For two weeks now I’ve been trying a new diet: eat whatever you want, but always at a table without any form of entertainment.(And since this started I added that everything – including snacks – must be on a plate). The theory is that this will cut down on mindless munching, and thus my pant size. Of all the crazy diets of deprivation I’ve tried over the years, this sounded both reasonable and easy.
Turns out it’s stupid hard.
Day One I sat down at the break room table with two slices of buttered toast on good grainy bread and a cup of tea. Curious about the length of one meal, I decided to time myself.
It went something like this:
Bite, chew…”Man this toast is good. I would never note just how yummy this is if I was eating it at my desk. This is going to be great!”
Bite, chew…”I should have brought my phone with me so I could do some reading or catch up on emails. Wait, not supposed to do that.”
Bite, chew…”My bites are too big. Must take smaller ones so I can enjoy the food more.”
Bite, chew… “Wow, this is boring.”
Bite, chew… “And there’s another big bite. Suspect it’s my subconscious trying to hurry this thing up. Must stop my foot jiggling with impatience. Relax! What was that soothing Lamaze breathing thing you had to do in child birth? Try that.”
Bite, chew…”This is taking forever! I’m only half way through my toast and there’s an entire untouched piece to go! I should have brought a book. Right, still not supposed to do that.”
Bite, chew…”This may be psychosomatic, but I swear my jaw is getting sore from all this chewing.”
Through sheer will, I finished the other slice of toast, all the while dying to get back to my desk. The last bite brought a rush of relief that the long, tedious meal was finally over. Wondering how I was ever going to get approval from my boss to take so much time away from work every day to eat, I looked up at the clock.
The whole thing took five minutes.
I’m beginning to wonder if there is more to all this than just eating. Perhaps it will reveal deeper unhealthy patterns in the pacing of my life and distraction addiction. I’m a little afraid of that closet door at the moment, so we’ll look at that later on in the process.
Besides, it’s time to eat my next meal. That’s trauma enough.