For most of us, contemporary life involves moving fast, multitasking, and streamlining duties so we can do more, have more, be more, and pack more of everything into each day. For decades, this way of being human has been touted as progress. Not wanting to be left behind, we sync up with daily planners and task hackers, and find ourselves moving faster and faster. We tell each other that this fast, busy, stressful way of life is “just the way it is.”
The good news? You do not have to accept this notion.
Here’s the other side of the coin–A chronically fast-paced lifestyle does not represent “progress,” is not normal, and does not support health of the human body and soul. If you want to lose weight and achieve better physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health that enables you to suck the marrow out of life, you must go against the flow and slow down.
You might be asking, “What does it look like to slow my daily life down?” and “Where do I start?”
Well, you must eat every day or bad things will happen. So why not start with your food? Why not practice peaceful eating?
Peaceful eating involves slowing down and making a conscious effort to notice the colors, textures, flavors, and aromas of your food. It involves taking time between bites and chewing your food thoroughly. It often involves pleasant conversation. And, it involves slow, deep breathing practice throughout your meal.
One of my clients, Marie, was a chronic fast and unconscious eater. Even when she learned about the positive effects of slow, peaceful eating, her lifelong habits continually overrode her knowledge. She spent most of her adult life 50-70 pounds overweight. It wasn’t until she turned 80 that she opened her mind to other possibilities and chose to take the steps necessary to turn things around with her weight and general health.
One of the first things she did was to learn to take her time while eating. As gentle reminders, she posted messages around the kitchen encouraging her to slow down. Additionally, she left notes around the house and in her car prompting her to breathe slow and deep. She was focused and determined. The reminders were just enough to jumpstart the process. With enthusiasm and focused determination, she embarked on a major lifestyle change. Over a 26-month period, she achieved a 60-pound weight loss, better health, and a level of mobility not experienced in 25 years! It all started with a peaceful eating practice.
In his book THE SLOW DOWN DIET, Marc David writes, “The way we do food is the way we do life. Slowing down with meals, then, is symbolic of relaxing into our body, our career, our fears and desires, and anything life presents. It’s about granting ourselves the right to share in the simplicity of joyous moments on Earth. It’s about reclaiming our time, our dignity, and the sanctity of self-care.”
Start today to take better care of yourself, support weight loss, and improve your health. Take time to savor your food. Breathe deep and slow. Support your body to digest food slowly and thoroughly. Or, put another way, slow down and practice peaceful eating.