Our culture places far too much value on entertainment. We’re obsessed with our distractions. We walk around mindlessly checking our facebook pages and text messages rather than looking into the faces of the people around us. We “binge watch” televsion shows on netflix and we give movie actors “lifetime achievment awards” while the people we should be honoring, like aid workers or volunteers are ignored. It’s no surprise then that we tend to see food as entertainment as well. Rather than focus on how our meals make us feel, we pay attention rather to how well they distract us from our emotions and offer us relief. This to me is the great value of a challenge like this. 8 weeks of mindful eating allows us to really see how much we use food and alcohol to avoid our day to day lives and as many of you have shared, it’s actually a bit frightening to give those things up for even a short time.
This is the week it all comes to together and you get set on the path. The first weekend is always the toughest test because that’s the time we value our entertainment most. Many of you have explored the practice of meditation this week and seem committed to keeping that as part of your routine. Others who never found time to stretch or mobilize realized how easy it is to fit that in for 10 minutes a day. My suggestion for this week is simply to embrace this lifestyle fully. Rather than just thinking in terms of points, ask yourself when you’re eating and living this way how it actually makes you feel. It’s going to bring up emotions for some of us but we can also start to connect the dots towards a complete lifestyle reboot.
There is no more intimate relationship you will have with this planet than the food you put in your body. On a purely physical level, even our personal relationships pale in comparison, when you consider that you are putting these substances INTO your body. It’s time to investigate that relationship a little more closely perhaps….and don’t forget to drink you’re water.