I haven’t written much lately about food, exercise, etc. simply because I really have nothing new to say and to be honest, I’m kind of over talking about it as a blanket issue. I’m trying more than I have in years to gain, and although my efforts haven’t been successful in terms of numbers on the scale, I have gained quite a bit of insight into the stranglehold that this crap really still has on me.
While the length of most of my posts may suggest otherwise, I am actually a minimalist in many areas of my life. I’ve written about this before, so I won’t rehash it all again, but lately it’s really come to the forefront.
Let me say this one more time— (for me) it’s not about body image, it’s not about the food in general and it’s not about feeling “fat”,” less-than or insecure. I actually am quite overconfident in many areas of my life, but when it comes to trusting myself to break my own routines and rituals, I lack any significant trust.
No, this has nothing to do with wanting to be thin and beautiful, but lately it has everything to do with getting out of my minimal mindset and acting in ways that feel completely unnatural and uncomfortable.
If I don’t “need” something, I can’t seem to justify buying/eating/doing it.
This may come across as shallow, but the overconsumption and (perceived) lack of control in our country of everything –food, money, pleasure, etc.—is part of my disdain for “more” of anything (with exceptions, of course.) And while I don’t think that many of my (perceived) “different” views on life in general are things I need to change—it’s me and I make no apologies—I can acknowledge that this particular attachment is something I need to let go of, if only little by little.
What’s hard is that I don’t feel limited or deprived of anything, so it’s not as if I feel like I’m missing out on something great.
My needs are really quite simple and even if I don’t exactly know what makes me happy or what I want, I have a good idea of what I don’t want and what makes me unhappy. In comparison to the “more” attitude of so many others, this often makes me feel like I should want something more, even if I’m relatively content.
But there are times I feel restricted by my routines and rules and right now I’m not in a healthy place. Even if I really don’t have a huge problem with it overall, I know that being where I am weight-wise is a huge problem in itself. This minimal mindset—whether it’s a minimal amount of ingredients in my food, a minimal number of social obligations or even a minimal number of dishes used at a meal—is so engrained in the way I live that I don’t know anything else.
Food both included and aside, consumption of anything “just because” feels uncomfortable and slightly out of control to me.
However, until I get to a healthier weight and place with things, I’m going to have to challenge the most difficult part of this mindset and not accept that I’m where I need to be on that level. While I might feel satisfied with less, there are times when more is necessary.
One reason I bring this up is that there is often a perception that it’s all about restricting food in an effort to fit some socially accepted ideal, when in fact it’s the complete opposite for me. While this may come across as harsh, I feel much more aversion to those who do fit an ideal or fulfill some stereotype—the stick thin model that doesn’t eat for reasons of vanity, the overweight American glued to their couch and obsessed with fast food, the business executive ignoring their core values to attain a monetary reward.
Don’t get me wrong in that these are stereotypes—I realize there are a million people who don’t fall into these categories—but people with eating disorders are also often lumped into similar groups. To each their own, but find out what the motivation is before making assumptions.
It’s often assumed that our minimal mindset equates to wanting to be as small as possible and that a lack of confidence drives us to restriction of anything and everything. In actuality, if I could wake up tomorrow 30 lbs heavier and maintain that weight, I would be thrilled. It’s the process in getting there that is grueling.
So for me, it’s about embracing the fact that including “more” of something doesn’t automatically equate to overconsumption or loss of control. It simply means that sometimes, more is more, and more is perfectly OK.