TV Dining

Today may have been our hottest day so far. It’s 10:15 and still 89 degrees outside with a Severe Thunderstorm alert. Tomorrow we’re threatened with 96 degrees. Of course it’s all a matter of perspective and the more I think about how hot it is, the hotter I feel!

I ran errands after work and stopped by Breathe Bookstore Cafe to pick up tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was eat my chickpea double with chutney and watch television. I’m catching up on the latest season of Weeds – if you’re familiar with the show then you know it’s not exactly the best dinner companion, if you believe dinner should be a light and uplifting experience.

Eating in front of the TV is a habit I tend to go in and out of. I know that I’m not at all mindful of eating when I’m sitting in front of the TV absorbed in mindless talk shows, disturbing evening news, or even a good movie/documentary. But tonight I was so tired that I just didn’t care.

So I just heard what I said as I wrote that last sentence, “I was so tired that I just didn’t care.” And now I’m curious, “Didn’t care about what?”

This is a place I often find myself… The boys are taken care of. I have no responsibilities to anyone else. There is nothing I have to do. I’m hot. I’m tired. I don’t want to talk to anyone or do anything else for the day. So I say I don’t care and I make poor choices – one often being to plop down in front of the TV, usually with food.

My meal choice this afternoon was healthy. In the past that would have been an opportunity for me to grab a frozen Amy’s pizza or order a veggie burger with fries from across the street because the last thing I feel like doing is cooking.   I don’t like eating processed foods and I make a much healthier veggie burger here at home but after a day of work and an afternoon of running errands, I just don’t want to cook. And what I’ve come to realize lately is that when it comes to dinner, I’m usually not that hungry anyway. I tend to eat more out of habit or routine than hunger – it’s afternoon and therefore I believe I should eat dinner. Maybe that’s why I’m not motivated to cook.

In Ayurveda we’re encouraged to eat three meals a day with no snacking in between – and to eat only when we are hungry. I’ve done several cleanses (with real food) and found that after the second or third day, I really don’t want an evening meal and if I am hungry, something light is enough to satisfy my hunger. I’ve also found that when I sit at the table for my evening meal – or any meal for that matter – I tend to eat until I’m satisfied rather than eating until I’m full.

The most important goal on my Ayurvedic journey is to become mindful of my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so I can create a strong daily self-care routine that supports my highest and most joyful self. It’s not all about food, however I know that when I’m tired, angry, upset, or in a rush, I either make poor food choices, eat too much food, or eat when I’m not hungry. I know that at those times I tell myself, “I just don’t care” and what that means is, I don’t care about me. That thinking obviously doesn’t support my goal and from this day forward, when I hear myself say, “I just don’t care,” I’m going to stop, take a breath, think about what that really means and ask myself some questions. What questions would you ask yourself if you heard yourself say that you just don’t care about you?

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