Lessons From a Dog Blog - End of Week 1
Last week, I announced that I was going to try out
Emma’s Principles to Live By,
one at a time, and write about it. As you may
recall, I picked “eat with gusto”
for my first week’s test. That week is now over, and I have found that eating with gusto is something that I intend to continue indefinitely.
I have already written detailed blogs about the first few days of this experience. At first, I thought that I would just write a short blog after each meal, so I confidently sat down after
breakfast on the first day,
and started writing about my mostly good experiences while eating that meal. It seems that I had a lot to say, because I ended up with an article some 600 words long.
A second blog post
on the first day turned into an essay on why I like to eat low-glycemic foods, as well as an admission that I was having a hard time remembering to “eat with gusto.” At that point, I realized that there was little likelihood that I would write short blogs, and quit trying to write after every meal.
My third blog post
was on day 5. And now, I am writing my final post on the subject of eating with gusto. I find that I don’t have much to say. I have said so much about the subject, already.
However, I would like to summarize what I learned and experienced while eating over the past week. First of all, I learned that eating with gusto does not have to mean eating fast. For some reason, I thought that eating with gusto meant that I would be shoveling food into my mouth, in a similar fashion to the way Emma practically inhales her food. What I learned is that “gusto” is about enjoyment and enthusiasm, not about speed. This was an important lesson.
Next, I found that deliberately intending to enjoy an eating experience heightens that experience incredibly. I found myself smiling as I prepared my food, and I fully tasted all the flavors in every morsel of food. It was an experience akin to bliss, at times. I was not eating anything particularly exciting. I often had oatmeal with fruit mixed in, and eggs scrambled with spinach for breakfast; and lunch and dinner most often consisted of a green salad with some kind of animal protein added. There were also a few times when I enjoyed celery or apple with peanut butter. You see; nothing exciting there. However, it didn’t matter what I ate. This was about enjoying the eating experience, and I did, thoroughly.
Finally, this experience taught me how to truly feel grateful for what I put into my body. Yes, I have expressed gratitude for my food in the past. But, when I intended to eat with gusto, I truly felt that gratitude. I knew, with each bite, that I was fueling my body. I felt not only gratitude for the food itself, but also gratitude for what it was doing for me. It has allowed me to easily dismiss cravings for foods that I know are not healthy for my body, and to look forward ,with great anticipation, to providing my body with good nutrition.
What do you know? I guess that I did have something to say. I highly endorse eating with gusto as a regular practice in your life. What a difference it has made in my overall feelings throughout the day, and in the way I view foods and eating. No longer is eating something that I do while my mind attends to something else. Now, it is am experience in joy, pleasure, and gratitude.
The above experience has really gotten me excited about what I intend to try next, which is “doing everything with enthusiasm. I actually had some small unintentional experiences with this over the past week, as the good feelings from eating with gusto carried over into other activities that followed eating. Here are Emma’s exact words on the subject: “ I find it strange that people will do things reluctantly, or slowly. As far as I’m concerned, anything that you feel is important enough to do should be done with enthusiasm and much energy. Go ahead, have fun with whatever you’re doing, even if you have done it many times, and think it’s just the same old thing. It’s never really the same.” I look forward to the next week, and to telling you all about it.
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