Paying attention

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  K- Lo 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • I’ve only been following this practice for 3 weeks and I began it mainly because I want to lose weight. Not very much weight loss yet but I’m wiling to go slow. Meanwhile I’m appreciating a side benefit I hadn’t given much thought to. I am learning to notice my feelings of hunger on fast days. I am making a very foused effort to eat the small meals I allow myself slowly with gratitude and attention, savouring every bite. On non-fasting days I am beginning to ask not ‘is it time to eat?’ but ‘am I hungry now?’. And when I’ve eaten I am trying to discover not ‘do I want any more?’ but ‘have I had enough?’ I’m trying to be gentle and friendly and patient with my hunger. I kind of hesitate to use the word but this is turning into a spiritual as well as a physical exercise. I have never been very good at listening to my body, tending to live mainly in my head. So this is valuable benefit for me.
    Anyone else got thoughts on this or similar or different experiences?

    Hi Jennifer

    I am exactly the same! In the past I would have eaten for all sorts of reasons and most of the time I wasn’t even hungry. Now on non fast days Im amazed by how little I really eat. I normally eat three meals a day and that’s it. I am much more aware of what I am putting into my mouth!

    Thanks Yvonne. I’m noticing a bit of a slipping back into patterns of NOT paying attention lately – still sticking to my fast days, but less mindful on the other days. My “mantra” for this year is “begin again” so that’s what I’ll do, take time to be aware and to enjoy what I eat both on fast days and on non fast days.

    Current best practice treatment for various addictions and compulsions seems to be directed to exposure and response prevention. That is, we gently encourage exposure to what makes us uncomfortable, and then see if we can bear with it, rather than reacting in our familiar, conditioned ways – our rituals. This enquiry, each moment, into whether we can simply bear with uncomfortable feelings right now is mindfulness in action.

    I’m thinking this is effectively what we are doing when we fast. We feel the hunger and then see if we can bear with the feeling in this moment without reactively racing for food. So we treat hunger as a friend who visits, rather than as an enemy who must be repelled. And then we may discover that our friend might leave of his/her own accord. And this discovery may fundamentally change our relationship with our new friend, hunger.

    Just wondering how all you mindfulness people have coped over Christmas. I am a Buddhist and vegetarian but the majority of my family and friends celebrate this time of the year.
    Over the last week I ve been cooking huge meals for meat eaters, vegans, lacto intolerant and vegetarian friends and family. I ve managed to not to eat meat but have been unable to resist alcohol and many sweet things.
    I have been given loads of chocolates and cheeses, cannot give them away as they have all been opened by my visitors.
    Weighted myself and have gained 2 kilos Went to the local Temple to meditate last night and
    planning a long walk today.
    Will fast tomorrow and really start back on the programme on Monday after New Year celebrations are completed How are other people managing this period Please update and share your experiences

    Hi Jaybird2
    I have only been doing 5:2 IF for about 2 months. I was extremely mindful of what I ate for the weeks prior to Christmas so I had a bit of ‘wriggle room’ over the festive season. I hosted a family Christmas dinner and have had a houseful of guests for over a week. I haven’t been quite as mindful of what I am eating in one sense – not counting calories as I was previously coz I was way out in portion sizes and consuming way over my TDEE.
    It has taken a while to sort out what my TDEE looks like.
    However, I have been more mindful than I would have been in previous years, if that makes sense. For example I enjoy 1 or 2 chocolates instead of half a box! less wine and much smaller glass, smaller serve of just about everything.
    Hope this helps.
    I am feeling overfull after dinner tonight so will do a 16:8 fast until daughter arrives for dinner tomorrow evening.

    Jaybird2, we have been so trained not to waste food, but it is just as wasteful to put unwanted food into your body as it is to throw it in the trash bin. You can give away open things — to people you know very well. But if that is not an option, throw it away. Get it out of your house if you feel it is too much of a temptation. Throw it in the trash, and pour something noxious over it.

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