Thursday, May 13, 2010

A new way of eating

I recorded today's episode of Oprah because the topic was about women who lost weight and didn't diet- it sounded too good to be true. The show revolved around a book that Oprah claims is revolutionary to the way women diet and overeating. The title of the book is called : "Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything" by Geneen Roth.

One reader describes the book as "a way of living and relating to food, not about a food plan...this is definitely not a diet book or eating plan, but instead a way of experiencing life which allows you to be present and aware so that you are able to listen to your body and choose food based on nourishment and self-care".

I haven't read the book, but based on watching Oprah's episode, I'm a believer that losing weight is much more than just following a food plan and exercising- it's discovering the reason why we overeat and learning to love ourselves.

It's easy to say, "when I exercise and eat great, then I'll feel better about myself." The only problem with that is when a traumatic or stressful event occurs, or there's something that you can't deal with, then the dieting, and exercise goes out the window. It becomes an endless cycle of dieting, losing weight, and then gaining it all back again.

Here are 7 guidelines that the book lists towards changing the way we eat:

  • eat when you're hungry
  • eat sitting down in a calm environment
  • eat without distractions
  • eat what your body wants
  • eat until you are satisfied
  • eat with the intention of being in full view of others
  • eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure

I started to apply some of those guidelines when I ate dinner a few hours ago. Most nights I eat dinner by myself. RM works out of town, and Moe is busy with after school activities and doesn't get home until after dinner. So instead of eating dinner in front of the TV, I ate at the table with music as the background. It was a calm environment, I ate what I wanted, and I enjoyed every bite I ate. I ate a reasonable portion because I wanted to feel good afterwards. And I ate more slowly because I wasn't watching TV while I ate. It was the first time that I ate by myself that I enjoyed my dinner!

Now if you have little kids, it may be hard to "eat in a calm environment" or "eat without distractions". However, I learned that the guidelines in the book is just a small portion of the success of the book, it's the mental and spiritual exercises that you apply that can help you.

I've had a long standing love/hate relationship with food. It's time that this cycle of dieting stops and that I learn to change the way I handle food as a coping mechanism.

Food for Thought: "Eat to live, not live to Eat"
Benjamin Franklin