80% Full

“Derek”, my trainer at the gym, suggested that I get involved in an online program called Precision Nutrition.  It offers daily lessons that mostly focus on the mind, rather than the stomach.  Every two weeks we’re given a new daily habit to focus on, and I’m finding that I can apply them broadly to my life.

1.  Make Time

The “for what” part of making time is totally up to me.  And I’m clear that I need to set up my life to get this stuff done on virtually a daily basis.  For instance, I need to write this blog.  It’s not a diary.  I have no interest in that.  I want to reach people like you, to sense that my words sometimes get you thinking, get you feeling, get you living a touch deeper.

I’m committed to making time for conversations that matter.  Let’s talk about what’s important to us.  I want to sit down with 12-year-olds, 42-year-olds and 72-year-olds.  You have the depths of your life to offer me, and I’ll give you back all that I have.

I’m committed to meditating – to falling into the space of love in the quiet of my bedroom.  I want to touch the ineffable, the sublime, the union with the divine.

I will also make time for getting strong, aerobically fit, flexible and nutritionally sound.  My well-being is not only spiritual and relational.  It’s physical too.

2.  Eat Slowly

Actually, do lots of things slowly, such as walking.  I feel the rhythm of my body moving, the flow of it all rather than frantic here, stumbly there.  I also drive slowly, despite the tailgaters who seem to be shouting “More!  More!”  I slow to a new speed limit gradually, instead of slamming on my brakes at the last second.

The eating part is a challenge.  Put down the fork often.  Chew a lot.  Really taste things.  There’s a lot of work to do here but I know I’m in this for the long haul.  I need to have meals be an experience, not a brief interlude between tasks.

If I slow down, then the roses can truly be smelled, the eyes of the other can truly be met, and even my breath can take its time.

3.  80% Full

Two days ago, I read about my new daily habit: stop eating when I’m 80% full.  Just a tiny bit of hunger left, the plate not fully cleaned, and a spaciousness inside that’s palpable.  There’s a lightness here which so easily migrates to my mind and heart.  In contrast, I remember family dinners from long ago where it became a ritual for me to undo my belt and unzip a bit before dessert arrived.  Being bloated dampens the flavours.

In the gym, how about stopping when I’m pleasantly fatigued in the bench press, and then moving on to the next exercise?  “No pain, no gain” just doesn’t ring true to me.

I could respectfully leave a conversation when the words coming into my brain are at the 80% level.  Things don’t have to be so jampacked.  I could put my book down when my brain is 80% tired of processing ideas.

***

Hmm.  Nutrition … life.  From the very specific to the many dimensions of living.  Why not?

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