Updated: Mar 3, 2021
The holidays are over and we're getting back into our routines. There may be some new resolutions in the air. But what does your routine around food involve? Are you back to carefully watching what you're eating now? Trying to eat less to make up for the holiday season? I'm going to propose a new way of looking at food: That you toss the food scale, the portion cups, and the calorie counting. And with those, the worry and guilt! Have you ever sat down with a bag of chips (or ice cream container, or bar of chocolate) in front of the TV (or computer, or phone) only to find that the whole package was gone before you noticed? On the other hand, have you ever sat down to a delicious meal or dessert that had been carefully prepared, and you enjoyed each forkful? How did you feel in each situation? If you are or have been one of my clients, then you know that part of the practice of creating your healthy relationship with food is to enjoy the food you are eating; to not deprive yourself unnecessarily. I love this quote by Henry David Thoreau:
"He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not, cannot be otherwise."
Do you see? If you want that piece of dessert, you can choose to savor each bite, letting your tastebuds enjoy the food. Rarely will you overeat if you really take the time to enjoy what you're eating. Meanwhile, if you're busy doing something else as you eat the dessert and aren't paying attention to it, you'll likely eat the whole thing without really noticing until the last bite, which you take because it's there, not because you want it. This year I challenge you to try something different: Throw out the ideas of quantifying your food, and focus instead on really enjoying what you're eating. Pay attention to each sense: What does the food look like, what does it smell like, what is the texture like, and of course how does it taste? Savor each bite that you choose to take, and watch your relationship with food transform!