About, Food

Deny

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Food, while it is my favorite thing, I have started to realize it is also my Achilles heel. I love food so much that sometimes I focus more on food than I should, meaning I eat more than I should and I do not think about things that are not food as often as I probably should. I use food to avoid things I would rather not deal with or talk about, this is not always true, but is a crutch I sometimes use.

I think as humans we are very easily able to deny the things that bother us and pretend they are not problems or do not exist. I think this is the case for most people, but for me denial of my fault is not an option rather than denying my fault’s I focus on them so acutely that they supersede everything else. I want my life to be simple and easy and I am working hard to make it so, to cut out the extraneous with an Exacto knife, to carve my life from the block and turn it into what I want it to be. I want it to be simple and I want to be able to know and my core what I believe in and what I stand for, instead I find myself continually stuck. I think I have eliminated something and it comes crawling back. Most of these things are not life changing, but just the small daily actions that make up my life. Do I watch TV, do I not. These are small changes with lasting impacts. Some of the things I have cut out remain cut no matter what has happened since. Once clear food related example is soda. For many years, I used to drink soda, mostly diet soda, but still it was something I enjoyed. Last year though I read a book called A Big Fat Crisis. I got it from my library because it came up underneath the search for books about intuitive eating. I got it and was intimidated by it’s textbook like demeanor, but once I jumped it I could not put it down. I was devouring the information inside and I came out the other end a convert. One comment Deborah A. Cohen makes is that soda is just a sugar water, and that one phrase has since stuck with me. I know this is obvious, but I had never heard it phrased in that way and that single reframe changed my mind as to how I looked at soda. I have tried it since then, a sip here or there, but in general I am not a fan. I drink water or plain tea and occasionally hot chocolate, in the extreme sometimes milk but only if I am eating pancakes. I have realized that by cutting out soda not much has been lost, I am basically the same as I was before. The thing about cutting apart your life is you start to realize what matters to you. You are able to get rid of the distractions and point at yourself and actually recognize the person you see. I can find the me-ness apart from the world at large, apart from all the things trying to tell me to what this or do that. The fact that I have a budget and I do not buy many things may be a denial in some ways but it gives me great freedom in others. I feel free from stuff, free to do as I want, free to focus on what matters, free to spend my time as I choose. This freedom has helped me recognize my values, as distinct from the community I was raised in. I value the small life, the small moments, reading a new book, frequently going to the library, cooking delicious food, warm cups of tea, spending time with friends, spending time with my husband, exercise and movement. I am finding the parts of life that are me, and letting go of the hustle and bustle. I will probably not be aware of the news of the world, I will probably not know who celebrities are, I will not be current on most entertainment contents movies, or TV. Those things do not give me life, they in fact make me feel bad about being who I am, they make me strive to not be myself, which only ends with me in tears. I am realizing I need to own myself flaws and all. I may never be the skinniest person, but in reality I am not sure being smaller would have any impact upon my life except the need to buy new clothes, something I hate to do.

I instead get to choose to be happy, to enjoy tasty food, to spend my time in a way I love and to live my days. I recently started reading the book Notes from a Blue Bike and Tsh Oxenrider says in the prologue that it is about “us living life, instead of life living us” and that is what I am cultivating. I want a life that I live, that is according to my values and who I am, not a life spent trying to achieve or gain notoriety or fame. I want to love the daily parts, the mundane parts and to appreciate the small things because that is most of my life, small ordinary moments that I am choosing not to let pass me by.

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