How Slow Can You Go?
I’ve recently enrolled myself into Precision Nutrition coaching, a year-long nutrition program designed to transform your nutrition habits and your life. Because, I am a firm believer that coaches, too, need coaches and because a year-long commitment to a program is way outside my comfort zone, I decided to go for it.
To start, our coaches have given us one simple assignment to work on for two weeks: to eat slowly.
What? That’s it? I don’t need to track my food, count macros, cut out certain foods? Sounds easy, right?
I re-read the assignment and considered this new daily habit within the context of a real day for me. I remembered what my meal-eating experiences typically involve: tupperwares, stuffing my face, squeezing in bites between clients sessions, speed, and now that I think of it, stress. Ummm, can the words “eat” and “slowly” even be in the same sentence? These days, for most of us, I think not.
As simple as this task is, it made complete sense that creating this habit would definitely transform my view of eating and fitness, and ultimately my body and life. When it comes to the formation of any new habit, behavioral change, and transformation, things can be tricky. Because our old ways have a tendency to stick. This I know. When it comes down to it, to unstick our old ways we must remember that big results come from small steady changes made consistently and mindfully. In other words, slowly.
Logically I get this, but my inner Veruca Salt comes out to play sometimes and screams, “I don’t care how! I want it now!”
Obviously, when you have a tasty meal or treat sitting in front of you, with the added pressure of time constraints, all you can think of is give it to me, straight to my face. Our impulse to want it now even extends beyond eating yummy food, to our desire for results. We want to eat our food fast, we want to feel full now, AND we want a better body now. Or, we want our gainz now. We want our new business to explode. We want it all. Fast and now!
Let me ask you this: Have you ever tried to do something, As. Slow. As. You. Possibly. Can?
Hello, Lara. We all know that, ain’t nobody got time for that!
We can apply the exercise of eating as slow as possible to almost activity and goal.
Let’s reconsider some common goals with the idea of moving slowly in mind.
How slowly can you lose weight?
How slowly can you gain strength?
How slowly can you build your business?
How slowly can you save up money?
How slowly can you get this project done?
This exercise of eating slowly has enhanced my experience in several ways.
First off, I can actually appreciate my food, the details of flavor, texture. And because I’m experienced in measuring my food and calculating macros calories, I thought I had a good sense of portion. But eating slow has actually allowed my to perceive food portion and satiety in a new way, as it relates to time. Even a small snack can last and be very fulfilling. Also, by lengthening my meals, even if for a few more minutes, I’ve actually enhanced my enjoyment of what I am eating. I am definitely more present, more calm. The benefits are pretty obvious with the example of eating.
When taken to the context of other areas, it can be a bit silly, extreme and seem counter intuitive, but this invites us to think of our activities, our desired results, our motivations in a different way. When we apply the idea of Slow to anything, it shifts the activity into a different kind of challenge with a new approach. Our focus on the results eases up and we pay more attention to the process and other kinds of details we would not have originally seen.
Overall, moving slowly, drawing out your results enhance your experience and the outcome in so many ways. Remember, the slower you build, the stronger the foundation. By taking your time, you learn mindfulness, the key to success in just about everything. You may even find that you start to enjoy the process. The act becomes more about action and the process, quality, connection, and less about the results.
I invite you to experiment with moving slowly. Own the Slow. What activity or goal have you been working on, or perhaps even been struggling with, can you change up?