As the summer’s end begins its relentless march, the only mantra running through my head seems to be, Slow down, slow down, slow down. I yearn to savor more of the warm days, the outdoor fun, the farm-fresh veggies. I want the world to pause, to slow down, to give me more time to take it all in.
Pondering these thoughts as I was sitting at my desk, I noticed that my eyes landed on my bookshelf and the wonderfully poignant book written by my friend Marc David called The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss. What a great concept, that slowing down, savoring, and enjoying our food are actually key ingredients to a weight-loss diet!
But then again, aren’t they the ingredients to every component of health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual?
What would it be like if we just slowed down? If we trusted that we were not really missing anything if we don’t, as Marc puts it, continue “propelling ourselves through life at a dizzying pace…”?
What if the most important thing for each of us in the next few weeks is to discover just how luscious a blueberry could taste? How messy we can get from biting into a fresh, ripe peach? How many different ways we can drive home from work? What if we crossed off some of our to-dos before we actually do them? Truly listened to every detail of what our children (or partner or friend) was saying? What if we devoted ourselves to getting to know someone or something in our world that we have been passing by too quickly?
The Slow Down Diet walks readers through an eight-step process that brings awareness to the “metabolic power” of experiences such as relaxation, quality, awareness, and pleasure. It’s a great read that could start a potentially powerful dialogue with ourselves and those in our lives.
In one of the steps Marc asks us to reflect on how we author our relationship with food—what a wonderful way to feel empowered! When we recognize that we are the authors of our relationship with food, as well as our relationship with the people and things in our world, we can start to create the experiences we want. I reflected the other day, just as a whirlwind of ‘circumstances” came into my life, that although I don’t have to claim responsibility for what just showed up, I cannot duck responsibility for the relationship I created to it. I often realize this when I’m eating: it’s the relationship that I am creating with the food that determines just how life-giving it is. I’m convinced that when I slow down and savor a ripe peach, a bowl of berries with cream, or an entire meal that my body is then able to extract from it more nutrients and more energy.
So while the fall will come, bringing its cooler days, school schedules, and budget meetings, how would it look for me—and you—to create a “slow-down diet” in relationship to it?
What would it look like to create the awareness that turns on our sense of deep satisfaction, of savoring? I think I’ll go pick some blueberries and find out… how about you?