumbly crust? If you didn’t, then you really missed out on something.
Eating is about so much more than the act of placing the food in our mouths. It’s about engaging all of our senses in the process. You smell, you see, you taste. You feel the textured, you hear the crunch! YES! This is how we are supposed to be eating. I know, I know you’re too busy to smell it, see it, feel it, blah, blah, blah. But let’s consider the possibility that it is only when we do take the time to engage all of our senses that we can process our foods completely and let them nourish us as they were created to.
I am a weight loss coach. That’s one of the hats I wear. I do so because after my own weight loss journey I was inspired to help other people achieve success in that area. I’ve learned a great deal in the process of helping people look at their weight. Specifically, I’ve learned that the most important step is not examining food choices or exercise habits. I have learned that the most important step is increasing personal awareness of how we treat ourselves. How we eat is as important as what we eat. No, successful weight loss is not likely to come about if we regularly consume large amounts of nutritionally poor food. What we eat does indeed matter. But, let’s consider the possibility that we would naturally shift to consuming more nutritionally supportive foods if we ate with our eyes wide open and with a greater sense of awareness regarding all aspects of the eating process.
That muffin, though beautiful and delicious, might not have to be consumed in its entirety. Maybe a quarter of the muffin would give you what you’re looking for from it. And when was the last time you allowed yourself to enjoy a serving of fresh anything: berries, veggies, sliced mango? Try that today and notice how beautiful food is just as it came from the earth. And what about actual homemade goodies? Today I will be celebrating the birthday of someone very special. I made one of my signature dishes: seafood pasta salad. It’s so good! To the birthday celebration I will bring that dish along with with a beautiful salad filled with an assortment of greens, juicy tomatoes, vibrant carrots, fresh apple chunks and crunchy almonds. It’ll be topped with a raspberry balsamic dressing I make myself. Good stuff! There will likely be birthday cake at the dinner. Will I push away the slice offered to me in protest, “Oh, no! Do you know how many calories are in that thing?” I wouldn’t dare say that. I intend to receive that cake and enjoy a portion (or all) of the slice given to me. I will eat it with my eyes as well as my other senses, allowing myself to savor each morsel and bless the person who lovingly prepared it.
Food is meant for nourishment as well as for pleasure. Let’s slow down today and enjoy every bite.
Today is a good day to do everything, eat, laugh, play…with our eyes wide open.
Peace & Blessings,
(P.S. One of my favorite authors on this topic is Mark David. He has written extensively about the “Psychology of Eating.” I encourage you to pick up one of his books if you are interested in learning more.)