Monday, July 26, 2010

I don't wanna' grow up...

For years, I volunteered as a "teacher" for Vacation Bible School at the church I was a member of.  I LOVED volunteering for the 4, 5, and 6 year that is the age (in my opinion) where their personalities really start coming out.

For instance, one time, I asked the class what they were most thankful for.  I prompted them, "What/who do you really love?"

And a little boy promptly raised his hand and said, "PIGS!  I love pigs!"  I asked, "The things you're most thankful for - in all the world - are pigs?"  His emphatic nod followed.

It was one of the cutest things ever.

Anyway, during said VBS classes, we always had a snack time.  Usually it would be raisins, fresh fruit, or their favorite - goldfish crackers.  My assistant and I would pour them into little tiny Dixie cups...usually only half full.

And these kids would SAVOR the heck out of the treat.  They'd pick up the goldfish, laugh at it, remark at the colors (we usually had the packages that contained multi-colored crackers), line them up in some sort of order, and then put one in their mouth to chew slowly.  They'd swallow the ONE goldfish.  Then they'd crack a joke with their nearby neighbor, smile, giggle, and would eventually get around to eating another goldfish.

I'm telling you, the fifteen minutes we had for snack time were never enough.  Few kids had eaten their whole snack when snack time was up.  And to be clear, we're talking about 15 goldfish - at the max - per kid.

This memory hit me yesterday, as I was eating blueberries in our kitchen.  I was having a snack and was eating these without really tasting them, without savoring them.

I decided to take a lesson from these kids...

I sat down.  I put about a half cup of blueberries onto my napkin and picked up each berry to admire it before I popped it in my mouth.  I enjoyed the whole sensation of eating them...the burst of flavor when my teeth pierced through the skin, how some were more tart than others, and how some were a bit mushier than others.

Eating one blueberry at a time sure took longer.  But in the end, I was more satisfied than had I rushed through the entire experience.

I think that's what mindful eating means to me - being aware and appreciative of the food that is in your mouth.  Being thankful for all of the hands that touched the food before it got to your plate...for all of the farmers, irrigation specialists, truckers, and grocers. 

I used to be one of those people who would say that I was fat because I really enjoyed food.  I DO enjoy food.  But I find that I enjoy it more when I slow down and taste all of the flavors in the food.  Complex dishes are more amazing when I taste as many of the individual flavors as I can.  Cheeses are creamier and more luxurious.  Fresh veggies are more enjoyable.  If I really love food, why not show it by reveling in the tastes, textures, and loveliness of it?

This week, you won't get any huge, complex goals out of me - sure I want to continue to lose weight, but I think I'll go back to the basics.

I want to enjoy the food I eat.  I don't want to eat things that taste icky.  I want to take time with my food.  I want to decrease my typical frantic pace of eating and actually TASTE my food. 

Just like a child.


Brandy said...

Thank you for that reminder! I will take time and enjoy food this week!

Katy said...

I'm on board with this mindset this week too!

SherRon, Shoes To Lose said...

I have a very similar story! I was teaching a primary class at my church and we were talking about what makes us happy. We were going around the circle and the kids were answering things like their toys or candy. Then I got to one little boy and asked him what made him happy. His reply, "Life makes me happy." Just as I was thinking I'd really learned a lesson, he followed it up with, "It's my favorite cereal!"

haha! Thank you for the reminder!

Misspudding said...

Very good plan! My 5 year old does this. He counts all of his candy out, or his crackers or pretzels or whatever, and about half of the time, he doesn't eat 'em all. In my head, I'm like, "Seriously?!!!"

Really, I think it's mostly because kids have so much else that's good that's on their minds. They don't have time to focus on the negative. And, thankfully, a lot of them at that age still have wonderful self-images.

Karen@WaistingTime said...

What a great way to remind us to think about what we eat and savor each bite. I used to buy Goldfish a lot; there were many little fishies in one serving:)

Lanie Painie said...

I think you are 100% right! Slow down and enjoy . . . there's no rush!

Becca said...

Now I seriously want some Goldfish crackers....

TinaM said...

Great way top put it, I am going to try and remember that. Eating slower and really paying attention, sounds so easy :)

I don't know if I am just slow, or if it's new- but I love those links at the top. What are happy fun pants?, the person behind the fun pants, ect. Thanks for sharing! Glad to know where happy fun pants came from lol.

Debbie said...

What a cute post. I am going to have to try that with strawberries or even cantaloupe. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Lesia said...

Love the post. Reminded me when I worked in our Church nursery where the 3 year olds would take their gold fish and dip it in the cup of water to watch them swim before the scooped them out and ate them. LOL

Missa said...

Ok.. from now on, I want snack time with you!!!


Ginger said...

hmmm reading this made me hungry. lol

mostly i eat because i know my body needs the food. i am going to try this. and really taste my food. thanks