From distraction to awareness and back again

When was the last time you ate without distraction...and really noticed your fullness cues.  I was reminded of this last night.  I was eating dinner at the table alone as my kids ate earlier and my husband was out.  I pulled out my "Intuitive Eating" workbook and was flipping through looking for an activity on hunger and fullness cues when I started to laugh...and laugh so hard that I spit out my spaghetti.  Here I was reading about eating intuitively while I was eating with distraction.  Book open, intently reading, music going in the background, half an eye on my kids and eating my bowl of spaghetti and meatballs (one of my favourite meals).  I spend so much of my time trying to teach others to be mindful when they eat and I have not been doing it myself.  I have spent the last 2 months eating breakfast while I walk around getting my little people ready for the day- except for Friday's when I get up at 4:45am because nobody is awake then- but then I read twitter for headlines of the news.  Lunch has been at my desk- daily- only once this semester did I sit and eat with a colleague.  And Dinner!  Well that has been happening at the table twice a week.  I realize that I have not been practicing what I preach..and what I truly believe in! 

So back to my spaghetti and meatballs.  I looked at my bowl and wondered how many meatballs I had actually eaten.  I was so engrossed in my reading that I wasn't sure.  I took a moment to check in with my body.  I was feeling satisfied.  Not full to discomfort but I was done.  My stomach and my mouth were no longer asking for food but I would have finished my bowl had I kept reading and eating.   I looked down at my bowl which at this point was 90% empty and realized that I had barely tasted one of my favourite meals.  I was overwhelmed with sadness at his point.  I had prepared this particular meal because I was feel a bit down and for some reason spaghetti and meatballs stirs a happiness in me that is hard to articulate.  And I missed it.  I missed the pleasure of the meal.  The different textures, the different tastes of each component, the pure joy of a bite that includes noodles, sauce and meat.   All in the name of multitasking.

Did I need to be reading right then...no.  Could I have sat quietly and eaten...maybe...depends on how the nerf gun fight was going in the next room.  Could I have eaten with my kids and been much less distracted ... sure.  So now I am taking myself back to basics.  Back to no distractions when eating.  Back to not working while I eat.  And for me this is key.  I work a lot.. many are telling me too much and after spitting tomato sauce on the exact page outlining how to eat without distractions I think I should agree.

Why am I sharing this?  Well it's because I want to share that even when we are seen as an "expert" at something doesn't mean we stop working.  It doesn't mean that we have it all figured out and we can do this without thinking.  Intuitive Eating is a lifelong journey.  It is one that will have many hills and valleys as we continue to navigate life.  And if we pay attention to the journey there will be huge signs reminding us when we veer off track.

So tomorrow I start with breakfast.  I will get up while the house is quiet.  I will not pick up my smartphone and I will eat my english muffin with peanut butter without distraction.  And I will continue to do so with all my meals.... 

So you be unapologetically you while I be unapologetically me