Five days ago, I made a commitment (here) to eat my lunch mindfully every day this week.
Honestly? It's been a struggle so far.
Tuesday, I was at a restaurant celebrating a friend's birthday. Yak, yak, yak... eat, eat, eat... mindless eating right from the get go.
Yesterday, I found myself a little pushed for time and resentful that I couldn't eat and check email/blogs at the same time. I forced myself to sit and eat semi-mindfully. But my mind kept slipping away from my food and onto the list of stuff I had to do. Plus, I rushed the eating.
Today, I started out OK with a nice prayer of gratitude and slow, mindful eating, but then noticed a book my husband's reading on the table nearby. Without thought, that book was in my hand and I was reading about Elephants in the Room. (Can't wait for him to finish as it appears to be well written and a fascinating topic.) I read through half my lunch, eating mindlessly, of course, before I realized what I was doing and put the book down.
Monday was the only day when I ate mindfully for the whole meal! That day (as I frequently do for lunch) I ate a scoop of cottage cheese (with some dried cranberries and toasted, slivered almonds mixed in it) and a sliced, Braeburn apple.
Being warm, but with a wee breeze, I sat out on the deck. First I soaked up some rays while saying a silent prayer of gratitude to every provider of my food, including the sun, rain, earth, cows, cranberry bogs, almond trees, apple trees, and all the people who grow and process the food. Nice. Felt good. Took some deep breaths.
Then I ate the cottage cheese.. mindfully noticing the creamy consistency and slightly salty flavor of it, the crunch and nutty flavor of the almonds and the occasional sweet-tart of a cranberry. After each bite, I put my spoon down and didn't lift it again until I had swallowed the previous bite, cleared my mouth and paused a bit. Amazing!
Desert was my Braeburn. An apple never tasted so delicious! With each bite, I noticed the crunch sound, the flow of juice, the sweet initial taste followed by tangy aftertaste, the way it took more pressure to chew the skin.
Normally I could (and would) consume a meal like that in 5 minutes. Eating it mindfully took 25 minutes.
Yes, part of me resists taking a whole 25 minutes to eat, when I could multi-task AND finish it off in 5 minutes. Yet, on the other hand, the rest of that day went really well. I accomplished a lot and stayed focused. Maybe taking a significant chunk time to eat is a good thing.
Building new habits isn't easy. I'm well-intended. But so far, I have to admit that I'm not quite there yet when it comes to mindful eating.