Tag Archives: eating

The Perfection Perception

29 Mar

I have always described myself as a perfectionist.  A textbook Virgo, I have always aspired to be the perfect sister, daughter, friend, performer, student, and employee. I have a great number of vivid memories of when my quest for perfection and subsequent failure left me feeling quite disappointed.

Cut to a scene in my childhood, when I was in Kindergarten. I was drawing a picture…

…when suddenly, I had the urge to go potty.

NO, I MUSN’T GO, I thought. My picture is not perfectly polished! My crayons are not properly put away!

You bet I finished that picture AND I put the crayons away just so. I also ended up with wet pants, embarrassment, and a trip to the nurse’s office to find some dry (and ill-fitting) clothes for me to wear.

It was not until I was an adult, after earning a Master’s Degree in one year, and realizing that I was quite miserable, that I decided to reassess my idea of “perfection”. Why was it so important to me anyway? 

I finally realized that no one on this entire planet is perfect. Of course, I had heard that saying over and over again as a kid, but I guess I always thought that there were exceptions to the rule anyway. There were always those people that I perceived to be perfect at mostly everything; those who had the perfect house, the perfect kids, the perfect job, or the perfect life in general. Now I know that that was just a PERCEPTION and not a reality. There is a distinct difference. 

The minute I gave myself permission to stop striving for perfection was the minute that I began accepting myself.  I also began forgiving myself for the mistakes I had made and seeing those mistakes as learning experiences. I truly believe that we need to learn from all of our experiences, both  good and bad. We need to forgive ourselves, learn from those experiences, and carry on.

As I listen and talk to people who are struggling with losing weight, I can’t help but get the vibe that a lot of people are striving for perfection in their weight loss efforts. A lot of people adopt an all-or-nothing attitude. For example, many people are dead-set on sticking to their meal plan exactly, sticking to a regimented exercise schedule, and are not allowing for any flexibility. If they slip-up, I see many people giving up or calling themselves failures. They think, “Why bother? I will just fail at everything I try anyway.” 

My advice to myself and to everyone else is to be kind to yourself. If you overslept and missed your workout today, maybe you needed that sleep. Try to take a short walk instead. If you accidentally eat a piece of cake, don’t give up! Figure out how to set yourself up for success for the next time you’re in a tempting situation. 

Life is not black and white and neither is losing weight and getting healthy. Forget about following a certain plan perfectly and focus on adopting healthier habits into your life! Over time, you will reach your goals. If you believe that you can and treat yourself with kindness, you can achieve success!

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Eating with our Ears

4 Mar

Yup, you heard me right.

Eating with our ears. Hear me out on this one.

The scenario:

We’ve all been there.

You get home from work after an hour in traffic and you’re starving. Straight to the fridge you march and POOF!, two cheese sticks, a turkey leg, AND half a pint of ice cream magically disappear into the abyss of your grumbling stomach. All before you’ve even had a chance to sit down!

We all need to train ourselves to eat more mindfully and let ourselves completely enjoy what we’re putting into our bodies (and mouths!).  Actually tasting your food, taking small bites, drinking water in between, and giving your brain the time to process the “I’M FULL” signals are ways to do so.

However, a lot of eating mindfully and with enjoyment is all about setting up our environment for success! Did you know that you can use music to contribute to that success?

Anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes knows what a pivotal role music plays in my life. It’s in my work, it’s in my play; it’s in every bone in my body. I am the first one to organize who’s bringing music to the dinner party or kickball game. I believe that it is essential to set the mood with music in any given situation. If you’ve ruled out meal times for a time to listen to your new Spotify or Itunes playlist, think again.

This article that I stumbled upon explains research in a fine dining atmosphere. What they found is that to the subjects, ” food tasted nicest when served with quiet classical music and a hint of background ‘chatter’.”  While this was just one experiment performed in a fine restaurant, it still gives us cues for how to create this situation at home. Take a look:

http://realdoctorstu.com/2011/04/01/eating-through-your-ears-listening-to-music-makes-food-taste-better/

Next time you sit down to dinner, play some relaxing music to get you in the mood. Making a “dinner playlist” or using internet radio sites like Pandora are easy ways to simplify doing so. Whether it is Sinatra who gives you the warm-and-fuzzies or it’s Jay-Z that melts your butter, throw on those tunes and start eating with more enjoyment.

Do you eat with your ears? What are some musical selections that help you enjoy your meals and eat more mindfully?

Until next time,

Meg

Watch this video…

1 Mar

…and try to tell me that this 11-year-old boy does not have more insight about the food system in our country than a majority of adult Americans.

“Some people say that organic or local food is more expensive, but is it really?…It seems to me that we can either pay the farmer or we can pay the hospital.”

Not only is Birke Baehr smart, but he is a charming, confident,animated, and convincing public-speaker as well. The young man gives us a concise look at the abysmal state of our food system in the United States. He always tells us how to make better choices.