While on holidays (see, it’s all about the holidays still) something simple and remarkable happened:
We starting eating meals at the table with our family.
No, really, that is remarkable!
Pre-holiday, Mat and I would really only bother to sit at the table if the meal was kinda ‘special’ (that is, someone actually went to the effort to make something rather than just toast or leftovers or pasta & sauce) or it took a fork and knife to eat. Anything else, like leftovers, sandwiches, or anything you can eat with your hands, was simply eaten while sitting on the lounge in front of the TV, usually with a phone and/or laptop attached to our person as well.
Well, my person, anyway…
Now, there was no conscious effort to start this ‘eating at the table’ business, it just happened organically.
In Mom’s house, everyone who is home eats dinner at the table. Always. I don’t think this is a ‘rule,’ I think this is ‘just the way it is.’
And as most of our visiting was with families and close friends, we were generally invited to sit down for a meal with them at their table, too. And in some of those homes, eating at the table with the whole family is, in fact, a RULE.
Eating out was surprisingly rare this holiday, but even then, we were sitting down to a meal at a TABLE.
Usually with other people.
And no technology.
And guess what?!
Something weird happened about a month in:
I started to get full before my plate was empty.
And I could usually STOP EATING.
Simple and remarkable, right?
And when we got home, we just started doing this, too. Automatically. No discussion, no rule set. It just happened.
Now, I admit, there have been exceptions: Friday night football, for example (it’s grand final season, this cannot be helped).
And a few too many times I have found myself
staring glancing at my phone during a meal.
But noticing that we simply made this choice and preferring it this way, has made me also choose to be more conscious of the fact that when I am eating dinner with Mat, I am still eating with another person, and therefore, no phones, no laptops, no TV!
It wasn’t a rule in our house before, but it is now, as of today!
And I wonder what effect this might have on how much we eat, and what we choose to eat as well, and if this will affect my weight (in a positive downward way) too! Surely it will!? Afterall, even while on vacation and fed copious amounts of people’s most delectable dishes, and probably still more than I actually needed, I didn’t gain half as much weight as I did on my previous holiday.
Here’s some links to sites of people far more clever than I that talk about mindful eating, eating dinner at the table, and turning off the TV:
- Why you should stop watching TV while eating
- Whatever happened to dinner
- Family Dinners are Important
- Weight of the Nation: Screens and Technology
- How to Master the Art of Mindful Eating
- Mindful Eating Tools
How about your family? Do you eat at the table? Are you plugged in to technology at the table or while you eat? Do you have rules about food in your home?