March Mindfulness Challenge 2020

baconslave
baconslave Posts: 6,812 Member
edited February 2020 in Social Groups
Life is...well....it's LIFE, isn't it? It can be good. It can also be busy, frantic, and sometimes, downright chaotic. We are pulled so many directions but so many situations and distractions. When do we have time to breathe, let alone live in the moment?

So this month, I think it would be excellent to challenge ourselves to incorporate mindfulness into our journey to health. Plus, it works with the whole alliteration thing. :wink:

Morwenna Ferrier (writer for the Guardian) defines the new fad-term "mindfulness" this way: "The whole ethos of mindfulness is to encourage people to live in the moment. The theory goes that we are so busy trying to block out past worries and anticipate future ones that we rarely concentrate on enjoying what we are doing at the precise moment we are doing it. Devotees claim mindfulness can be applied to everything from walking and running to sex and eating." http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/23/mindful-eating-how-to-get-more-from-your-meals

But I challenge that it isn't only about enjoyment. It's about AWARENESS. That's how we diagnose the elusive issue we carry, the sneaky ones that fly under our radar, but continue to throw a wrench into our efforts. So much about success in weight loss and health is about healing our dysfunctional relationships with food and other things in our lives, so we are free from the impetus of stress and emotions that often spurs us to sabotage ourselves.

So in that vein, the challenge is to practice some form of mindfulness by pausing and observing what happens in our heads and bodies when we eat or exercise, to be aware. And maybe then we can enjoy our journey more and discover any hang-ups we've missed and lock them down.

And, of course, being mindful of the Low-Carb Basics:
  • Planning ahead!!!
  • Staying under carbs
  • Staying under calories
  • Logging and measuring
  • Getting in exercise/movement if that's one of your goals
  • Keeping an eye on electrolyte levels
  • Getting enough water
  • Planning ahead!!! Oh, wait. I said that already? Yes, I frickin' did. Because you must! "Failing to plan is planning to fail."

How? I've created a list of links. Some repeat the theme but add something. There a couple that apply to mindfulness in general terms. But understanding the concept can help but aide us in applying it to our reason for being here on MFP.

Start with this, garnered from zenhabits.com

"Benefits?
Reduced over eating. It’s been a while now since I went to bed feeling bloated and over stuffed. Which is great in itself but also means that my ‘muffin top’ is pretty much gone when I wear my favorite jeans.

Increased enjoyment of food. As a food scientist, I’ve always considered myself a big fan of eating. Now that I’m on the path to mastering the art of mindful eating, I am finding a new found respect for food and am gaining far more pleasure from meal times.

Improved digestion. Digestion begins in the mouth with the action of saliva. If food isn’t chewed properly it means that there’s more work for the rest of your digestion system. I may be imagining this, but I think I’ve also noticed I have less gas now that I’m eating mindfully.

Being satisfied with less. Linked with reduced over eating, the real benefit here is being able to trust yourself to feel satisfied after one or two squares of chocolate so there is no temptation to scoff the whole block. Suddenly there’s no need to deny yourself the occasional treat which makes for a far healthier relationship with food.
Ready to change the way you interact with food?

How to master the art of mindful eating:
1. Start small. Like all new habits, it’s best to set realistic expectations. Choose one meal or snack each day and commit to focusing on mindful eating at that time.

2. Stop multitasking at meal times. It’s really difficult to focus on eating if you’re doing other things. Set aside time for eating without other entertainment.

3. Only eat at the table. Another way to minimize mindless munching is to get into the habit of only eating when you are sitting down and able to give the food your full attention. No more snacking on the run.

4. Appreciate the appearance. While we’ve all drooled over gorgeous food porn in magazines or online, sometimes we forget about the beauty of the food we are about to eat. Taking the time to notice sets the scene for mindful eating.

5. Focus on each mouthful. Think about the flavour, texture and even the sound of the food in your mouth. Focus on how much you like, or dislike these sensations.

6. Chew. While it can be overkill to go to the monastic extreme of 100 bites per mouthful, make sure you chew your food enough so that it is well broken down before you swallow.

7.Use cutlery and put it down between mouthfuls. It’s much easier to take smaller portions when using a knife and fork. Of course if you feel like you’re having a ridiculous Seinfeld moment eating a chocolate bar with utensils, then skip this step but do put the bar down in between bites so you can focus.

8. Talk and share. One of the joys of eating is sharing a meal with loved ones. It can be challenging to incorporate mindfulness in a social situation but not impossible. Turn the focus of the conversation onto the meal while you are actually eating. Share what you are experiencing in terms of flavours and textures, likes and dislikes. At first this may seem a little weird but trust me, you’ll soon find yourself having fun with it.

