One day years ago, I was driving in for my class while I was faculty at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I wasn’t properly prepared. I was tired. I hadn’t prepped my food all week and I hadn’t planned. I was stressed, overworked and burning out. Self care was not on my plate at all.
I left late and was in a hurry to get in to teach my class.
While on the road there, I got stuck behind a left-lane driver. You know how it is. Now, being in the Okanagan I am used to this in the summer when our population doubles due to tourists.
But my blood sugar said: no.
I angrily tail-gated the driver and was frustrated, annoyed and flew past her when I finally could. We locked eyes as I went by.
When I pulled up to the school, guess who pulled up just a few short minutes after me?
Yup, you got it. The same car I had angrily tailgated, and locked eyes with was… one of my nutrition students.
After approaching her to apologize and give my reasons “my blood sugar… tired… late… blah blah blah” I was left with this insecure feeling that even though I had done the right thing by confronting her afterwards, that I was mainly annoyed at myself. Annoyed for not being better prepared, for not leaving on time, for not eating right, for not taking care of myself and by taking out my rushed anger on her.
That week I made it one of my goals to learn to become a better, patient driver. To be more conscious. To have more patience. To plan better. Now, I travel loads and looove being on the road and I’m not at all a perfect driver. But, I’m better.
And, I’m always keeping the flow - I’m peeking around, watching who is around me and what is happening on the road in front of, beside and behind me. Observing, noticing. (And… Not driving if I know its unsafe to do so. Read the [Easy Guide to Fats] for blood sugar balancing, as it’s the #1 reason for most people who deal with regular anger issues, on and off the road!)
I decided to work on improving my driving without attachment, just noticing, observing. Observing myself, observing others. “Without attachment” means I am trying not to judge other drivers (no matter how bad the mistake was) because you just don’t know where people are at that day. Maybe they just lost a spouse, maybe they can’t afford to eat that day, maybe their kid is getting sick in the backseat... you just don’t know. So removing the judgment keeps me focused and without anger.
Now when I’m driving you can usually catch me singing or dancing or with a little smile. I’m more relaxed, I’m prepared, I feel good.
What the hell does this have to do with food?
Make the decision to upgrade your nutrition. The same way that lesson imprinted me deeply and I needed something to change, we often have to hit our wits end before making a nutrition change. And that’s great.
Once you’re tired of the diets, the frustration, the restriction, the details, the counting, the worry, the constant comparison, the judgment.
Once you’re tired of the STRESS.
Begin to notice, observe. Without attachment, without judgement.
Notice and observe your patterns, your thoughts, your habits. Your attachment to others’ advice or the latest trend diet or who’s eating what. Notice your obsession. Notice your worry. Notice it all.
The more you observe, the more you learn about yourself and your food habits and choices. The more you learn the easier it is to begin putting your observations into play. [Read: The Willpower Diet.] And once you can start to play, you’re on your way.
Now when I’m eating you can usually catch me singing or dancing or with a little smile. I’m more relaxed, I’m mindful, I love my choice, I feel good. You can have this too. You can move away from the stress.
I can’t promise mindful eating will be a quick fix, (did any of those quick fix diets work for you long term?) but I can promise it’ll be easy, if you do it my way.