Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weight Loss and Wake Up Feldenkrais

river gang
We can move and stay overweight.
We can be aware some of the time and stay overweight.
We can’t, however, be aware while we eat and stay overweight.

To be aware while we eat is
to feel the weight of the spoon or fork or chopsticks
in our hand,
the weight before the food is on and after.
To be aware is to sense our arm
and hand
as we bring the food to our mouth.
To be aware is to chew, slowly,
and taste each bite, not just the first bite of of each mouthful.

To be aware while eating usually means
a lot less talking than those who eat publicly,
and no reading nor television watching
for those who eat alone.

To be aware while eating calls for
putting down the chopsticks or spoon or fork while chewing.
To wait a bit after the bite is finished being chewed and swallowed.

To be aware while eating means this:
we can sense our bottoms on the chair while we eat,
and notice what we are seeing while we eat,
and follow our breathing while we eat.

And with all this awareness,
to notice when we have had enough is no great shakes.
We chew a bite, enjoy, stop, breathe,
how nice that food is making us feel.
Chew another, and more pleasure and noticing.

Taking breaks between each bite to set down our utensils,
and to breathe and to sense our bellies and our posture,
we will discover ourselves easily aware
when pleasure starts to slip over into stuffing ourselves.

Then we take a deep breath, get up from the table,
wash the dishes and go about our lives.

If we panic between meals,
because some slight hunger
comes that we aren’t used to because we haven’t stuffed ourselves,
we can do the Work of Byron Katie
on: “I have to eat something right now.”
If we find out that this isn’t true,
we can keep breathing and
a nice space of time, three or four hours between meals.

I could write another essay on
what to do with the pretend hunger between meals,
but I’ll say this for now:
find something physical to do,
and do it slowly and with awareness.
This could be
tai chi,
golf practice,
Awareness Through Movement® lessons,
some version of dance we know
or are inventing,
almost anything with awareness and pleasure,
ride a bike,
putter in the garden,
sweep the sidewalk,
walk the dog,
go for a run (pleasure run, not kill yourself run),
lie down and invent some movements,
do the five rhythms movements,
belly dance,
pretend to belly dance,
take a walk,
take a walk,
take a walk.

With awareness.
Sense the pleasure of being alive.

We can learn to
wait until our next meal to eat
and it doesn’t need to bother us a bit
if we are doing pleasurable and useful activities
such as those mentioned above and
then there is always gardening.
Nothing like some puttering outdoors
to heal the mind and calm the spirit.

When we eat out of emptiness the solution is simple:
fill ourselves with awareness and love of life.

I offer coaching on weight loss,
if you wish assistance. Please see:
Fitness and Weight Loss

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