Don't you love this pic Jenn took of me eating dinner last year? I dug it out since this post is all about chewing.
Jenn, my husband Erik and I are working our way through ProCoach, the new Nutrition Coaching program we are offering at Goodwellness.
The program is powered by Precision Nutrition and is based on making one healthy habit at a time. You practice each habit for two weeks, and then move on to the next habit.
Sounds easy, right?
Now, I'm a pretty healthy, fit person. I already HAVE healthy habits! I meal prep. I prioritize exercise and self care. I have good coping strategies in place for when life doesn't go 100% to plan.
Or so I thought.
I was all convinced that I wouldn't have much of a struggle. But then, two weeks into the program, this habit hit:
Not that I don't know the health benefits of eating slowly. I know that the body does not signal fullness until you've been eating for 20 minutes, and that eating slowly helps you to feel satisfied with much less food. I know that chewing your food slowly and completely helps to improve digestion and ultimately the absorption of nutrients. I even suggest eating slowly to my clients who list weight loss as one of their goals.
But my secret shame is that I didn't do it myself.
Nope. I was actually scarfing down each meal as if it were my last. I was shoveling in my next bite before the previous one was even chewed and swallowed.
But you know, now I had a goal. And really, eat slowly? How hard could it be?
So on day 1 I downloaded the Waitplate app on my phone, opened it, and sat down for my first slow meal of chicken and asparagus.
OMG it was hard! The Waitplate app has a flashing green light that you are supposed to chew along to. One chew per second is recommended. It seemed like it took me forever to finish one bite.
Then, after four bites or so, the light turns red and the app prompts you to put down your utensils, reflect on your meal, and breathe for about 30 seconds. I put down my fork and tried think about the meal.
That's when the anxiety kicked in. I longed for a distraction.
"This is crazy!" I thought, "It shouldn't be this hard!"
That was the moment that I realized the power of habits. Good and bad, we are a product of the habits we've created over time. That's why change is so freaking hard. We power through the changes we think we need to make without developing good habits to reinforce them. Then, when life gets in the way which it inevitably will, we revert back to our old comfortable ways and we are left the same as, or in some cases worse off than we were before.
I was glad that I had two weeks to practice eating slowly. It was painfully obvious that my scarfing habit, which I had probably been indulging in for over 40 years, was not going to go away in a couple days.
But I'm determined to change this habit, and I have Jenn and Erik doing the program with me so I have some support and encouragement. It hasn't been easy for them either! We've been sharing our experiences and giving each other suggestions.
Support is so important. That's why I love our Coaching Groups.
If a habit based program with lots of support sounds like something you would be interested in to encourage long term changes in your health and your life, we have a new Find Your Wellness Coaching Group beginning at Goodwellness on July 11th.
It is a 12 week program and you will get:
-Access to the Procoach Nutrition Coaching program
-3 Workout Classes per week designed with the right amount of intensity for a balanced metabolism
-Activity Guidelines to promote a balanced metabolism
-Support, encouragement, and assessment in person as well as by text and email
$297 for the three months
There are only 4 spaces left, so don't wait!
Yours in health and slow eating,
Check back tomorrow for Jenn's take on our slow eating challenge!