Warning: I hope you are not reading this on your phone sitting on a toilet or on your laptop while you eat. If you are, please either put the fork down and finish reading or come back to the article later. It is crucial to your well-being. You’ve been warned!
The obsession with multitasking is a silly thing. We suck at multitasking and are not meant to do it. Maybe when you had resume writing classes your instructor told you that multitasking was a good skill to have. But what he forgot to mention is that multitasking reduces the quality of whatever you are doing, it makes everything take longer, stresses out your nervous system, and as a result is very unproductive. It takes time for our brain to switch from one task to another.
Eating mindfully is a task that requires your whole attention. If you ever hope to stop relying on the external guidelines about what and how much to it, you need to start listening to your body.
Elimination needs some mindfulness and presence, too. Unfortunately, I’ve worked with a lot of women who become so disconnected from their body and its urges that overtime the body stops sending signals. It results in not feeling when it is time to poop or eat.
Here is why I think eating and pooping should be your sacred time:
- Quality ME time – you make time to spend with your partner, your pet, your kids (I hope, you do). How often do you make time to spend with yourself? 1-1 time is crucial if you want a thriving mutually-understanding relationship with yourself. Mind-body relationship can either be ‘use and abuse’ type or ‘use and nourish’. We all have to use our body but not many understand a direct correlation between how well they take care of the body and how much use they will get out of it. If it makes more sense, think of it as a car. A well-taken care of car looks better, feels better, drives nicer, and breaks down less often. You body is the same, to a certain extent. During your 1-1 time with your body, you can create a dialogue, listen to its input, needs, and complaints. If you take time to ask yourself if the food tastes good, if makes you feel good, what is necessary to feel better, your body will give you hints. If you never ask your life-long partner what he needs and what he likes, you will end up living with a stranger your whole life!
- Direct effect on how you feel – Whether you take time to be fully present/mindful when you eat will determine how satisfied you feel with a meal, whether you recognize a sign of fullness or eat past it until your stomach feels like a balloon, whether food gives you energy or you end up tired and sleepy. Being mindful with elimination will determine whether you are a regular and recognize your body’s language for when it’s the right time to go, it will determine how clean and light or stuffed and heavy you feel.
- What you weigh – people who eat mindlessly while doing other things are less like to lose weight because they are more likely to miss their body’s signal for fullness. Mindful eaters often know what and when they would like to eat to feel good. This knowledge comes to them from within, not just books or online resources. This internal knowledge is priceless. If you don’t eliminate fully and regularly your stomach might never look as flat as you would like it.
Here Simple Ways To Be More Present
- Take a breath or 10 before you eat or just throughout the day. Do it as a way to feel your entire body.
- Mentally check in with your body and register how you feel. The more often you do it, the more intune with your body you will feel.
- Ask your body questions. What would you like to eat, body? What can I do to make you feel better?
- Schedule in eating and morning pooping time. Our body thrives in a routine. It likes to wake up at the same time, poop at the same time and eat around the same time. Instead of rushing in the morning, wake up 5 minutes early and start teaching your body to evacuate before breakfast. It feel amazing to start your day feeling light and clean.
- Ban phone and computer in the bathroom or when you eat. Just do it. The world won’t end. Facebook and emails will wait.
- Commit to creating a better relationship with your body and prioritize ME time.
Your turn: Where in your day can you commit to spending more quality time with your body and listening to what it needs?