Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Normal Eating...What's That?

I have started reading (again) one of the books I bought earlier in this journey: The Rules of "Normal" Eating by Karen Koenig. While Medifast is working great for me, and I do believe it is teaching me some important lessons about my relationship with food, I also realize this isn't "normal" eating. So, while I am doing this, I want to start to arm myself with the knowledge and tools to help me make a smooth transition when the time comes.

I haven't gotten too far into the book, but I was really struck by some of the things I read last night. Check this out, and see whether or not you do these things.

Koenig says, "Unconscious behaviors of "normal eaters when they are eating include:
  • They breathe regularly. (I think I do this.)
  • They chew their food well before swallowing it. (Not likely, I am a speed eater.)
  • They look up from their plate often. (Maybe, if I am in good company. By myself, rarely.)
  • They pause and enjoy the taste of what they are eating. (I really do appreciate good food, but I don't think I take time to savor and enjoy it.)
  • They put their fork or spoon down occasionally and don't think of utensils as extensions of their arm. (Go, go Gadget arm utensils!)
  • They have silent, automatic, back-burner dialogue with themselves regularly while eating to see if they are still hungry or have reached fullness or satisfaction. (Haven't heard that voice.)
  • They focus on the food in front of them, not what they ate yesterday or what they will be eating tomorrow. (People really do that?!?! I am always thinking about the before and after.)
  • They don't care what's on someone else's plate or imagine that anyone cares what's on theirs. (I do care and generally imagine I am being judged about what I am eating if I feel like it is indulgent.)
Here is how not to stay connected to your body while eating:
  • Shovel or gobble your food. (check)
  • Guilt trip, shame, or hate yourself for what you are eating or what you ate earlier. (always)
  • Eat as much as the person next to you. (That's never a problem.)
  • Tell yourself that you don't deserve to eat. (I've told myself that, but did it anyway. Then...refer to the second bullet point here.)
  • Eat as little as the person next to you. (I do monitor.)
  • Forget to breathe or taste the food. (Not sure about this one.)
  • Rush through the meal. (Yep.)
  • Struggle not to eat anything. (Yep.)
  • Eat when you are too stressed to enjoy food. (Always.)
  • Worry while you're eating. (Often.)
  • Feel self-conscious about what you're eating. (Oh yeah.)
  • Eat to please someone else. (I've done that too.)
YES!!! I got them all right! Oh wait, I wasn't supposed to answer YES, to every stinkin' one of those questions.

And, the work continues...

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