WBI Weekly Healthy Lifestyle Challenge – Week One
Welcome to our program dietitian, Vicki Bovee, and her husband Bill’s healthy lifestyle challenge adventure. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.
From Vicki: We agreed to start our challenges on Saturdays. The “I’ll start on Monday” or “when things are normal” doesn’t work. Why did we pick Saturday? Because we are both home that day and it’s important to get off on good start. We can keep each other on track over the weekend and then start the work week on a roll. It’s important to make the effort to set yourself up for success at the beginning. Success breeds success. Please start on whatever day works best for you!
Challenge #1 Eat all food sitting down.
One day last week on my way to work I was waiting at a stop sign waiting for a pedestrian to cross the street. She made her way to the other side of the street munching on a bag of Doritos….at 7:00 in the morning. We, especially Americans, eat without paying attention to what, where, or how much we are eating because we eat everywhere. Take pause to think about your own eating habits. How much and what kind of food goes in your mouth as you cruise around the kitchen, office, or Costco?
Our challenge this week was to eat all foods while sitting down which creates more mindful eating. We scored ourselves on the 0-10 scale with 0 being never ate sitting down and 10 being perfect. We came up different scores. Bill gave himself a 9.5 and I gave myself a 7.5. Hmm. Why the disparity? Bill doesn’t cook! I caught myself nibbling while cooking dinner. It might have been a tomato slice or some carrots coins but it really doesn’t make a difference if it’s vegetables or something else. It is still mindless eating.
Bill works from home and eats his breakfast and lunch in the front of the TV and eats his snacks in front of his computer (I see another challenge down the road). He said his three slips were from putting food in his mouth before he sat down. He caught himself and held the food in his mouth until he sat down and then started chewing. I also caught myself starting to eat off my plate while carrying it to the table. If the first bite tastes the best, how can you savor the first bite if you’re not paying any attention to it? When you sit down to eat, you are more conscious of the taste, smell, and texture of the food. That awareness makes your food more enjoyable.
I normally drink my breakfast shake while I am getting ready for work. I start drinking it in the kitchen, tote it to the bathroom counter, and then into my office. Nope, I had to change my routine to drink it while checking my email before work. It wasn’t the best thing to do, but I was sitting down.
We also noted several observations. Bill said he nibbled, aka grazing, less but that was partly because he had less “nibble” food available. If you don’t buy it you can’t eat it. We also noticed our kitchen floor was cleaner. Without the nibbling and eating while standing up in the kitchen, less food hit the floor. I am into the next challenge and I am catching myself taking a bite on my way to the table. Clearly, this is a long-time bad habit of mine.
Your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is to eat everything sitting down. This includes everywhere you may eat and not just at home, including Costco.
Stay tuned for next week’s challenge where we greatly reduce intake of a food that we as Americans have tripled our consumption of since the early 1970’s.
Vicki Bovee, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian with over 25 years experience in weight loss and weight management. Vicki works with both weight loss surgery patients and nonsurgical weight loss patients. Prior to joining WBI, Vicki spent 11 years at the University of Nevada School of Medicine working in the areas of weight management and women’s health. She has also authored several cookbooks with Chef Dave Fouts. Vicki received her master’s degree in nutrition from Montana State University and her Bachelor of Science degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.