One of my overall goal for years has been to slow down (I am a lot less anxious than I used to be). When it comes to actual food consumption, I try to be really conscious not to rrr-olf down my food. My husband and I always make an effort to sit down at home to dinner at the table. Some nights the TV is on and others its off but what is most important to me is that the meal is home cooked and we sit across from one another other with our little guy at the head of the table when he can because a lot of times he does need to eat earlier than us. I am an Emotional Eater. I have been my whole life. Eating slower, being more conscious of my hunger pangs, figuring out what I am exactly hungry for is something I have been increasing my self awareness over for years. It truly is a work in progress but I feel on the upside of it more recently...by recently I mean since I started this intense introspection of the 72 Ideas in 72 Days Project.
Eating slowing is not just about chewing slowly. It is about slowing down to think about food. This is something I have been working on for the past few years. I try hard to support local agriculture and have been trying to increase my shopping local more and more over the years. When I eat out I will only go to local restaurants and more recently trying to eat at restaurants that support local farmers. I will not eat at chain restaurants and I rarely do fast food. Although I get a monthly craving for Mickie D's and I do go to Dunkin Donuts but since I live in Massachusetts and its a Mass company, I am technically going local. Although I may stop that altogether now that Keurig replaced my broken Keurig.
Drive slowly. Most people rush through traffic, honking and getting angry and frustrated and stressed out. And endangering themselves and others in the meantime. Driving slower is not only safer, but it is better on your fuel bill, and can be incredibly peaceful. Give it a try.
My mother is one of the most angry drivers I have ever been in the car with. She brings road rage to a new level. It scares me. When it comes to driving, it takes a lot for me to get pissed at another driver on the road and when I do I can quickly turn my thoughts around to something more calming and soothing. When I think about anger, or any emotional state really, I equate it to energy. I do not like using my energy on useless anger. It takes a lot out of a person's body to experience anger. I want to use that anger on something more productive.
A couple of weeks ago, I was out with my son who threw a massive fit at a local farm. This was one of those times when I was trying to do all of my food shopping local and I had to leave because he was not being very cooperative. I was so angry! I worked really hard not to direct my anger at my son but what was so irritating to me was that I had to leave. I was having an internal temper tantrum. I wanted to do my shopping at this farm. I wanted to look around. It was not fair. It was my turn to do something for me especially since I spent about 3 dollars in quarters on animal feed so that he could feed the animals. Rage was literally pulsing through my body. I didn't like how it felt especially since I was driving my car with my son screaming his head off in the back seat. A calm state was optimal at this point.
All of a sudden I encountered some roadwork vehicles in front of me. I think they were putting down cones or painting lines but the vehicle right in front of me had this massive LED sign attached to it and in giant flashing orange lights repeatedly blinked:
S L O W
The synchronicity of the moment was not lost on me. The rage slowly melted out of my body and my son was able to calm down too. I pulled over and turned to him. No need to re-hash, chastise or blame him for what just happened. I looked at him and asked if he was hungry as I was. I gave him a choice between going for hot dogs or pancakes. He chose the latter and we had a lovely lunch at a local pancake house. He was in a pleasant mood. He stayed in his seat. We laughed, played with stickers, colored pictures and enjoyed local blueberries and maple syrup with our pancakes and french toast.
Slowing down is about gaining perspective and when you are overwhelmed by hunger, anger, depression, anxiety or the hangries (hungry and angry simultaneously), its difficult to find the presence of mind to slow down your brain and body. Like I said its a work in progress. I shared one of my more successful moments with you. I hope I didn't make it sound easy because its not. It takes practice and even when you have had a lot of practice it still doesn't always go so smoothly but you don't give up trying.