Friday, August 1, 2008

No graze days of summer - What I'm not doing

July has passed and just when you thought it couldn't get any hotter or muggier, in sweeps August like a breath of fresh... burning... hot... lava. H O T  is an understatement around here. But it's still summer and the No Graze Days of Summer continues for one more month. Actually, it'll be summer here well into October, but I won't torture you into continuing the challenge past August. I promise. 

There's something I've been thinking a lot about since the last post/check-in - something I mentioned in the comments section back then. Although it seems like we are focusing on food here, for me this challenge isn't really about food. Let me explain by telling you what I'm NOT doing...

I'm NOT - 
  1. keeping a food log/journal to track what and when I eat
  2. weighing myself
  3. avoiding a snack or limiting myself to 3 meals a day
  4. restricting my intake of any particular food
  5. counting calories
I'm not doing ANY of those things that we normally do when we diet, try to get in shape, or simply try to eat healthier. No, I guess this isn't about food at all. In fact, I think food just happens to be the symptom here - the release that so many of us go to when we are stressed, need a friend, are rushed, or just plain bored. 

I'm not talking about snacking when I say "grazing." Snacking, I'm cool with. But "grazing" to me implies a lack of focus, a lack of awareness. It's shoveling grub into our faces without thought and without enjoyment. What I'm really looking for in all this is health in both my body and mind - to acknowledge that I have a tendency to graze, to understand what prompts those sessions, and to take steps to modify that habit into something a little healthier. 

You see, as I've mentioned before, I've spend most of my life as a Type-A personality and I'm working really hard at becoming more relaxed, enjoying each moment of life. And so that last thing I want is to start writing down everything I eat or start weighing myself which only serves to control or micro-manage my every culinary decision. Nope. What I want is to be healthy; to truly enjoy each taste and each smell of the wonderful food that I spend so much time selecting and preparing. 

So I suppose my efforts to curb my grazing-ways is just another step along my path to becoming more mindful overall. Granted, this one is a BIG step, but let me just say, that I'm delighted and encouraged that so many of you have joined me for the ride. I hope it's helping you as much as it is helping me.

Our last check-in was just over a week ago and I'm proud to report - NO GRAZING despite the fact that my stress level has gone up with trying to prep my work load for someone else. I have to admit, knowing that I'm leaving my job in two weeks time definitely helps in dealing with the current stress - that light at the end of the tunnel scenario, I suppose.  

Now, I know many of you are struggling with this challenge. Are there things you've learned about yourself this month? Even if you are grazing, has your awareness/mindfulness increased? Other thoughts?


Burbanmom said...

For whatever reason, I FINALLY am in the zone this week. I am mindfully eating a healthy snack in the morning and afternoon. I am mindfully keeping my face out of the fridge in between. I am mindfully eating dessert after dinner, rather than grab some chocolate chips as I walk through the kitchen.

Thanks for the great challenge!

Tammi said...

I'm having a great mindful eating week! Since I switched to vegetarianism last week, I've been hyper vigilant about my food. The extra awareness of what is IN my food has transfered to awareness of not "over snacking".

Between breastfeeding and mindful eating, I am loosing weight! I feel just wonderful and healthy. Now if I only had the time and energy to exercise...

Green Resolutions said...

First, I had to laugh when I read this: "I'm working really hard at becoming more relaxed, enjoying each moment of life." Just struck me as funny :)

Second, I have never been much of a grazer. When I am stressed, busy or upset, I tend to forget to eat.

But this idea of mindful eating is something I should consider too. I should be conscious of eating healthier and at the same time every day... Thanks for the explanation of the "mindful" focus.

Joan said...

I was saying today the only good thing I can think of about this summer heat is how quickly my clothes are getting dried.

Heather @ SGF said...

burbanmom - That's wonderful! Don't you feel amazing? What kind of dessert? I like dessert :)

tammi - Good for you! Wow! This is a big week for everyone! So what made you go veggie? The exercise will come. The key for me is that I have to do what I call "functional exercise." I can't just exercise for the sake of exercise. I have to be walking to the store, biking to the post office, etc. Do you have any places closeby where you normally run your errands? If not, maybe take your little one on a short walk after breakfast and dinner. Show her off to the neighbors. Again, great job and keep up the good work!

Green Resolutions - unfortunately, that's the case for me. It's actually hard for me to relax with a million things going on in my brain (the dishes can't sit in the sink, can they? And what about all those things I need to do for work?....) Thankfully, I'm getting better at it. And you're right. Although you might not overeat due to stress, give mindfulness a shot. You might find you enjoy your meals in a more fulfilling way. Let me know how it goes :)

Joan - I have a feeling even that would be rough for us with all this humidity we have, but I prefer the heat over the cold. I'm just not a winter kind of girl. Brrrr.

Beany said... too. Something clicked in the last week and I've been more mindful. I even meditated (mind was like a raging river...but never mind that). And negative reaction I've had, I focused on it and how it made me feel. I'm going to continue this challenge because its very useful.

And while I am not quite a type A person, I find it very hard to relax. The other day I ran into a friend and I was so eager to cut the conversation and run off, when I realized I had no where to be. So I stayed and enjoyed the conversation.

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - Good for you for recognizing that you were rushing time with a friend and stopped to enjoy the time together - - not to mention getting in a mindfulness groove! Do you do anything in particular when you meditate? Guided vs. not guided? Sitting up vs. laying down?

Melissa said...

I like those distinctions you make about dieting versus being mindful. it makes it seem a lot less like deprivation to think of it in those terms!

Heather @ SGF said...

Melissa - I'm definitely trying to keep in mind that this is about doing something for myself, not taking anything away.