Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Slow Down Challenge# 2: Fast Eater, Multi-Tasker

I’m joining the Slow Down Challenge initiated by one of my favourite writers Jeff Goins. If you want to jump in, here’s how.

I’ve been slacking. Guilty, as charged. But the day after I posted the first challenge, I got a really painful canker sore on my lower lip. I couldn’t, for the life of me, accomplish the second challenge without wincing in pain. Thankfully, after several swabs of gel, I am back to business and ready to pin down the next challenge.

I am part of a generation of fast-food eaters. I am a fast eater.

The challenge proved to be tougher than I expected. Sure, I love food. Nothing gives me more pleasure than eating out with friends and family celebrations are more memorable with Mom’s culinary specialties. However, appreciation of food itself is often short-lived and rarely went beyond the critical taste test. The rest of the eating experience is carried out on autopilot. Even when I’m eating alone, my brain is too busy reeling with all kinds of to-do lists. So yes, excuse me food, to the backseat you go. I’m too busy to count how many times I have to throw you around my mouth.

So to chew slowly and make each bite intentional and deliberate would take a lot of effort and self-control. Then again, that’s the point of taking a challenge, isn’t it?

Summoning all my energies and fighting the urge not to babble, I sat down and started with small servings. In the beginning, it was easy. My entire attention was on the food in my mouth, how I cut it to bits, or how the juices teased my taste buds. It was indeed a fuller culinary experience. I felt so much in control and so in-the-moment.

And then we started talking and the to-do lists flashed on my mind. Poof! My resolve flew out the window. But it doesn't mean it ends there. Because I’m going to keep trying.

On hindsight, if this challenge proved anything, it underscored the fact that I’m a huge multi-tasker even in the simplest pleasures of life such as enjoying a hearty meal. I have so much to learn how to slow things down. And I can’t wait to start.

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