Attention

As much as I love food I’ve always been a casual eater.   I eat when I read.  I eat watching TV.  I go to a party and sit next to the food while I chat with everyone who walks by.  I grab pickles and olives off the table before everyone sits down.  I lick the spoons.

As I progress out of a totally liquid diet into eating pap I have found out the hard way that these behaviors have got to stop.  Don’t feel bad for me.  I’m thrilled to have an egg, or some cottage cheese.  Spices aren’t a problem so bland is not an option.  Paying attention is also not an option.

my one egg omelette with spinach, shallots and feta.  I couldn't eat it all.

My one egg omelette with spinach, shallots and feta. I couldn’t eat it all.

I don’t even remember what I was doing.  I could have been reading, talking to Orion, watching TV, reaching for my computer.  It doesn’t really matter.  I wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating.   I did all the right things.  I measured and weighed portions.  I put everything (like there was a lot!) on a small plate.  I ate one bite at a time (I think – here’s where the attention part creeps in.)

I don’t know if I ate too much or too fast or both.   Before I was finished with my doled out portion I knew I was in trouble.  I’ve been avoiding that “too much” place.  Everyone I know who’s had this surgery says that it’s horrible and not worth it.  They’re right.   I knew I needed to go there once.  Now I have and I’m happy to avoid doing it again!

I tried everything to settle myself down.  To deal with the pain.  To deal with the “hot flashes”, it almost feels like coming down with a fever the body is working so hard to do too much.  I walked.  I tossed what was left on the plate.  I rubbed my belly.  It took a half an hour, but I was finally defeated and headed for the bathroom.

In retrospect it could have been my food choices as well.  The fish was a little firm rather than flakey.  Figs might not be the best bet for a side, with all those little seeds.  I’ve taken a half step back.  I’m sticking to things that look a little more like baby food and a little less like small gourmet portions.  Eventually I’ll get there, but not just yet.  First I need to focus on paying attention.

What am I going to do with the rest of these figs?

What am I going to do with the rest of these figs?

There is so much out in the world about Mindfulness.  There are writings about meditating and about being present in the moment.  These are not easy things for anyone used to multi-tasking through their days.  But these are also the things that have become necessary for me to be successful in this process.  It’s time to be more aware of my body.  It’s time to be more aware of how I am actually feeling.  It’s time to give up the notion of meeting a “goal” and simply respond appropriately in the moment.

The work is only beginning.

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About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on August 11, 2014, in Bio, daily practice, meditation, spiritual, spirituality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Yep, Lisa, I know what you mean about mindfulness. About eating without paying attention. When I do pay attention, eating can be exquisite. Perhaps this mindfulness is a lifetime habit to cultivate. Wishing you well with this…

  2. It’s hard to retrain our behaviors, Lisa, even when we have help. You’re going to get through this part.

  3. Remember when you blogged about Initiation recently? You will make it through! Unfortunately, like many of us, a kick in the head (or another strategic area) might be required. You are one of the strongest people I know.

  4. I’ve become overly casual myself. Not a good thing. Maybe less multitasking it better, by the way. It’s way over-rated.

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