How many times in your life can you say that you truly tasted and enjoyed what you are eating? Most of us, especially if you have ever dieted, just shovel food in without it even touching the sides. We barely see it, we seldom smell it and rarely taste it.
We don't know what we need or when because at some point, usually when we went on our first diet, we lost our natural ability to listen to ourselves.
My little Phoenix has a sickness bug at the moment and he will not eat as even at his little age of 19 months, he realises what his tummy needs. When he is well he loves his food and it often make him do a little dance while he's eating - but right now he obviously realises that plying more food in to his system will not help him get well and will only make him feel worse. Of course I am making him drink fluids with salts in to maintain his mineral levels but it intrigues me that even at this young age he naturally knows what he needs....
Most children are not afraid of food or enjoying it, but it's funny because the majority of adults are petrified of food.
Food for most of us is a mystery and we fear it's power over us. Well no more! It's time to enjoy food again and all it offers us, because it essentially gives us life and that is to be celebrated!
Food is a sensory experience and yet most of us eat it guiltily, absent-mindedly and often in a rush. We have very little presence with our food while eating it and it should be a fabulous rewarding relationship.
If you are a part of my Secret Weigh group then most of you have achieved wonders already. One of my members recently posted this on the group message board.
"This week I've had dominos, fish and chips, and Chinese, and I've been out to a restaurant.....not once did I clear my plate because I was full, so I stopped shoving it in my mouth. In between these meals I craved salads and lots of fruit. Guess what, I lost a pound!! and I'm not even trying to lose weight- I'm actually in maintenance now. Sarah Jane Honeywell, you my friend, are a genius"
You all have easily grasped the idea of waiting until you are hungry to eat. You have embraced eating whatever you feel hungry for and you are all excelling at stopping when you are full. But to keep this up yo must also start enjoying food and that is not something our society allows.
I watched a girl eating on the train last week. She was an over weight girl. She sat down with a Mars Bar, a book and a bag of crisps. She began reading and while she was reading, she ate. She only became aware that her food was all gone when she saw the wrappers were empty. When the food trolley came down the aisle she brought a packet of biscuits and she ate the whole packet while she was still reading. She did not seem to taste or even enjoy one mouthful of all the food he ate.
Opposite her was a slim older man. He was eating a Kit Kat. This man enjoyed every single moment of his Kit Kat feast. He took off the paper and smoothed over the silver foil so the word Kit Kat was seen. He took joy in snapping a bar off. He ate that chocolate bar piece by piece very slowly, he made it look truly delicious. Sometimes he savoured the chocolate in his mouth until it melted. Sometimes he nibble around the edges and then separated the wafers from each other. He truly tasted that chocolate bar. He enjoyed his time eating it. In between bites he looked at his newspaper but he stopped eating at this point to concentrate on that particular news item. He had a wonderful time with his words and his chocolate. By the time he has finished his Kit Kat the girl opposite had finished off a Mars Bar, some crisps and a packet of biscuits and she had not savoured one mouthful of her food. He had tasted, smelled, seen and enjoyed each and every mouthful.
It's not impossible to see within this scenario why the man is naturally slim and why the very pretty girl is over weight.
How often do you truly savour the food you are eating? If you've been on a diet your whole life, no doubt every mouthful you have, you feel some guilt about. That in itself means that you do not truly allow yourself to enjoy and indulge in food when you are hungry for it and where is the joy and freedom that we all deserve around food is that?
If you don't commit to enjoying food again, then it will be hard for you to maintain this way of eating, as it will be all too easy to slip back in to your old dieting mentality of guilt trips and panic. With The Secret Weigh, life is about enjoying food and enjoying yourself!
Sneak eating is another hangover from your old diet ways of thinking. Sneak eating is where you sneak to the biscuit jar when no one is looking and have a handful of biscuits without really acknowledging what you are doing. Not only do you pretend this hasn't happened but you also do not enjoy one mouthful of sneak eating, so what's the point?
Here are some guidelines of eating the Secret Weigh so you learn how to enjoy food again.
Do not eat standing up where it can be avoided - whatever you are eating, sit down and enjoy eating it, even your child's left overs!
Try to eat off a nice plate or at least make your food look nice before you eat t. Peanuts, sweets, everything. It tastes nicer and it will eliminate any unconscious eating that you might be doing still.
Have a date with yourself - Try to eat at a table. Try not to eat in the car or on public transport (until you have got used to treating yourself this way). Sit at a table or somewhere lovely and enjoy the moment.
Don't be distracted - again not in the car, try not to read while eating or even watching TV if you can help it. If you must watch TV, make sure you consciously enjoy your food. Taste, smell and see it. Eat it in a way you love to eat it. Do not eat while you are on the phone if you can help it
Allow yourself to enjoy the food. This is a crucial one. You must give yourself permission to enjoy it! Fuck the old diet nag. Those days are gone. From now on you are allowed to enjoy food whatever it is, as long as you are hungry for it and stop eating when you are satisfied. Really taste those flavours, the texture and remember to eat your favourite bits first, so that if you get full up you won't be tempted to carry on eating
Avoid emotional conversations while eating. If you have something important to discuss try to eat before you chat about anything emotional. If you are at a business meeting just have a snack as no doubt this will distract you away from your task at hand, which is to enjoy what you are eating.
We live in a horrible society where we all judge each other. Please though, if you are over-weight or have an eating disorder, do not be ashamed to eat in front of other people. Everyone, whatever their size or shape has a right to eat and indeed must eat to survive!
Being naturally slim is a state of mind, it has no baring on how you look now. Eating food from now on should be like breathing to you. It is a natural thing to do. Whatever your size you have a right to eat and enjoy what you are eating in front of other people.
Please stop hiding that you are eating food from others. I know this goes for any bulimics that are out there reading this too. It's OK to eat. It is essential and natural and everyone has the right to enjoy eating all foods in front of others.
Eat in front of anybody, with the intention of being seen by every body. Eat slowly enjoying yourself.
So the next time you are eating a KIt Kat or a Sunday Roast or a cake. Please enjoy it. Eat it your way. For example I love a muffin but I only like the top, I do not care for the bottom of it, so I do not eat it. When I eat a Kit Kat I like to nibble around the edges, taking off all the chocolate before I devour the wafers. When you are hungry, eat what you want your way consciously and enjoy every single mouthful.
I promise you that eating will become a wonderful, self indulgent, ritual, just as it should be
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I will have more mum and toddler blogs this weekend for you to enjoy and look out for me on my Facebook live! too.