Sunday, May 09, 2010

Living Mindfully

I just bought two new books from Amazon, one was a recommendation from my therapist (Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food) and one was something I saw on several of the blogs I read (Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life). Both focus on the idea of paying attention when you eat - and, really, throughout your day-to-day existence - as a way to stop binge eating and other compulsions that we use to numb ourselves out. I'm only a few pages into Savor, but I've already run into an awesome quote that made me stop and think (I've added italics for emphasis):
We spend hours worrying about our future, blaming ourselves for what we've eaten or how inactive we've been in the past, and completely missing the present moment - the moment in which we actually have the power to make real change in our lives. (p. 2)
This is so true for me and, I think, for many people on the journey to better health. How many times have I beaten myself up for eating this or that thing, or for not going to the gym (or yoga!)? What does that GET me? Does it get me any further down the road I want to be on? Heck, no.

I also have Geneen Roth's latest, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, which I have wanted to start for about a month now and have found excuses to avoid instead. Geneen Roth has written so many awesome books about using food (inappropriately) to fill a void in our lives, including When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy, The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It: Over the Edge and Back with My Dad, My Cat, and Me (don't even TRY to read without Kleenex!), and Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating - all of which I've read before and have profoundly changed my thinking although I've never been willing to do the work it would take to be able to follow her philosophical tenets.

I know I'll be reading at least the book recommended by my therapist because we're going to read it simultaneously and discuss in my sessions, but I want to read the other two books, too. What keeps me from reading more books? Watching too damn much television, that's what. So, for the next week, I'm not only going to read about living more mindfully and intentionally, I'm actually going to practice it, too: no evening TV for a week. I'll still watch TV in the morning after Al the Pug wakes me at 5:00 am and before I can feed him at 6:00 am, but nothing at night. I have a DVR, so it's not as though anything will be lost, but television is a mind numbing experience just like my binge eating, and I want to stop the mindlessness in my life and embrace the present, so let's see how the experiment goes for a week.

For now, I'm going to finish reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 before I get cleaned up for dinner. I'll report out every day on how things are going and if any of you are game for a little reading group thing, grab the book from the library or your local bookstore or the links above (Amazon).

2 comments:

Cammy said...

I hadn't seen _Feeding the Hungry Heart_. Thanks for the tip!

Olivia said...

Denise- we are so happy to see you enjoying Savor as much as we do. We have begun a Savor Sangha (a group of individuals dedicated to living and eating mindfully) on www.savorthebook.com. We share recipes, meditations, tips and questions. I think you'd enjoy our community. Please come visit us! When you reach the savor website, click on the community tab. It will ask you to create a brief profile (takes a couple min. only) and then you will have access to the 300 members' input in the Savor community.

We look forward to seeing you.

Have a beautiful day!