Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

    ITSMATT   13,972
10,000-14,999 SparkPoints


Monday, February 25, 2013

"Mindfulness" is, by my definition, "being in a position of actively looking at what is happening right now."

That's the Matt definition.
I keep things simple.
You might have your own definition.
That's OK.

"Mindlessness" is, by my definition, "doing without thinking" or "relying on habit, repetition and automatic reactions".

Mindlessness is, by my account, a leading cause for failing to lose weight and maintain that loss.

Mindless behavior is the sort of stuff I did when I was sitting in my La-Z-Boy with the "family size" bag of Cheetos, munching away while I watched Biggest Loser.

And sad.

Active eating is KEY.
Distracted eating is a KILLER.

How many times have I eaten 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 large slices of pizza while sitting in a "working lunch"?

More than I care to admit.

And, let's be clear here... two slices was an outlier.
Because I ALWAYS started with two slices.

And then I'd have a third.
And if it was still available, a fourth.

Rinse and repeat.

Easy math time.

Let's say 350 calories is the magic number for one slice of pizza.

Last Friday was a quarterly "working lunch" day with my team.
Five folks sitting around a table.
Reviewing topics and assigning priorities.
Talking about near-, mid- and long-term assignments.
And eating pizza.

I KNEW we'd be having this meeting and did my homework.
Particularly about the pizza.

I had one slice.

350 calories.

Plus some carrot sticks later.

I didn't need TWO slices.
700 calories is more than 1/3 of my target calories for the day.

And it is SO EASY to eat multiple pieces of pizza.

Especially when someone else is paying.

Especially when there is plenty of it.

Especially when I am preoccupied with an ongoing discussion.

I've definitely consumed 2100 calories of pizza during these meetings in the past.

Insane, isn't it?

2100 calories.
One meal.

Mindlessness at its worst.

Unless and until POSITIVE behaviors are the DEFAULT, mindlessness related to eating will start to undo the progress.

I personally am dealing with AT LEAST 25 years of bad habits.
It's more like 40 years, truth be told.
But 25 years of my adult life has been spent reinforcing the bad habits.

25 years of on-again, off-again bouts of overeating.

Mindless consumption of pizza.
Ice cream.
Breakfast sandwiches.

I can keep on listing foods but you get the point.

ACTIVE eating is the answer.

Until you've replaced your bad habits with good ones it is the ONLY answer.

Make it a great day!

[Thanks to carterse, gleepythehen, pinprick and Seattle Municipal Archives for the use of the images in this post, under Creative Commons license.]

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CTMOM2KIDS 3/5/2013 7:49PM

    So very true. Active participation in everything we eat and carefully planning our days is the key to losing the weight.

Keep up the great work, Matt!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAMSEDGE 3/2/2013 8:26PM

    I have found that habit has played into what/how I eat over the years...and the scenario is different...and now...I fix and eat half what I always considered the "normal" amount ...and lo and behold, I find that I am satisfied and don't need the other amount...and a piece of fruit can suffice to quiet a sweet craving.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKLISE 2/28/2013 1:01PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MINEA999 2/26/2013 6:13PM

    Exactly. You nailed it. Great post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KARENCRANER 2/26/2013 1:01PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LAHUDSONCHEF 2/26/2013 11:55AM

    I totally agree with this, and it's not just about food...if you're mindless in one area, you probably are in other areas. Me and time management...I don't manage it. :( I totally get it, though, with the food - if I don't plan through the day, I just eat what comes in front of me. I cannot sit at the computer with a bag of something. I have to count out/measure my single (or half) serving, and carry only that with me to the computer, or game over.

I went to the movies on Sunday, taking a young lady for her bday. I looked up the nutrition info on the theatre's popcorn, because I was going to get some. I discovered that I could eat half a medium (she got the other half), not buttered, and it would fit very well into my day, if I PLANNED for it. When I went out to dinner with another young lady for her bday the other day (I'm like the widowed aunt to these girls, btw.), I didn't know where we'd end up for our meal, but I was MINDFUL of how much room I'd left myself and had a very full meal without overtopping my ranges. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLGIRL1234 2/26/2013 10:27AM

    It's been my biggest downfall in the past. Luckily I am taking the steps to turn those nasty habits to ones I can maintain for life. Great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINGERHAWK 2/26/2013 10:22AM

  I hear you. I hate those work meetings where there are endless bad food options and I mindlessly eat throughout the course of the meeting. Next week I'm working out of our Cambridge office and staying in a hotel for the week. Your blog is a great reminder that I need to be mindful about my choices (even though I'm on the road)!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PDQ1203 2/26/2013 10:20AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
SUGAR0814 2/26/2013 9:39AM

    Great blog! The pictures make me want to EAT!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEEINGCLEARLY53 2/26/2013 12:34AM

    emoticon ,,,,,I'm working on doing less of the latter.....

Report Inappropriate Comment
MICKEYH 2/25/2013 10:18PM

    Great post !! Whatever you do in the future, please not post pics of Pizza will you? Lol)) just kidding. (^O^)/

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 2/25/2013 8:43PM

    The key thing isn't that you used to eat too much pizza; it's that you didn't know how much you ate.

It's really, really hard to change what you eat if you don't know what you eat.

Paying attention and tracking are the key, here. I can't change without knowing what I'm changing, I don't know what I'm changing unless I track it, and I have to pay attention to track it. Adds up to your definition of mindfulness, or close enough.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DALID414 2/25/2013 8:30PM

    I call it eating on auto-pilot. And the calories ALWAYS add up quickly on auto-pilot.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRENDA_G50 2/25/2013 7:09PM

    Mindfulness to me right now is: when the hospital tells me to eat a Low Residue, Low Fiber diet on one page of the discharge papers and then on the very next page it tells me to eat a Low Residue, High Fiber diet. emoticon

Then by weighing out all the information I gleaned off the internet "Mayo Clinic", I chose the right direction to take (according to my PCP that I had an appointment with today). After he read that, he just looked at me and said "HUH? No wonder you're so confused." emoticon

And so, for today, that's what mindfulness means to me. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOVESEYES 2/25/2013 6:40PM

    Great work!!!

Very thought provoking ...

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELGRRL 2/25/2013 4:20PM

    "Mindlessness" -- I call it being on "autopilot". It's when I check my inner voice at the door and eat whatever I want with wild abandon!

I too find that when I do my homework I behave much better. This morning I picked up a package of Easter candy. When I read the label that 3 pieces were 210 calories? Yeah, back on the shelf it went!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MELISSAD71 2/25/2013 4:09PM

    I love this post on mindfulness. It is applicable in all aspects of life! We need to be participants in our lives not just mindless observers! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOOKAPHILE 2/25/2013 3:41PM

    Mindfullness and tracking are KEY components of my lifestyle change. Leave off either one, and I gain again.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

Log in to post a comment.