Before Eating: Think, Pause, Meditate
MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS can begin by just sitting quietly: for a start, just, LISTEN TO YOUR BREATHING for 1 minute, or even 20 seconds. The purpose of this is to help you to calm your reactions passing urges. You &/or I may WANT or have a HUNGER for or desire a taste of a specific food, pursue a TUMMY FEELING OF “FULLNESS”-SATISFACTION. Controlling and overcoming that feeling/thought with PATIENCE is exactly what is needed. Begin to deal with the drive to eat by understanding “this, too, will pass.”
Regarding “this, too, will pass,” IMAGINE yourself standing on a PROMONTORY that JUTS into a river. In that river, here comes a BOAT containing your five favorite foods such as potato chips, French fries, rice, chicken tenders, steak, pizza, ice cream or any dessert, bread, bananas, or even lesser foods of interest: a tuna sandwich, oatmeal, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or a hamburger, etc. You WATCH this boat as it comes around the corner into your view, you see and follow the boat and look at those favorite foods in the boat, and then the boat continues in the river and slowly goes away from you around another bend until you no longer see it. You did not JUMP in the water, have a HEART ATTACK, get cancer, have a stroke, or die. And you did NOT EAT those foods. You can do this with any food/urge to eat: just pause and think about this story. That is the whole idea: how to get control of you (by you).
In the same sense, if you were put in a cage for 14 DAYS and given nothing to eat but WATER and a MULTIVITAMIN pill, at the end of 14 days in that cage, you would be fine. The point is not that you should fast for 14 days, but it is to get you to understand that if you cannot GET what you should eat, then it will almost certainly be safer for you NOT to eat until you can get the CORRECT foods. Not only might you not eat lunch today or food at the meeting, there may be nothing acceptable while DRIVING home, when you get home, or at tomorrow’s BREAKFAST and lunch, and again, AND YOU WILL BE FINE in all reasonable probability (taking into account your use of various medicines/conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure).
I am not suggesting that you do not eat, I’m suggesting you learn/DO this MEDITATIVE experience to understand/learn/know, that you can and will be fine and can have control over your URGES to eat other than what you should eat; ‘shoulds’ are BERRIES, COOKED VEGETABLES, vegetable SOUP, and some beans or the “3 Diets”—until the weight loss is successfully concluded.
People who eat slower and do not eat BETWEEN MEALS, which you can do by thinking about this, are less overweight and have fewer medical conditions. Dinner should be your smallest meal and no snacking after dinner. Now return to the above and re-read this meditatively.
Here is a printable version (pdf) of this handout, Mindful Meditation