I walked into a restaurant the other day. There was a table with 6 people eating together, or were they eating together? Each one was bent over a smartphone. There was no interaction among the people sitting at the table. They were all mindlessly putting forkfuls of food into their mouths while engrossed with their phones.
So what? What does cellphones have to do with weight?
It can have a lot to do with weight. When we aren’t paying attention to eating a meal, we’re usually not paying attention to what or how much we’re eating. Mindless eating is among the causes of weight gain.
Cellphones at the table have other ways of undermining our weight-related goals.
According to some research (including a survey in the Glamour magazine body-image issue) social media is exacerbating dissatisfaction with our bodies.
Looking at photoshopped, filtered pictures of celebrities creates dissatisfaction with our bodies, but it’s our friends whose graphically enhanced images smiling at us through their Facebook and Instagram accounts that can make us hate our bodies even more.
Eating while staring at upsetting images can affect how much we eat at that meal, and what and how much we eat in general. It seems logical that if we’re dissatisfied with our bodies we’d eat less. It doesn’t always work that way.
The problem is we often only see things in terms of black and white – all good and if not all good then all bad. There’s no good, better, best and there’s no bad, worse, worst!
If images make us feel inferior, it doesn’t inspire us to launch a self-improvement project. We decide we’re no good; we’re bad, so nothing matters. We might as well order the super-sized, saturated fat, sodium and sugar-filled, high calorie menu items, because it doesn’t matter.
It does matter.
There is a lot of good in everybody and every body, including looking good.
We can emphasize all that’s good. We can take good care of ourselves and our “good” can become “better” and “best.” We see that for which we are looking. We need to learn how to see the good in ourselves instead of comparing ourselves unfavorably with images in social media.
So put down that darn phone even if you’re dining by yourself.
Make the meal your entertainment. Eat foods that are good for you and taste good too. Pay attention to the food, the subtle flavors and textures. Eat slowly and make each meal a pleasurable experience.