This is not some new method for losing weight, but if you’re watching what you eat in order to shed excess roundness, here are two practices that can make the method you are using to achieve your aim even more effective.
First, a Chewing Meditation. When you are eating, try chewing very, very slowly, bringing your attention to the many sensations you are having, most of which you ordinarily don’t notice. In addition to the flavor and aroma of the food in your mouth, feel into its firmness or softness, its warmth or coolness, its texture, resilience, crunchiness, dryness…any of the physical qualities that it has. Do this with one quality at a time, in whatever sequence your mind picks them out. After a while, shift your focus from the food to the sensations in your body parts that are engaged in eating: tongue, cheeks, lips, palate, teeth, jaw muscles, throat. After a while, return to your awareness of the food. Notice how it changes as you chew, and how the wisdom of your body manages the process of swallowing. To do this you’ll have to abstain from reading and watching TV while you’re eating, and that would be an added plus, since those activities are powerful distractions from being conscious of your eating process. They make it more likely that you will overeat.
With this Chewing Meditation you maintain awareness of what is in your mouth and what your mouth is doing. That makes it easier to keep in touch with all your bodily sensations, and that is a help in preventing overeating. In other words, staying conscious of sensations in the mouth helps you be conscious of other senses that are related to eating, including the early subtle sensations of having had enough. Overeating always involves not being fully in present reality. This practice will help you stay in the Now as you eat.
Another potent boost for your approach to weight control is offering Blessing. Along with practicing awareness of your sensations, you can practice awareness of the way your food has come to you. In whatever style is easiest for you, invoking Divinity or not, express your gratitude for the earthly processes and for the human activities that have combined to bring you life sustaining nutrition. If you are aware of your food as a gift, you are less likely to misuse it. You can do this silently or out loud. Giving thanks for your body’s needs being met supports your intention to keep from harming it through overeating. Good luck.
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