Read what has happened in other people's lives as they made healthy lifestyle changes. These are stories about feeling better and improving self-esteem. These are stories about making your LIFE better, not just changing your measurements.
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Cooking Again | M&Ms | Slow Down and Enjoy the Taste
Cooking Again [TOP]
I have been eating out for lunch and dinner for years. After browsing Kelly's website and reading her affirming, encouraging words, something inside shifted. She had written about savoring each mouthful. Somehow restaurant food--with it's excessive use of poor quality oils and it's lack of attention to fresh and varied produce, combined with the fact that it isn't prepared with love--sent me back to the kitchen. I am now enjoying my own cooking again, with the freedom of choosing exactly what I want, preparing it the way I want it, and SAVORING the 'juju' I give to my food.
It's not your Grandma's Weight Watchers
with yo-yo dieting and weight re-gain.
Lauren was not overweight (This is not her real name. I always change
the names to preserve confidentiality.) She was an average size woman.
We were working together in counseling to reduce her depression, increase
her self-esteem, and improve her family relationships. She had trouble
sleeping, felt lethargic
especially at home in the evenings, she
was quick to anger, and she seemed to get sick all the time.
Of course we worked on many different aspects of her feelings, choices, reactions, motivations, etc. After a while, one issue surfaced that seemed as if it could have an effect on many of the other issues at hand. Solving this one issue provided profound and immediate results. When we solved this one issue, Lauren slept better, had more energy in the evening, felt better about herself, and had more patience with her family in the evening. That is the story I want to tell you now. You may find it interesting. You may find yourself in the story. You may find new hope for coping with an old problem.
Lauren's days were very stressful. She was rushed in the morning. Getting herself and everyone else in the family out the door on time was a real challenge. There certainly was no time to sit down and have breakfast. Coffee to go, with cream and sugar, was all she needed to stave off hunger pangs. She drank lots of coffee all day long. At lunch, with everyone at work watching, she found it easy to eat a small reasonable lunch. She knew nobody approves of a glutton, so she ate a light lunch with all the other women at work. Then, she was back to coffee in the afternoon. She was busy from the moment her work day started, until it ended and she was scheduled to head home and cook dinner for the family. By the time Lauren sat down in her car at 5:00 p.m. she was frazzled, starving, and exhausted.
She remembered ten years ago when it began. On the way home from work one day, she decided to stop at the convenience store to get a snack for the kids. She was REALLY hungry, but she was going home to eat right away. There was no need to buy real food now. The kids, however, would enjoy a snack with TV tonight. She went in and bought a family size bag of M&Ms
for the kids.
As she was driving home, she decided to have a few M&Ms. She set the bag in her lap, opened it, and popped a handful in her mouth. Her drive home was forty-five minutes long. As she pulled into her neighborhood, she was astonished to realize the family size bag of candy was empty. How did that happen? Oh, well, never mind. It will never happen again. But it did happen again. It happened every night for the last ten years. No matter how much will power Lauren mustered, no matter how much she hated herself for it, she kept doing it. She kept buying and eating a family size bag of candy after work every day. After talking to many nutritionists, hypnotists, diet counselors, and such, she could not seem to stop eating M&Ms. That is all she wanted, to stop this behavior. She wanted me to help her stop eating M&Ms. My suggestion appalled her. However, after ten years of feeling like a failure, she was willing to try anything. What was my suggestion?
Do not try to stop. If trying to stop has not worked for ten years, why should I recommend that you try the same ineffective solution again? This time, try something different to cope with your irresistible cravings for M&Ms. Taste them. Don't just shovel them into your mouth mindlessly because you don't want to notice what you are doing. Eat them one at a time, slowly. Let each one melt. Don't chew. When the candy is in your mouth, close your lips and exhale through your nose. (This drives the chocolate molecules to a sensory organ in the nose and increases sensation.) Notice how delicious the candy tastes. Now, this is the important part, when the next bite does not taste as delicious as the last bite, ask yourself a question: "Why eat it?" You may find that you simply do not need to eat anymore of that particular flavor or food because it is not as delicious anymore.
I got a hysterical phone call the next night. At first I could not even tell who it was. The woman on the line just kept yelling "Ten, ten, I only ate ten." Then I realized it was Lauren. She had tried the experience of savoring her M&Ms and really tasting them. On the eighth piece she tasted less flavor, but she could not believe it. On the ninth, it was really true. On the tenth M&M she was done. She was satisfied and she felt no more compulsion to eat more than ten. At the next stoplight she folded the bag and put it in her glove compartment. For the last several years she has been eating about ten M&Ms each night after work. (Oh, I must tell you that everything did not really turn out as story book nice as I have described so far. Lauren tried this exercise of savoring her M&Ms for the first time in March. She stored the bag of candy in her glove compartment. That is, until the first sunny warm day of spring when the candy melted and she discovered how unpleasant chocolate covered papers and glasses really are. Now she keeps her M&Ms in her briefcase.)
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Slow Down and Enjoy the Taste [TOP]
On Friday I spent 3 hours on your site. I read the article about savoring the taste of food. You are right sometimes we just gobble our food and don't really think about enjoying it. We sometimes crave for something that we had as a child and I have found quite often that it does not taste the same nor does it satisfy. As children we are taught to clean up our plate and made to feel guilty about wasting food. I have been trying to slow down and enjoy the taste of every morsel of food. Right now my body feels great!