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Day 4 Weight Loss: Mindfulness Eating and Spiritual Benefits – Exercise and healthy eating contributes to weight loss, but what about the practice of mindfulness eating? How does this contribute to weight loss? Mindfulness eating is discussed later in this post in Spiritual Guidance.
We know that weight loss is important to lowering high blood pressure, controlling cholesterol and blood sugar. I noticed that although I eat healthy but stopped exercising, my blood pressure seemed a little high, and I take medication. What I mean by high is that it consistently was in the range of 138/72-140/75. Actually, the systolic pressure is high, but the diastolic is low. I will have to continue to monitor both readings, especially the diastolic. If it goes lower, I will need to see my doctor in case we need to adjust my medication.
When I monitored my blood pressure yesterday it was 129/69 and my resting pulse was 52. Tonight it was 129/61 and my resting pulse was 60. These readings are pretty good for my age— which is 70. I imagine that I will continue to see these results as I lose more weight and exercise. The spiritual practice of mindfulness when eating may even help to lessen stress and anxiety, contributing to improving my health and gains in my holistic lifestyle.
Healthy eating today consisted of a fruit smoothie, oven baked lemon chicken and salad with avocado and apple, left-over Chinese food, as well as a half a cup of cherries in coconut milk. Today I spent a lot of my time reading about eating low carbohydrate food and discovered that I need to include protein in every meal, and eat plenty of greens and vegetables. It looks like I will be revising my food plan and will continue to revise it as I learn more about eating this way. One thing to remember is that healthy eating is a way of life; it’s not dieting. The word “dieting” has a lot of negative, mythical thoughts when we think about losing weight:
- We must count calories to lose weight.
- We can’t eat meat because it has high fat content and we won’t lose weight.
- To lose weight, we have to give up food we love.
- If we want to lose weight, we should only eat fat-free food.
- In order to lose weight and maintain it, we have to eat only low-calorie foods.
The more weight I lose, my high blood pressure will go down, my health will improve and so will my holistic lifestyle. As I stated, monitoring my blood pressure is very important in case the diastolic goes too low.
I worked out with hand weights for 15 minutes and interval running in place for 6 minutes. As I am researching online, I found that it’s really important to keep moving or exercising our bodies. I am hoping that as I improve on exercising, my systolic blood pressure will go down too. As mentioned in Healthguide.org, there are many benefits to exercising and moving our bodies:
- Increases our energy
- Helps manage pain
- Improves our physical health
- Reverses signs of aging
- It’s good for our mind, mood, and memory
For anyone who is limited or has a disability, Healthigude.org has a section on chair exercises too. YouTube has videos on a variety of chair exercises that anyone can access and use.
I am writing a spiritual journal as I go through A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. (When you click on the book title, it links to HolisticSeniors Shop. If you make a purchase of any Amazon product, I will receive up to a 10% referral fee.)
As I mentioned in my post, Day 2: Spiritual Benefits of Buddha Bowl, the spiritual exercise I’m working on is taking time. There is a list of words that are considered the bricks that built the wall around me so I’m working on one word at a time. As Marianne states in the book, “Don’t rush the process.”
I read an article online, “Can Mindful Eating Help You Lose Weight?” This way of eating can be traced back to Buddhism. If you are mindful about eating, you are aware of what you are eating, what you are feeling, and your actions while eating. The article explains the process and it certainly sounds like a good way of eating. My understanding of the article is that, as Americans, we eat while we watch television, talk on our cell phones or whatever else. We just keep adding to our stress and anxiety when we eat this way and one way that we can enjoy our healthy food is being mindful.
I am guilty of not eating mindfully. As I’m preparing meals, I watch Hulu or Netflix. Even when I’m eating, I watch Hulu. It’s time for me to start a new practice. While I select items for meals, start preparing and cooking meals I will practice mindfulness. I will think about what I’m preparing and how it makes me feel. I will be aware of the thoughts that occupy my mind when I’m preparing meals and eating food. I will focus my attention on loving each item and seeing in my mind the benefits not just to myself, but to my family too. Today, I will start practicing mindfulness silently while preparing and eating my food. Writing in my weight loss journal about my mindfulness practice hopefully will give me new insights too. Preparing and enjoying the food in my Buddha Bowl will have even more meaning as I practice mindfulness. Watch the video below, an introduction to mindfulness eating.