Monday, August 30, 2010

Does multitasking making you fat?

Are you a multitasker?  Well, of course you are- you are human.  I know being a mother requires a lot of mutlitasking.  Women are natural mutlitaskers.  That's why men don't have vaginas, right?  I mean, we're pretty amazing aren't we?   We multitask all day- wiping butts, washing laundry, texting, cleaning floors, wiping noses, making dinner, facebooking, bathing babies, making babies (HA!),  pushing said babies out our poor, dear vaginas.  It's exhausting. So, damn it, I'll eat those 5 slices of pizza and have a brownie or too.  Because today was hard.

And hard is right.  I'm sure you've heard:  "I don't know how women did this motherhood thing without modern technology."  Well, yeah, I like my dishwasher too.  And I'll keep my washer and dryer.  But do TV, phones, computers, computer games make our lives easier?  Or do they make things more complicated under the guise of making things easy. How else would you know what Martha Stewart's home looks like and how you want your home to look the same if it weren't for modern technology?  Or how Giselle had washboard abs 6 weeks postpartum?  How else would you know that that high school friend has "done 5 loads of laundry, made two loaves of bread, made 6 months of baby food,  finished washing and drying cloth diapers" all by 9am?  Thank you, Facebook!  I'm a bad mom and I want a donut.

The new standard has just been raised to a new unattainable level.  And now we have to prove we can keep up.  And the funny thing is- it drives us FURTHER away from permanent weight loss.  Because when we can eat, we've probably eaten beyond full before we were really aware of eating.  We have no time to be aware.  Because our model homes with model kids and model bread machines are not going to happen if you stop to be aware.  Who can be aware when shits in diapers and dust bunnies are clinging to the paci on the floor?

But is your multiasking making you more productive?  Or do you feel like you're on a hamster wheel?  And is productivity the only definition of a successful day?  What about those rare, lazy Sundays where you lounge in your PJs all day and read?  Which days are more soul nourishing? And how does that relate to eating?

Well, if we begin eating without awareness, how do we know when we're full?  If our minds and hearts are being stretched to watch TV, eat dinner, manage fussy kids and answer texts on the phone- then how can we possibly be present?  It's like a waste of a meal.  So we take more bites, get seconds and ask for dessert because it doesn't feel like we've had a meal yet.  And for those of us who tend towards compulsive/emotional eating, food can be our only sense of comfort in a giant cluster fuck.
 "People say it's too hard to eat without distractions.  It's too hard to stop when they've had enough.  And I say awareness might be hard because it's developing a new skill but not being aware is hard, too.....eating in the car while talking on the cell phone, steering, putting on lip liner, and trying to get a hunk of hamburger in your mouth while not dripping the ketchup all over your jacket-is a bit of a challenge as well."~Geneen Roth
One of her guidelines is eating without distractions.   Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.

Did you catch the "anxiety-producing conversations?"  Mothers of small children:  Is this not dinner every night?  I don't know about you, but by 6pm my kids are shot and I'm ready to sell them to the highest bidder.   All three of them are  in their witching hour and sitting down to eat involves a lot emotions. It's a season.  It will pass.  But in the mean time Ed and I have to live through it.  And I can't escape through the Nutella, so I have to adapt.

So let's challenge ourselves!    Try not to multitask this week.
Eat dinner at the table with no tv, screaming kids, magazines, newspapers, phones. (eat your dinner after kid bed time if need be)

Read a good book during the baby's nap (even though you could get SO MUCH done during his nap and then be able to update your status about your mad laundry and bread making skils!)

Spend 3o whole mins doing nothing but playing with the kids.  No answering the phone, texts, email.  (And play!  None of that zombie shit)

Don't let your TV run on throughout the day.

Drink your coffee without CNN....Or worse: Fox News.

Eat lunch without distraction.

Go to the bathroom without your iPhone.

Cook your dinner without cleaning as you go.

For God's sake, drive without texting!

Put some music on and listen to it.  Not as background buzz, but listen hear it.
Do one thing at a time. If you sit down to watch your favorite show and the dryer buzzes.  Don't get up to do another load or fold.  One thing at a time.  Enjoy the moment without feeling the incessant need to multitask.  Practice the skill of awareness and presence in the small things.
When you eat, do so with "enjoyment, gusto and pleasure, " says the 7th Guideline in Roth's book.
Obviously all multitasking isn't an admission of mind numbing unawareness.  But I think practicing the skill of  awareness throughout the day will help our waistlines and psych.


Megan Case said...

This is something I struggle with every day. My husband's motto is "Be Here Now". I may need to have it tatooed on my forehead to help me remember it.

I had a moment yesterday where I got really irritated that while my husband was out playing disc golf, I was left with a filthy house to clean up. And then......I changed my tune. I decided that I didn't have to be pissed off about it. I could wait until he was home, and we could do it together. If he has time for disc golf, then he has time to help me clean. No need for a bitch fit here! And then, I curled up on the sofa and read a book for the rest of the afternoon. We're going to have a cleaning spree when he gets home tonight. : )

Love checking in on your blog. Keep it up girl! Gotta run- There is a massive dust bunny headed my way...

Jenn Hartley said...

:) Great post!

Meghan said...

This one is a doozy of a good one.

Jenn said...

"Go to the bathroom without your iPhone." You are so f-ing funny! I totally do that. Sometimes I pretend there is something wrong (read constipation) so I can sit in there and "read" facebook.

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