When I turned 30 there was a lot of changes and transitions going on in my life. One of them was running the NYC Marathon for the first time which I was totally unprepared for. I started training in July, before which I had only run a 5k, and so many times I was determined to defer my entry and just give up. But I didn’t. One of the things that helped me through was the book The NonRunner’s Marathon Trainer. As the book suggested I picked a theme song and visualized myself doing what I desired to do. My theme song was “Aint No Stopping Me Now” by McFadden and Whitehead and as I visualized myself running over bridges, up hills and through the five boroughs a modified version of the Beatles “I Am the Walrus” ran through my head. My version was “I am the turtle – coo coo kuchoo.” Every time I struggled or thought that I couldn’t do it that refrain ran through my head: I Am The Turtle.
This week at Weight Watcher’s the topic was Eat Slowly and mindfully. I come from a line of fast talkers and fast eaters. Learning to slow down and eat has been beneficial and something I need to get back to doing. At one time, during a macrobiotic phase when I was on the Core Program with weight watchers, I learned to sit down and eat and chew my food. The goal was 100 chews, but I never mastered more than 50. This is a great thing to do for two reasons. 1. as you masticate your food and break it down it becomes easier to digest and lessens bloating 2. taking time lets your stomach send the signal to your brain that it’s getting full. The trick is to stop eating just before you are full, when you are satiated. That was a difficult learning curve for me. Previously I had choked food down as if it were running away. I never felt full until indigestion and discomfort hit. A boyfriend used to take bets that I could out eat anyone at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Today, I do my best to stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets. Mostly because I don’t trust myself, also because as I have learned to savor my food I now prefer to eat less of better quality food. Most of the time I manage the less part, occassionally I overindulge. I am a work in progress.
So let’s be mindful, put that fork down, chew, chew, chew, take a sip and enjoy our food and feel good.
As for running, I am for sure the turtle. This weekend I participated in a 5k race. I strolled the whole thing talking leisurely with a friend. On Monday, I did squats and lunges. On Tuesday, my knees were screaming and going down stairs was a descent into hell. So I am off running for while and already feeling antsy.