9. Go for quality not quantity. By choosing smaller amounts of the best food you can afford, you will not only enjoy it more, you’re far more likely to be satisfied without having to over eat.

10. Make time to prepare your own meals, preferably from fresh ingredients. The cooking process can be as relaxing and enjoyable as eating if you let it. For me, the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what has gone into my food makes any hassle worthwhile."




The links that follow might be helpful. Please do share any links you personally come across, and I'll add them to the running list.

https://zenhabits.net/what-is-mindful-eating/
http://zenhabits.net/mindful-eating/
http://stress.about.com/od/dietandsuppliments/a/mindful_eating.htm
http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/mindfulness.htm
http://jamesclear.com/stay-focused
http://jamesclear.com/zanshin
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/11/29/magic-of-mindfulness/
https://blog.daveasprey.com/rick-hanson-forgetfulness-mindfulness-techniques-hardwiring-happiness-243/


I'd like to give a shout-out to @KnitOrMiss for helping me gather some links.


So. Let us know where you'd like to apply mindfulness this month, to whichever food or fitness or health area is applicable to your life.

But anyone who doesn't want to mess with "mindfulness techniques" and just wants to carry on what they were doing on the challenge last month, feel free to join, too. Paying attention to what we are doing is being mindful anyway. :wink:

See you on March 1st. :mrgreen:
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Replies

  • bacpath
    bacpath Posts: 326 Member
    I am on board for this, it’s a great idea. I am going to practice mindfulness in exercise. Before I start the session, whatever it is, I will set an intention...’ my intention today is to help my heart and lungs with 30 minutes of biking or my intention today is to make my muscles stronger by... or my intention today is to reduce stress in my body by stretching for....You get the idea. Then I will take note of my mood and energy. While working out I will carry out a body scan, focusing for 30 seconds on each body part working. If my mind wanders I will pull it back, but first I will send a kind thought to someone around me ( or in my mind if I’m alone). Something like- you, next to me on the bike, may you be happy and full of love today. My friend near Ottawa May you be successful in all your endeavours today. At the end of the session I will check energy level and mood. No tv, no music, no earphones, no chatting. At least 10 minutes of the workout must be silent. Thanks
  • tcunbeliever
    tcunbeliever Posts: 8,272 Member
    I have done the March workout schedule (8x8 with increased exercises over Feb).

    I have planned the March food (Vince Gironda style steak/eggs plan).

    I am going to go with "Goal Digger" as my theme, and mindfully chase bold dreams!!!
  • vkrenz
    vkrenz Posts: 183 Member
    Awesome, very excited to get started with March.

    March goals
    1. Mindful exercise daily. Preferably outside, weather permitting
    2. Low carb, < 35 daily
    3. Calorie deficit, <1,500 daily
    4. Get rid of 5 lbs by 3/31.

    I already have Spring fever!
  • kpk54
    kpk54 Posts: 4,473 Member
    bacpath wrote: »
    I am on board for this, it’s a great idea. I am going to practice mindfulness in exercise. Before I start the session, whatever it is, I will set an intention...’ my intention today is to help my heart and lungs with 30 minutes of biking or my intention today is to make my muscles stronger by... or my intention today is to reduce stress in my body by stretching for....You get the idea. Then I will take note of my mood and energy. While working out I will carry out a body scan, focusing for 30 seconds on each body part working. If my mind wanders I will pull it back, but first I will send a kind thought to someone around me ( or in my mind if I’m alone). Something like- you, next to me on the bike, may you be happy and full of love today. My friend near Ottawa May you be successful in all your endeavours today. At the end of the session I will check energy level and mood. No tv, no music, no earphones, no chatting. At least 10 minutes of the workout must be silent. Thanks

    I skimmed through this post at first and before I got to the end was inspired to go back and read through each and every work. What a beautiful idea. Just want to say. :)
  • supergal3
    supergal3 Posts: 523 Member
    I am on board for March mindfulness. My mind seems to always be filled with way too many topics, problems, projects, etc.

    I will try mindfulness on:

    being satisfied with less food, regardless of it being a carb, fat or protein!
    enjoying the fact that I have plenty of time to work out
    mindful that I have the time to enjoy a good book of my choosing
    that I live in a free society
  • bacpath
    bacpath Posts: 326 Member
    Finishing of the month with a solid B grade. I’m proud of myself for my stick-to-it-iveness, my control of Cal and carbs and my success at exercise. [email protected] for the idea. See you next month. Best all
  • kardsharp
    kardsharp Posts: 617 Member
    Thank you. I think I need to live more mindfully. I am in for the challenge.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,270 Member
    Thanks for this Bacon. I'm traveling in March, so this will be good for me.

