A few months ago, I shared my journey of beginning to eat more mindfully. I want to update that journey because I believe in being honest, and sharing the truth about the complexity and imperfection of life.
During January and February 2020, I was focusing only on eating, not watching videos, listening to audiobooks, reading or checking my phone.
Then, I decided to try out the carnivore diet style of eating – aka eating only high-quality animal products – grass-fed beef, lamb, organs, free-range eggs and seafood.
So I gave away all my roasted chickpeas (that was the hardest thing to get rid of), my rice and veggies, and began eating meat. The health effects were excellent. I no longer had bloating after every meal that I got so used to with the delicious roasted chickpeas. My skin cleared.
But even though I was experiencing less craving for junk, I quickly became bored with the texture of the food (there’s only that many ways you can cook meat, eggs and fish) and the umami taste.
So, my meals became less enjoyable than they used to be. So, eating became a chore. Whenever I do chores, I listen to audiobooks. So, I began to listen to audiobooks while eating my meat.
The the Covid-19 lockdown happened.
Bit by bit, my mindful eating decreased. On some days it was completely gone.
Currently, I’m back to mostly listening to audiobooks during my meals. The meat is very filling so it is hard to overeat even when you eat mindlessly.
I sometimes watch a movie and munch on fruit or oat crackers with peanut butter.
However, I no longer need to be eating while watching movies, and sometimes I just watch the movie. I also enjoy doing many more activities without eating. I notice when I want to eat in order to escape from reality, and I am able to redirect my focus more often than not.
I have become more mindful than this time last year. Not perfectly mindful, but a little more. To me, that’s an achievement.
This is a short post. I wanted to share this because I think it would have been wrong to leave an impression of the perfect ‘happily ever after’ of mindful eating. Life is much more complicated than what we read in most blog posts, self-improvement books and advertisements. Life is a series of upward spirals: round and round and up and up, peaks of disciplined productivity, troughs of failure and apathy, valleys of bare minimum maintenance, upward climbs of recovery and recalibration with new lessons learned, back to peaks of productivity, and so on.
I like the spiral analogy because it means that with every turn of the cycle, there are new vistas opening up, and there’s more wisdom from experience. The only thing we have to do is to be flexible and keep going.