Day Eighteen – Distractions
Just the other day, I introduced you to the concept of learning to listen to your body. As part of the discussion I brought up the idea of eating without distractions. Distracted eating is Mindless Eating. Mindless Eating interferes with the enjoyment of food and the eating experience.
Today, we live in an entirely different world than we once did. Electronics are everywhere. Families are busier than ever. More households have two working parents while our children are involved in more and more after school activities. All of these things interfere and distract from being able to really focus and enjoying eating.
The research backs this up as well. Distracted or mindless eating interferes with your ability to listen to your body.
The participants that were distracted while eating were found to be:
- Less full after the meal
- Ate faster
- Snacked more often
- Less likely to remember what they ate.
Wow, do you struggle with any of these?
It’s probably the biggest push back I get from my clients when I ask them to eat without distractions. Often my clients will say things like, “I’ll be bored.” “I don’t have time to take a lunch at work because I have so much to get done” “We have to eat in the car because we have so many activities to get to.”
While I get it, it really comes down to self-care. Taking the 10-15 minutes to give yourself permission to stop, eat and focus on food is self-care. It allows you to check in with your body. Check in with your hunger and fullness. It’s not selfish or a waste it time. It’s essential in listening to your body.
So if you are really going to work on listening to your body you’ll have to turn off or eliminate distractions when you are eating.
Just last week two of my clients came in to tell me how much they enjoyed food when they focused on eating and eliminated their distractions. One women described how delicious the peanut butter and apple tasted. She, also, described how delicious her animal crackers were, so delicious she couldn’t control herself so she gave them away to her co-workers.
My other client described how much she enjoyed the foods she had picked for the week. However, she didn’t want to enjoy them because she would eat too much. Half way through the week she turned the television back on to distract herself.
You see, if you haven’t been listening to your body and you have been distracting yourself for years you may have lost the enjoyment in tasting food. However, in the beginning not everyone has enthusiasm for enjoying food more. You see with both these clients them distracting themselves while eating was a way of avoiding the enjoyment of food.
In both cases the fear of enjoyment led them to avoid enjoying the very food they were not distracting anymore. This brings the fear of “losing control.” Giving away the cookies, was a way of avoiding the fear. Starting to distract herself again with TV was the other clients way of “gaining control” again.
The real reality for some of you is it may be an unconscious decision to distract yourself so you don’t or won’t enjoy food. It usually is brought on by the fear of weight gain or loss of control with your eating.
Sit with that thought for a minute. When I say that, is there anything coming up for you in all of that?
If you have been resisting turning off the distractions or making the time to focus on your eating, what are you fearing?