Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beck Book - Day 5

Eat Slowly and Mindfully

I don’t know why it is, but I am really resistant to eating slowly. Every time I hear that my brain shuts down and says, “Yada, yada yada, whatever.” In sitting back and thinking about why that is I have come to a couple of conclusions. The first is growing up in a big family. As the 6th of 7 kids, you ate fast or you didn’t eat. I had two older brothers that loved to eat. If they got the dishes first, you could be in trouble. And they had better not want seconds before you did or you were out of luck. I think I learned to eat fast as self preservation. Changing those learned behaviors is difficult, but not impossible. Secondly, I am always thinking about what I need to do next. It is no different when I eat. I am either doing something or thinking about doing something. So eating quickly gets me on to the next task I want to accomplish.

The third conclusion I came to makes no sense in a logical way. However, it makes great sense to my deluded thinking. Here goes: Eating too much is BAD; therefore, eating is BAD. When I eat really fast I am BAD for a shorter amount of time before I can be good again. Whew! Even writing that down is weird. This kind of thinking is what sent me into clinical depression nearly 15 years ago. These thinking patterns are formed for illogical and emotional purposes and follow us into every aspect of our lives. Hopefully, by recognizing the flaw in the reasoning, I can change my thinking.

I just sit here looking at what I have written and it strikes me how many areas of my life have been affected by past experiences. Even how I eat is affected by a situation that had nothing to do with food, but changed my psyche to believe that I was bad and needed to do everything I could to be good. How sad to live my life like that. How sad to waste years believing that. It is time to change my attitude about eating. Eating is a good and healthy thing. If I eat too much, I am not bad. My next meal is in 30 minutes. I will sit down with no distractions and eat slowly and mindfully. With each bite, I will remind myself that eating is good and healthy. I will give myself credit for each bite I think enjoy. I will do this every meal until it becomes second nature and I do not have to consciously think about it anymore.

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