Are you overloading your plate?

Do you over-load your plate? Do you eat when you are not hungry? Are you comfortable in your own company?

Ok, what does the last question have to do with eating and what is on your plate? I ask that you stay with me on this exploration.

One of the things that has really come to my attention, the last two weeks is how well I do ‘busy’. I do ‘this and that’ and rearly stop, slow down and just pause. Last Tuesday I arrived at my dancing class 30mins early, and as it was cold I decided to stay in the car until class. I thought this would be a great opportunity to sit in stillness. I sat there, watching the trees, breathing in and out, noticing the rambling of my thoughts. A good percentage of the time, I was wishing to pick up the phone and flick through FB. Why? Do I not like my own company? What is it about my ‘four walls’ that I am uncomfortable with? This lead to another thought….How often do we avoid looking deep at what is making us uncomfortable?

How do we do this avoidance:

  • we over eat
  • we eat when we are not hungry
  • we eat when we are bored
  • we use social media to distract us
  • we flick on the TV
  • we become ‘busy’ doing things that are not urgent at the time
  • we go shopping
  • etc……….

In a nutshell, we over-consume. Our society is geared to support our overconsumption. None of us want to feel like we are missing out, being left behind or that we are not good enough. All uncomfortable emotions.

When we experience an emotion that we find uncomfortable, we have been taught/conditioned to ‘stuff’ it down by distracting ourselves. How do we do this distraction? Any of the above plus a whole lot more. How do you distract yourself when you feel uncomfortable?

When I asked “Do you overload your plate?” Did you answer “Yes”. If you asked me, if I overloaded my plate, I would say no. I only put on my plate what I know I can eat. Yet if we expand plate to mean ‘the time I have in my day’, then the answer would be yes. I overload my day (plate) with too much. Why? I feel I ‘should’ be doing…….I run my own business, so there is SO much that I have to do. If I don’t do ‘it’, no one else will. If I dig deeper, this doing, doing, doing and not pausing was modelled by my Dad. He would only rest, when his body made him, via a migraine. He was also vocal about people he thought were lazy and therefore not ‘doing’. So in my ‘busy’, there is no way I can be classed as being lazy. This is only one aspect of my doing.

What about the second question? “Do you eat when you are not hungry?” Yes I do. I am still working on the conditioning, that I have around having to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, because it is morning, middle of the day and evening. In part this conditioning is due to society. At school and work we have designated times for lunch, and if we do not take that time to eat, we are not able to take it at another time. A sense of missing out, being left behind and not being part of the group is instilled. Let’s now expand this question to….”Do you consume (eat) when you are bored (not hungry)?” Can you sit with yourself or do you flick through social media, turn on the telly, go shopping etc? There is nothing ‘wrong/bad’ with these activities, it is more are you doing them to escape yourself.

This then leads us to the third question. “Are you comfortable with your own company?” If you are not, then my invitation to you, is to get curious about what it is about you, your company, that you are uncomfortable about. With this line of enquiry, you will learn more about yourself and then you are able to let go of those thoughts, beliefs and habits that are making you uncomfortable.

We all crave deep connections in our lives. These deep connections are created by spending quality time with family, friends, pets, those we wish to have deep connections with. In order for us to have a deep connection with ourselves, we then need to spend quality time with ourselves.

My invitation to you this week, is to experiment with one of the following:

  1. Create space in your schedule for connecting with yourself. Ideally daily, however, as often as you can, is better than not at all. Make yourself a cuppa, juice or greens smoothie and then sit quietly. If you are concerned that you will run over the allocated time, set an alarm, so you can now just be with yourself. Allow thoughts to come and go. Have a note pad and pen handy, as you may find, that in creating space in your busy day, inspiration may visit. Observe how you feel at the end of the day and at the end of the week.
  2. When putting food on your plate, observe yourself. Are you eating because you are hungry? Have you over filled your plate? Are you bored? How are you feeling? The more often you do this, you will come to realise which foods you reach for, when you feel a certain way. This is the first step in a greater understanding of your emotions and the connection they play with the food you eat. I have written two post about this What are cravings? and What message is your food telling you?

For me, I am learning, that by allowing myself space/stillness, my days don’t feel so frantic. I am also learning the art of ‘being present’ and how playing with the doing and the pause, I can achieve more with grace and ease.

Have you had any ahh’s reading this post? Which invitation are you going to do this week? I would love to hear from you and how your week went and what you learnt about yourself. Please send me an email.

In vibrant health, Vicki