Eating and moving are interdependent of supporting or sabotaging each other. Excess food eliminates motivation to move, in the best case, and makes moving practically impossible, in the worst. While lively, springy, easily flowing movement, succeeds to overcome even the consequences of over eating. But mainly in Western culture over eating is the dominant trap.
In this program I speak neither about healthy food, nor counting calories: not a word about food combinations’ theories, or how glycemic rate making the fattening insulin hysterical. I don’t teach how over eating certain foods stimulate acid reaction and disrupt PH balance, which trigger the impoverishing of bone minerals, in attempt to reestablish body homeostasis, nor do I get into the argument of pros & cons Genetically Engineering of food, I don't criticize Food Industry regarding their additives, Chemical fertilizers, systemic pesticides or Hormone spray on fruits. I don't present charts of statistics correlating life span with body weight, neither do I discuss food supplements, or organic produce. Especially there isn't ever a word about disciplined diet.
What I do, instead, is dealing with the mechanic behavioral style of actual eating, exploring priorities of pace and intensity in real time meal, which conceal in them the counterproductive habits. It is much easier to change the physical gestures aspect of eating, than to confront the under currents of the blind obsession.
There is a helpful insight in watching wolves as they crowd around their prey. Each wolf is programmed to grab as big piece of meat as possible, to swallow it as quickly as possible, and to continue craving for more. As food being scarce in wild nature, survival wired the wolves to be ready to devour almost ceaselessly.
I tell people: If you choose to eat in the wildlife style of wolves, The biggest piece and its quickest swallowing, then with the easy availability of food in the supermarket you will end up taking in ever more food, and yet, you will always be hungry and crave for more. This lifelong evolutionary biological survival code can defy any attempt to be controlled by the young aged Homo-sapiens' willpower.
If you are interested to get off this vicious cycle you can learn how to change your behavior of handling the food. The leading formulae that I offer is:
Means: your body weight is as high as the quantity of the food you take in, multiplied by the speed with which you eat it, divided by the amount of pleasure you derive from chewing it. The more pleasure you manage to elicit from a given food, the less mass your body will put on. On the other hand: The more food you load on your fork and the quicker you swallow it, the less pleasure you will allow yourself to receive, and the larger your body mass will become.
In effect what you accomplish in the Mindful Eating
program is learning to accumulate as many acknowledgements of pleasure from the actual taste of the food, while it is in your mouth, as well as learning to detect the subtle message your body is indicating to you the signal of "Enough". If this signal had not been respected in your growing up or in your years long maturity, It takes patience to learn to identify it.
This workshop in not about yet another frustrating theory, unable to overcome your organism. It is about transforming your mechanical handling of the food, your adopted habits, which like any other addiction, have a chance to be reprogrammed not by discipline of ever struggling against the powerful primordial drives of your organism, but on the contrary, by mindfully securing pleasure to your sub conscious body, which can only be convinced by actual experience of gratification.
I am trying to tell you in many words, what is difficult to get through words.
It might be better to try a small example of a practical device, if you will,
named: Clean Hands
, as the Italians say: “Mani Pulite”
Unlike its reference to cleansing corruption in Roman politics, in the context of eating this Italian phrase, taken literally, means that you eat with the agreement that you can eat whatever
you want, and however much
you want, but with the sole condition that each time that there is food in your mouth, your hands must be free
of holding on to food. Not a fork, not a piece of bread. Whenever you are chewing, you agree to put down anything from your hands and give yourself the opportunity to truly take in the experience and appreciate the taste of what you chew in your mouth.
You might be amazed to realize how the intention of your hand, while still holding a fork, is triggering the compulsion to take the next bite.
Implying the next bite means being in the future, ribbing you off the satisfaction you could have reaped from immediate pleasure, that can only exist in the here and now. The moment food goes down your throat, the opportunity for pleasure has already been lost.
This process may not be as easy as it sounds. Trying just this one of many devices used in the program, -- interfering with the blind, habitual aspect of chewing -- you can feel how you are directly confronting your habits, attitudes, your personal archive of life-long lessons you have adopted since childhood— all of which are stamped into the physical dynamics of your self-feeding routine.
You may ask how can you go through this frustrating temptation without losing your nerves? The answer is: because you are gaining more pleasure of the pure delight of the food, eventually accumulating the building up of the complete signal of "Enough", when your gut knows and you spontaneously know that you don't want any more. It is impossible to win over pleasure.