Monday, February 9, 2009

Do You Mind? I'm Eating

"Studies show that infants and young children have an intuitive sense of what and how much to eat. Given enough choices and time they will eat in a balanced way, just the right amount of calories, vitamins, and minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This is a skill, an inner listening, that we all were able to do at one time but forgot as we grew older."--Jan Chozen Bays, MD, from her book Mindful Eating

I went out shopping for a pair of work pants yesterday and was surprised to learn that I had not only jumped one size up, but TWO since I last bought pants. It was sobering, to say the least. After all, the women who sit near me at work like to bring in Kit Kats and chocolate cupcakes, and even I've been guilty of whipping up a batch of Toll House cookies to please the ladies and a few of the men. It should have occurred to me that I no longer had the metabolism of a twenty-two year old.

I sit and I type and I talk to authors and editors and I tend to eat lunch at my desk. Part of the reason for this is it's frigid in Boston this time of year, so a walk at lunch would mean facing the wrath of the wind and ice. Or I can stay inside where it's warm and dry, and I can scarf cookies.

I need to start eating mindfully. I tried one time to write down everything I ate in a journal and was surprised by all the bread, chips, and sweet baked goods were on the list. Thing is I was blessed (cursed?) with a thin body for most of my life, but over the past year or so, I'm seeing my hips expand like an accordion. I have a womanly body, as my mother would say. Fine, but do I have to buy all new clothes when I'm still happy with the ones I have?

So next time I reach for that cookie, I'm going to eat it slowly, savor it, lick the chocolate chips and nibble around the center, smelling the rich cocoa and enjoying the smooth texture. And then when that cookie is done, and if I'm still hungry, I'll eat some fruit. I'm not giving in that easily to the mid-thirties spread.

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