Mindful eating means, to me, that every time I consume something I consume it with purpose. Although this may seem an obvious action to encompass, in reality, it is not. Many of us don’t eat or drink mindfully or with any purpose but to just satisfy our own desires.
For me, it all began in January 2013. I was in my first year at university and I was tired. Tired of eating chicken. Yes—you read that right. I lived on the stuff and it was slowly becoming a cloying annoyance that I yearned to get rid of. So, in that instance, I became a pescatarian. For all those who don’t know what this implies, it simply means that I only eat seafood. I had never done anything like it before and I really was excited about how long I would last.
I lasted 6 months. Some would see it as pitiful—to others, impressive—but to me, was an achievement. However, in that period, I didn’t lead with the intention to live a pescatarian lifestyle. I was literally just on a ‘chicken sabbatical’ and trying to challenge myself.
Fast forward to August 2016. I had accumulated, in my picky opinion, a significant amount of weight and was not happy or comfortable with it. Previously, months before, I had been mulling over rekindling my exclusive relationship with seafood and it was on the 21st August that I did exactly that. Currently, it is June 2017 and I’ve surpassed my preceding record. But what did I do differently? Well, firstly, my reason behind this new start was the same as before. I was tired of other meats and thought that I could cut them out again. But to be successful in this endeavor, I had to honestly ask myself why I was tired of eating them. My soul reason was that my mind had become dormant in my consumption of food. I asked myself, was I eating this because I wanted to or because it was there and the answer was the latter. At that moment, I truly understood how dangerous slumbering minds could be. This revelation was much bigger than the concept of restricting meat or becoming pescatarian. It was about my mind-set.
Over the past 9 months, I’ve been on a road of cleansing, education and regeneration. Renewing my mind to understand my thoughts about food, how I treat my body and how the world mindlessly views consumption. The results? Weight loss, mindfulness and a moderate clean eating lifestyle, knowing that physically and mentally, I operate better. This means that my needs and wants are subjectively manipulated by my thoughts. Some see this as a limited lifestyle but I believe that things can only become a limitation if you choose to view them as a necessity. I’m definitely not limited—I’m liberated.
Who knows, this new way of thinking may one day lead me to vegetarianism or even veganism. But for now, I think I’m content in exploring every seafood restaurant in the country.