For almost a week I’ve abstained from bread, cereal, sugar, potatoes, French fries, rice, and all forms of alcohol (except in cooking). I’ve done my best to workout, to combat jealousy, to not complain, and to pursue happiness. I haven’t applied for a single job in New York City. I haven’t meditated once. Fear not; I have learned a few things.
1. You can go through bread and sugar withdrawals. For the first four days I got a headache at around 4:00 p.m. Though that’s past, it was rather annoying.
2. Dieting encourages mindfulness. To clarify, when I say “dieting” I mean committing to a healthier way of eating. Eliminating all bread, cereal, sugar, potatoes, rice, and alcohol from your plate is not easy. There have been several times when grabbing a sandwich or sushi from Whole Foods’ prepared food stations would have been easier than making my own salad. I’ve never been a big drinker (since leaving college) but not being able to unwind with a glass of wine on a Friday night was missed. While all of this is true, not being able to grab and eat whatever is convenient and looks good has encouraged me to be mindful when I am eating. We all (should) strive to practice mindfulness in all areas of our lives, but eating is especially important. What we put into our bodies affects our moods and our health.
This elimination of all of these foods from my daily diet has encouraged a pattern of mindfulness in other areas of my life, too. (More on that later.)
Okay, I admit it– I cheated a little bit. I had 3 Girl Scouts Cookies following an hour and a half of soccer.