Is this you? Is this someone you know?
I’m sitting here in my jammies and having happily made various of my weekly go to recipes – seed crackers, roasted nuts, quinoa (to make into who knows what) and also my breakfast, a beautiful morning bowl of Greek Yoghurt, my own Choccy protein yoghurt, loads of seeds, strawbs, bananas, blueberries and as usual (much to my families disgust) took my picture to put on my insta page. Hunger and desire then took over. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t starving but my bowl looked SO good (even if I do say so myself lol). I thought sod it I’m just eating, the roasted nuts look like they are insta worthy anyway for today.
Well that’s what I did but what I hadn’t noticed was that although beautiful and appetising, I had filled my bowl way too much. We have 2 sizes of bowls in our house, ones (as in the pic) are my favourite colour and feel (weird to ‘feel’ a bowl, yes, but I’m coming to that) and the others are my hubsters ones ‘pre me’.
These are a much better size and he loves them, but to me, I hate the sound of the unglazed outside clay scratching against the others in its family. I know it’s bonkers but hey ho, I’ve never professed to be anything resembling normal. Here lies the problem, the scratchy ones are a much better size compared to my lovely blue ones and if I’m not paying attention I will (as in this morning) fill my blue ones way too full but do you know the magic trick that we sometimes forget
*** YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT EVERYTHING IN YOUR BOWL OR ON YOUR PLATE ***
Was that a shock! Have you grown up in the same era as me where we were told that we couldn’t ‘get down from the table’ or ‘there’s no pudding if I don’t see a clean plate’ or ‘there’s starving children in other countries’ (I never could understand how my clean plate would help them, wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth for those lovely, but so undernourished children). Obviously when I did suggest that the food on my plate that I didn’t want to eat could be boxed up and sent to help those children, that wasn’t seen as being helpful, it was me being cheeky and talking back.
Anyway, having studied food, health, eating, lifestyle etc for a long time now, it’s so interesting that things like that stay with us and show up over and over later in life especially with us, women. I talk a lot to women these days about the fact that it’s more important to be aware, to be mindful of YOUR body’s needs as opposed to whether you finish your plate or not.
*** IT’S OK NOT TO FINISH! ***
If like me, you sometimes put too much food on your plate (and we all do), then you
*** DO NOT HAVE TO FINISH. ***
Are you getting it yet? Lol.
So, what do you do?
“Elaine, don’t be so ridiculous, we’re adults, of course we know what to do”. Yes, but do you?
- Do you need permission to put excess plate food in the bin without feeling guilty?
- Do you need permission to stop and cover your plate and put it in the fridge and maybe have it later?
- DO YOU?
Have a wee think, right now and see if you do. Lots of us don’t and it’s most likely conversations from the past that included us or that we overheard or situations that happened when you were young or maybe whether there was money or not in your house growing up, was food scarce, so you really couldn’t waste it. Our parents did the best they could at the time with the knowledge they had but it doesn’t have to affect us for the rest of our lives.
Some people can naturally stop eating when they’ve had enough and some can’t. We talk about it in our house as my son who is 19, 6 ft and very very slim does this naturally. He eats well (with a few post alco Mc’Ds and a now occasional (thankfully) pot noodle – he’s a student) and if you watch him eat, (I’m not a complete psycho watching mother, most of the time), he will eat the best bit on his plate, eat it slowly and love every minute of it. When he’s had enough, he stops, that’s it, he STOPS and he can sit with the excess chips on his plate and it not bother him. Somehow, he naturally does this! I’d love to say it’s my influence but sadly, I don’t think it is.
I, on the other hand, do not have this natural ability, I have the ‘I must finish my plate’ mentality, and although I’m not thinking of those children in other countries at every single meal, now at age 45, these things do still stay with us. We can do things like EFT (tapping) and loads of other things to ‘work’ on our ‘stuff’ from our past experiences but that’s a whole other blog post. What I do want to reiterate again is
*** YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FINISH YOUR PLATE ***
Your body does actually know how to STOP eating if we listen to it, pay attention to it.. I’ve mentioned it before but I love the fact that the Japanese have a phrase for it
HARA HACHI BUN ME – From Wikipedia – , , is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full. Roughly, in English the Japanese phrase translates to, “Eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full” or “belly 80 percent full”.
So, if you eat MINDFULLY (ie not on your laptop or reading this), paying attention to your food, to how you are feeling, you can start to change the way you eat and notice when that 80% time comes. You CAN work on it. Think about what is actually happening to your food (I know a bit gross) but think that the slower you eat, the more your body and mind will receive all the great vitamins and minerals from the food as opposed to it being rushed through like the TGV (I love pronouncing it Le Tay Jeh Vey, so cosmopolitan, me lol). If you take the time, and it may take a little while but stick with it, your body will start to tell you when you’ve had enough and what do you do then?
*** STOP, for goodness sake STOP ***
Move the plate away, chuck the stuff in the bin, cover and put in the fridge, leave it out and ignore that the dog can actually jump on the table and munch (this wasn’t a staged photo btw), or if it’s desperate (AND I’VE SO DONE THIS), run to the sink, grab the washing up liquid and pour it over the leftovers. There’s no way you’re eating it after that!!!
So my lovelies,please understand there is NOTHING to be ashamed of and actually it’s not your fault (hallelujah!), if you are, like me and many many others, a ‘must finish what’s on my plate’ person. I am personally working on it and it is getting easier. It’s not my natural go to but it doesn’t mean I need to stay stuck in the past.
Let me know if this resonates with you at all and if you think it’s a load of old twaddle (who on earth invented that word), do let me know too. I’m always open to opinions and sometimes, even change my own!!! Well, just sometimes.