SAVOR to taste (good food or drink) and enjoy it completely.
I got to thinking about this word this morning, It's an incredible word and one that could help us suffer less and find more joy. How many of us are familiar with what it feels like to savor. I wasnt until just recently. My relationship with my food and my body wouldn't permit it. I have mostly been way too busy manipulating my body.
Over the years I have spent so much time dieting that I have become unfamiliar with how to truly enjoy food. At times in my dieting career I would be so restricted that it would lead to binge eating. Other times I would be eating and tallying up macros and calories in my head without even realizing it. For the past few years I have been exploring a more health centered holistic approach to coaching it's a space where healing lives. I think me trying to become a better coach has healed me. Consequently, I rolled out of my last competition season almost completely unscathed which baffled me. Softening my thinking and removing the panic and urgency made space for this good joyful shit. I was now dancing in this cool new nirvana.
I went out to dinner with my husband last week and noticed something interesting. My dining experience wasnt about the food, I actually had a dining experience. I picked the restaurant that I always pick when I am in the mood for my favorite salmon dish, salmon with Broccoli rabe and white beans, very yummy. We were casually talking and connecting over topics of interest, recent things we had learned, projects we were working on, our kids (no matter how much we try not to talk about them we always do). When the food arrived I realized I wasnt eagerly awaiting its arrival, I noticed that we were eating slower, talking more, enjoying each others company and the experience of being out at dinner. In the past it would have certainly been more about the meal but this night it wasnt, it sat with me for a few days and I realized it was because I SAVORED the experience, the food, the company, the lighting all of it. Okay, not all of it, our waitress was a little scary. That evening I enjoyed everything. I dint binge, I ate till full not stuffed and it all seemed effortless. It felt new, It felt like growth, like a lesson learned and a new level of gratitude and awareness found.
I wanted to do it again, not so much the food but the experience of savoring, it really felt so brand new. I had a long weekend with a friend planned so I decided to try it again. Could I recreate that evening, the experience of slowing down, enjoying? I did it, it was magnificent and came naturally. It was like meditation with food, a sense of connectedness. Now I really want to explore this. What if instead of restricting I start chasing the feeling of savoring? I would be sending myself quite a beautiful message, I am worthy of the experience, of enjoying my food. Commonly those of us that struggle with dieting and body image also struggle with allowing ourselves to enjoy food.
Savoring is an act of gratitude, the mere act of enjoying the abundance that we are gifted with creates a more balanced relationship. It doesn't seem that savoring and regret happen in the same space, they don't vibe with each other. Savoring feels like celebrating while regret feels like hiding in a dark corner filled covered in some kind of smelly fungus. It just seems so fucked up that here we are in the midst of abundance when many don't have the same luxuries we have and yet we still don't permit ourselves to enjoy. Hmmmm...
There is a sense of panic that arises for people around the holidays. a fear of losing control around food. If we are fortunate enough to share in community and a meal, with loved ones we are likely to miss it because we are too consumed with pervasive thought of what will this do to my body? What if I lose control? The experience is quickly lost in a sea of panic, the thoughts of food overshadow the joy, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Imagine this was your last holiday to share a meal with your loved ones. What would be most memorable about the meal? Could you experience all of it, the smiles, the laughs, the lighting, the smells, the tastes? We are entitled to enjoy our food
, It doesnt need to be clouded with shame. Even if we have health or physique goals, the two spaces can exist together. We can absolutely enjoy and are entitled to enjoy a meal. Perhaps if we learned to savor more it could repair our relationship with food which for many is so very broken.
The next time you feel the need to restrict what do you think would happen if you instead tried to SAVOR?