Update: mindful eating

Remember last week when I wrote this post about mindful eating? Well I’ve given it a good go, so I thought I’d check in with a progress report. While I did not quite get to this place yet, (is she smelling it or what?)

Photo: blog.primohealthcoach.com

I definitely made enough headway to want to keep it up.

What worked

I did a really great job with lunch and snacks. I didn’t cheat once, and I found that I ate less and enjoyed more. I started having lunch on the porch with my kids, which was a nice little break from the day. Before, the boys would eat lunch while I putzed around the house cleaning up little messes. Then, when they were napping, I’d sit down to “relax” with my lunch, and a magazine or book. I realized long ago that the food/read combo is my recipe for taking a break, which definitely leads to overeating, I’m just finally motivated enough to change.

I also noticed the taste and texture of food much more, which is why I think I was satisfied with less. Plus, sitting outside made it more inconvenient to indulge in seconds, and I didn’t feel so unmoored without a book in my hand. I guess because I could look around and enjoy the sights on my block–the breeze in the trees, my neighbor’s gorgeous flowers and my boys drawing with chalk–rather than just sitting, staring around the room.

It still feels a little strange, especially when I’m inside, but it’s getting easier, and I think the benefits far outweigh any squirminess I still have.

What didn’t

Several nights I struggled with dinner and after dinner snacking. Usually we sit down to a family meal at the table, no t.v. and no reading. But there were a few nights Mike was out of town or working late, and if you know what it’s like being a full-time parent with no relief, you know it can be a looonnnggg day. Nothing a glass of wine and an episode of So You Think You Can Dance after the kids are in bed can’t cure. And as I’ve mentioned several times, alcohol stunts my willpower, and makes that second trip to the kitchen so much easier to justify. So there were a few times I fell back into the pattern of using food (and alcohol) and t.v. to veg out and de-stress.

After a couple such setbacks, I felt like I needed give myself a better chance of success, so I decided no more alcohol during the week. On the weekends, I’m free to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail with a nice dinner, but during the week, no adult beverages. I’ve followed this plan since Monday, and had much better results. Last night, I thought about picking up some wine to go with dinner (an open-faced chicken caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella, and basil from my garden just cries out for wine!), but I held strong. Then I found out Mike was going to be home late again, and SYTYCD was on, and I was so glad I didn’t have the wine. After dinner I just sat on the couch and watched my show, and that was it. And this morning, instead of waking up in a shame spiral, I felt good about myself.

I don’t intend to go dry forever–there’s nothing wrong with having a drink at dinner–but right now, it’s a good way to help me achieve my goal of healthier, more mindful eating.

Overall, I think these small steps toward my wellness goals have been successful. And the more success I have, the more I want to keep succeeding. I’m going to continue with the mindful eating and no alcohol for another week, and see if I can score 100. Then we’ll see what else I might add in. I still have a contest to win! So far, Mike is down four pounds and I am down one, but don’t count me out yet.

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