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 olds...as that is the age (in my opinion) where their personalities really start coming out.
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.
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.