Sunday, December 25, 2005

Holiday eating, Buddha, Omar Khayyam

I posted ( the following to a fellow Diet Survivors member, who was experiencing some difficulties with overeating during the holidays:

I ate more than usual yesterday, but I looked around and noticed that my skinny relatives also overate today.

I think we can take a cue from our naturally thin counterparts in that they don't worry about overeating during special occasions. They will not feel guilty about what they ate on Christmas; in fact, they assume that they will overeat on holidays. What will happen, though, is that, without consciously thinking about it, they will return to normal eating. They will once again listen to their hunger and satiety levels.

We can do the same thing, only we have to consciously cue into our hunger levels--that's just a fact of life for us. I don't know if intuitive eating will ever truly become second nature to me, though I knew I had overeaten because I felt a little acid indigestion--my body's way of warning me. I'm sure I used to experience this same sensation, but, for the first time in my life, I'm starting to listen to those warnings. For once, I was able to stop eating and not embark on a full-blown binge. But I did overeat yesterday, and that's a fact.

If you can self-talk yourself out of the guilt, that might help alleviate some of your depressed feelings. Try to view eating as a pleasurable activity instead of a major source of guilt. Somehow, we have managed to associate our love for certain foods with a kind of moral lapse, and, maybe, we need to change our thinking.

I noticed, ______, that you're worried about how you want to be thin by next Christmas--that sounds like the ghost of the diet treadmill past. Instead, why not strive toward living for today?

Consider taking a cue from Buddha's mantra/poem/prayer (from Pali Canon), which is also considered a "Gestalt prayer":

Do not hark back to things that passed,
And for the future cherish no fond hopes;
The past was left behind by thee,
The future state has not yet come.

But who with vision clear can see
The present which is here and now
Such wise one should aspire to win
What never can be lost or shaken.

[NOTE: I started to type the word "stolen" for "shaken"--hmmm, interesting...]

Omar Khayyam, from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Robert Graves and Omar Ali-Shah, 1968), says,

Never anticipate tomorrow's sorrow
live always in this paradisal Now--...

Rise up, why mourn this transient world of men?
Pass your whole life in gratitude and joy.

_______, listen to that whisper that scolded you about the diety thinking: "But my inner voice is telling me what a mistake that would be."

Those are wise words.

Love, Jennifer


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