  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,270 Member
    Thanks for this Bacon. I'm traveling in March, so this will be good for me.
    1. get enough rest
    2. eat low carb while traveling (instead of slow)
    3. don't mindlessly drink wine when out with mates
    4. close all three rings on Apple Watch (stand, move, exercise) daily.
  • taylok23
    taylok23 Posts: 694 Member
    In March, I’ll focus on the following:
    1. Continue to practice mindful eating
    2. Be more present at home- I tend to tune out and will make a better effort to listen more actively

  • baconslave
    baconslave Posts: 6,812 Member
    Thanks for this Bacon. I'm traveling in March, so this will be good for me.

    :mrgreen: Happy and smooth travels!
  • bacpath
    bacpath Posts: 326 Member
    March mindfulness
    1. Below 40 carbs
    2. Below 1500 calories
    3. Mindful practice for at least 10 mins of my exercise session
    4. 5 pounds off by month end.
  • amckholmes
    amckholmes Posts: 119 Member
    Mindful March! My attempt at mindful eating last month was not very successful. For March I will try working more with facts/numbers and see if that is better than just concepts for me.

    1) Net Carbs less than 30 each day

    2) Calories less than 1500 (daily average across the week)

    3) Protein goal of 60

    The mindful aspect will be trying to understand what is triggering the binges, how to stop them and how to not be angry (with myself) over the whole issue.

    Here’s looking forward to a successful month and getting a little closer to beautiful weather. :)
  • tishsmith101
    tishsmith101 Posts: 1,378 Member
    Mindful March goals
    -Move with purpose minimum of 20 min a day, every day
    -More protein than fat
    -Reintroduce NEAT to my days
    -No snooze on my alarm clock
  • taylok23
    taylok23 Posts: 694 Member
    Mar. 1 check in:
    Mindful eating today was just okay- I did eat some nuts after waiting a bit after my all meat dinner. And you know what? I needed tums and feel crappy. I did make a valiant effort to be more present at home by listening more and putting down my phone. Day 1 was an okay one with room for improvement!
  • bacpath
    bacpath Posts: 326 Member
    March 1 check-in. Day of travelling and problems. 1. Way more than 35 carbs 2. Well over 1500 cal. 3. Did exercise with mindfulness. 4. Lose 5 lbs by month end- hopeful!
  • baconslave
    baconslave Posts: 6,812 Member
    My goals for this month are of course to keep trying to scrape off the vanity pounds that are all over my nerves.

    I'll try to be more mindful of:
    -NEAT: I've been just scraping by with "enough" but I know I could get more.
    -Be present more while eating and slow down. No more multitask-eating!
    -Overall increased mindfulness. When I'm tired or frustrated or overwhelmed I tend to hunker down in a foxhole. I need to keep aware.
  • vkrenz
    vkrenz Posts: 183 Member
    March 1 check in.
    1. Mindful exercise- fit bit said I had >16,000 steps, beautiful outside in the 50's
    2. Low carb- right at goal
    3. Under calories- good
    4. Get rid of 5 lbs- I can do this!

    Happy March to everyone!
  • CrispyStars3
    CrispyStars3 Posts: 199 Member
    I'm here! I'm here! :sweat_smile:
    I ended February in a swirling mess with my goals, but managed to pull it together again.
    March 3rd:
    1. Stay under 50 net carbs (<--mindful logging)
    2. Stay under 1500 calories (<--mindful logging)
    3. 5 new recipes
    4. Mindful exercise: 5-6 times a week (I've been doing really well with this since garage clean up.)
    5. Lose 5lbs this month
  • baconslave
    baconslave Posts: 6,812 Member
    edited March 2020
    March 2
    -Mindful logging (stole that from @CrispyStars3 :) ) :mrgreen:
    -NEAT: :) better
    -Be present more while eating and slow down. No more multitask-eating! >:) Was super busy and super starving yesterday. *sigh*
    -Overall increased mindfulness. When I'm tired or frustrated or overwhelmed I tend to hunker down in a foxhole. :neutral: Not the worst ever, but I feel like I made better effort. Needs improvement.

    This is going to be a hard one for me as with 4 kids and homeschooling and church responsibilities, I'm always juggling multiple things. And ADHD tendancies work against me. But I'll work on it.


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