This week Iíve been thinking about something that I never really imagined had anything to do with my eating and weight management: sound. Iíve thought often about the sight and smell of food, the textures that satisfy, the tastes that I either crave or despise. But sound?
There is, of course, the sound of great cooking (veggies hitting the frying pan, the fall of the knife against the cutting board, apples that crunch in the mouth). Enter into any restaurant kitchen and sound is the thing that probably strikes you second only to aroma.
But the other sounds in our environment, it seems to me, offer important clues for healthy eating. For one thing, I must have alternatives to eating as a means to calm myself and soothe my anxieties. If I think about the sounds that keep me on edge (TV blaring, radio playing, etc), I realize its easier and healthier to block them out (or move away from them.). Dining al fresco is nice, but thereís a reason we donít have fine restaurant patios adjacent to freeways.
In addition to editing out stressful sounds, at work this week Iíve been streaming internet radio to create a quiet background of Christmas carols. As I pore over my accounts or deal with cranky customers, its pleasant to re-connect with the songs and tunes of my youth. It reminds me of elementary school, when we used to meet in the assembly room and sing carols together in the weeks before Christmas (I suppose they donít do that anymore!).
And ultimately, there is the sound of silence. The sound of quiet contemplation when I stop to take a breath, to find myself in the moment, to slow down. Listening to my breathing, or my heart, I can get in touch with the places that are stressed out (right now my lower back). I can also hear the sensation of eating quietly, which adds to the overall experience.
It reminds me that I need to go download my relaxation podcast so I can take it to the gym and do some stretching. Sound good?