We wrapped up our first eight weeks at A Greater You. Megan and I woke up early — really early — for eight weeks. I will say, there has been a lot of sweat left behind at this gym. We’ve connected on the changes we’re seeing and have recognized how change can mean different things. More on that later.
Before we start our last four weeks of conditioning, we are taking time to focus our minds and really learn how to connect the mind and body, specifically with mindful eating. Two of our teammates we work out with, Kelly Trowbridge and Stephanie Andrews, are the founders of MindAble, Mindfulness Education & Instruction. These ladies use Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which is a research-based way to improve attention, recognize reacting, and build responding abilities. For one week, we were introduced to tools and ways to adapt and respond to certain situations. In this setting, we focused on our goals to gain a healthier lifestyle through nutrition and activity.
Oftentimes our focus is lost, and we learned that this is not only natural, but it is what our environment has us trained to do. We lose focus, which can cause good habits to turn bad. But MBSR enhances attention and supports present moment focus.
Over the course of the week, we continued to fill our tool box up with tools for everyday stress situations. Most common among our group was eating. Our stress came from our environment forming bad habits to shovel food, eat fast, and be careless with our choices. One of the tools we were handed was learning just HOW to slow down. I know, as moms, this sounds funny. Slow down, you say? But really, how often do you really taste your food? I won’t even ask when your last warm meal was because let’s face it, we’ll never get anything better than room temperature during these younger years. But, really think about it, could you describe every taste you’re experiencing when chewing your food? Half the time I don’t even remember what I ate 10 minutes ago. We are always on fast forward, always focused on the next meal, activity, car pool or market list. We are not tuned into the present. MBSR educates on how we truly can control that switch that keeps us in tune, in the present, and really experiencing our current situation.
I want to challenge you to do what I worked on for the week. This MindAble approach really had me realizing something. During breakfast and dinner, I am less mindful of my meal time with my kids than I am at dinner. Most of the time, my plate is on the counter, and I am back and forth to it while I’m doing other things like emptying the dishwasher, packing the kids’ backpacks, putting away whatever I took out to make their meal, etc. I’m not actually sitting down and TASTING my food. I took one week to focus on mindful eating during the breakfast and lunch hour, and I challenge you to do the same. Eat slowly. Taste your food, think about your food. Ask yourself what flavors you’re experiencing. Trainer Jason told me he took it one step further, he really slowed down and thought about the process of how the food got from farm to table. The hard work of our farmers, the long hours of the farming process. Put down the electronics, keep the TV off, and just… eat.
Do you usually eat your meals room temperature as you hustle around getting your kids taken care of? My meals are often cold and soggy. So sit with your kids, let the kitchen chores wait. —Jennifer