Think about the meals you eat at home. Do you eat your dinner on the couch? Do you consume your breakfast while preparing for the day? Do you forgo crockery to save the washing up and eat straight from the saucepan?
Now, think about when you have guests over. How is your table set? Do you pull out grandma’s special tablecloth? Do you bring out linen napkins or those napkin rings you love, but never use? Do you create a centrepiece for the table? Do you play music?
When I think about my past eating experiences, I realised I only brought out the ‘good’ crystal glassware or that ‘special’ salad bowl when creating a meal for others, believing those things were ‘too good’ to be used for just me. My inner critic said “I don’t have time to make a meal an experience”, “I live on my own so there’s no point”, or “I’m waiting until – I’ve bought a better home, I’ve got a partner, I feel more deserving – before I use the nice things.”
Why do we feel that others are more deserving of a joyful, relaxed eating experience than ourselves? What are we waiting for to experience those cherished platters, crystal or tablecloths passed down to us, gifted to us or purchased because we loved them? What if we started enjoying them now? Creating a memorable, fulfilling eating experience for yourself allows you to savour and really slow down with food, and you can enjoy as well as digest and metabolise your meal in the most efficient way possible.
I had a beautiful friend who always used to say “what are you waiting for, use your best china!” and I was reminded of this as I undertook my Eating Psychology Coach training. I started small, picking one meal each week to make special, building up to one meal each day. Take a look below and see if there’s anything you could try:
– Eating from a different shaped bowl or plate, or drinking your morning tea or coffee in a different cup or mug;
– Pick a flower and place it in a vase on your dining table;
– Use a tablecloth or cloth napkins, or put any type napkins in your napkin rings;
– Play a new soundtrack or a new style of music, you can search ‘good dinner music’ for some inspiration;
– Pull out the cherished crockery, cutlery or glassware;
– Serve your meal or your sides from a platter on the table, or if you already do this, try the opposite – serving everything onto each plate individually;
– Light a candle.
The experience of eating is like the experience of life, don’t wait to enjoy things that are valuable and meaningful to you. There isn’t a place, time or weight that you need to get to before you are deserving of the joys of eating and the joys of life. So go on, use your best china!
Fiona has a passion for creating positive, fulfilling experiences of eating. Fiona’s coaching style is supportive and relaxed, creating a safe space to discuss and explore the connections between mind, body, and eating. She is guided by her curiosity and likes to delve deeper into the origins of her client’s eating habits and patterns of thinking. Fiona empowers her clients to focus on breaking negative patterns of thinking around body image and disordered eating.
She is based in Sydney, Australia and is available for one on one coaching in person and via video-calls. You can connect through her website: www.mindbodyandeating.com or follow her on Instagram: @mindbodyandeating.