Have you ever noticed that changing a habit can become a sparring match! Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying, "The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken." I personally believe that no habit is invincible, but changing one can feel like pulling a weed, only to find out that it is attached to your neighbor's refrigerator!
My previous post, "Mindful Eating," mentioned slowing down meals in order to naturally arrive at satiation. Chewing seemed like a good place to start, so I prepared a splendid breakfast and sat down to eat. My objective was to chew 26 times, hands free of utensils.
I took my first bite and began to chew. I immediately noticed that I was still holding my fork, so I laid it down. I took a second bite and this time my fork was parked. Before arriving at 26 chews, however, I picked up the fork, began reloading, put it back down, and then picked it up again. On the third bite, I ignored my fork, but I began chewing faster in anticipation of my next fork-lift. I even thought of things I needed to do and walked away from my plate several times until my 26 chews were over! I eventually began to focus on the flavor and texture of my meal, but oh what a battle!
ASSEMBLY LINE EATING
I have observed people as they shovel food into their mouths. Their chewing seems obligatory and minimal. They quickly swallow and then reload. Twenty minutes later, they have sometimes eaten the equivalent of 3 or more meals and their appestat is out of a job.
I am not an assembly line eater, but the mechanics of my own meal glared back at me. Plainly, I was uncomfortable not managing my fork between bites and I recognized that I was robbing myself of pleasure.
While shopping, I often see something I want and give myself full permission to come back the next day IF my desire is still strong. I rarely return. So, I recently tried this with 3 small, spicy chicken sandwiches. I ate one and wanted another. I gave myself permission to indulge again in 15 minutes if I was still hungry. In 15 minutes, I was full. My 8th grade son, Brock, picked up where I left off.
As I introduce more whole, fresh, and seasonal foods into my lifestyle, you might say that my chew-chew train is on track.
P.S. My inspiration comes from Darya Pino Rose, author of Foodist.