Eat At The Table – Month 2 Week 1

“If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence.”- Unknown

If you have successfully made it through month one congratulations. Month two should be a breeze for you and help you keep the momentum going. The premise for month two is simple. You cannot eat any food outside of your kitchen. Breakfast in your kitchen, lunch in the kitchen, and dinner in the kitchen. If you want snacks, you guessed it. They will be eaten in the kitchen. You can take drinks outside of the kitchen but everything else must remain in the kitchen. Note that a milkshake is not a drink in this case and must be drank in the kitchen. I can see some of you getting really creative as we get further in this month. I’m a fat girl remember. You can’t fool me. I also know that this sounds crazy but I did have some logic behind this challenge for myself.

I am a closet eater. I like to eat when no one is around and in a house with three other people our kitchen is front and center. I would have no issues eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the table but what got me each time was the snacks. At night while watching tv I would eat chips and popcorn. Saturdays and Sundays while watching football or Hallmark I would be sitting with ice cream or brownies. I would put food in my mouth with no thoughts at all as to what I was doing. Mindless eating would be the easiest way to describe this. It always amazed me how I would get to the bottom of an entire bag of chips and then think “did I eat the whole bag”. Yes, yes I did because I opened the family size bag and now it was gone. It would have been great to believe some fairy had come along and stolen chips but the reality was there are no chip eating fairies.

Was I eating a bag of chips in front of my family, NO. For one thing they would ask me if I was going eat the whole bag of chips. Second they would look at me like I was crazy and most likely ask for some of my chips. Hiding in my room I didn’t have to deal with that. They could not judge me. Please let me throw this in here. My family does not judge me. Well they do but not about food. This is 100% in my head. Because this has never happened I have no idea what they would say in this situation. I created an entire scenario because I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I didn’t need to eat as much food as I was eating. Funny how sometimes the only person judging us is us. Thinking out loud what I did was actually hurt my family with my closet eating. My oldest son eats in his room and my husband eats while watching tv. My youngest does eat in the kitchen but only because the rest of the family is hiding out in a room eating. There is no one to see him eat. Instead of creating healthy habits all I did was create an environment where we could all eat in secret. I needed to fix this.

The first week I didn’t eat in the kitchen I noticed I would go in the kitchen, grab food and start to walk out. I would get in the doorway and realize I had created this rule for myself and pause. Sometimes I would sit down at the table and eat but a funny thing happened. Often times I would put the item back and just head back out of the room. I didn’t even want the thing I had gone into the kitchen for. I had placed no food restrictions on myself so if I wanted the chips I could have eaten them. I just didn’t want to sit in the kitchen and eat them. It sounds crazy but I’m telling you it was all true. Eating ice cream in the kitchen and not in front of the tv was insane. Eating a bowl of popcorn not on the couch watching a movie baffled me. Who does that? A brownie, cookie, doughnut, or cracker did not have the same thrill when I had to sit at the table. I began to feel punished by sitting at my own kitchen table, but only when I grabbed snacks. My family eats dinner a few nights a week at the table. We eat breakfast every weekend at the table. Many of my favorite memories are made at that table. Sitting alone with food at that table took on a whole new meaning and it was one I did not like.

One day I was asked why I was at the table eating popcorn. I said because I’ve decided to not eat outside of the kitchen. After my child looked at me like I had grown horns he turned and left the kitchen. I’m sure he had come in there for something but the thought of his mother sitting there looking crazy drove him away. It’s hard to explain to kids why you make some of the decisions you make but the truth is I would have had to be vulnerable. I would have had to explain that once I leave the kitchen I am out of control with food. I eat until stuff is gone and don’t remember what I ate. I would have had to tell my child that as a grown woman I can’t control my actions so I’ve decided I have to sit at this table and slowly eat my food. Yea, I was not saying any of that but if my child is now reading this book it clearly explains why your mom was sitting at the table that day.

For the first week I want you to try this. If nothing else notice how many times you attempt to leave the kitchen with food. I think you will be shocked. I also want you to notice how you eat when in your kitchen. You probably aren’t shoveling food in your face because you would look a hot mess. Sitting at the table eating an apple became a much more pleasant experience than sitting at a table eating a family size bag of chips.

At the end of this week I had lost my one pound. Eating at the table, what a novel concept.

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