journalofnothing

The Weightless Way

In 1 on December 30, 2009 at 7:32 am

Those are apricots, but I thought picture was funny given what I was writing.

One of the most challenging things I see in the coming year is something I share with many others. That is the question of diet and nutrition. I have asked a good friend who is a nutritionist at a well known food store to help me with this aspect of fulfilling my promise.

The latest data I’ve seen says that only 5-10% of people who diet lose the weight for any sustainable period of time. The numbers about dieting are atrocious.

But seen through promise, I have a different goal, or better said no goal at all.

When I was in high school and college up until I was about 25, I had 5 percent body fat. Pretty sure that is not something I could achieve again. But what I felt then, what I have felt at times such as this summer, is a sense of weightlessness. That is when I fulfill my promise.

What I have learned, what we as a society have learned over the years, is that food effects everyone a bit differently. Here is what I know about me.

I like sugar, but sugar hates me. It causes inflammation and weight gain.

I like meats of all kinds– fish, chicken, turkey, beef, etc. But they hate me if I eat too much causing gout, which hurts like hell.

I hate processed food. I can see, feel, and taste processed food.

I like a good cup of coffee in the morning, but don’t need it.

I like to cook for myself and others.

I love good, fresh sushi and it seems to like me, but the overfishing in the world makes me realize this is a luxury I can live without.

So that gives you enough of a picture of me. How do I translate this knowledge into The Weightless Way?

By realizing that all of this goes out the window when my life is too full and my stomach seems too empty.

So the “diet” is really not about food. Better said it is about how full my life is. Let me be more specific. It is about when there is too much mass in my life and not enough matter.

The Weightless Way means protecting my “Nothing,” the space, stillness, and silence inside me. The Rinse is an essential part of The Weightless Way.

What is weightless? It means not feeling weighed down by life. It means food that feels good to me for what it is, not comfort food that makes my troubles go away for the moment, but stays stuck in then on my belly. It means truly understanding the medicinal value of the food I eat and finding ways to make it taste and feel the way I want it to. It means remembering that fast food is rarely convenient.

Maybe most of all, food is energy. Food is the fuel I need to do what matters. If I don’t know what matters, then I have no idea what I need to eat.

When I first met Dani, we had a good discussion about nutritional education. I stopped her and said I preferred informed energy instead of education. Education it seems to me tells me about the food, but informed energy requires me to understand food as it relates to me and fulfilling my promise. Informed energy is energy that knows and does what matters.

The con game is designed to sell us food for the sellers to make money. Period. Fast food places have spent billions of dollars telling us that somehow their food and their buildings should feel like an extension of home to us. Why? Because that turns their food into comfort food.  We eat without thinking.  We eat to quiet our feelings instead of taking the time to feel our food.  The labels on food such as Fat Free or Low Fat are defined not by common sense, but by what food companies have been able to lobby into legislation.

Dani and I really connected when she pointed out how eating at its best is intimate. I agree. But it seems to me we live in a world, we live lives, where intimacy is scary and greatly lacking. If you asked me what most people want, what they are desperate for, it is intimacy. As a result, too many of us seek intimacy from our food instead of with our food in the mistaken belief that the food won’t judge us, that we can control what we eat, when we eat, and why we eat no matter is happening in the rest of our lives.

I can say honestly that in any relationship, in anything I do, I want two things– friendship and intimacy. I was friends and intimate with basketball earlier in my life. I have been intimate with people close to me.  I am not the least bit afraid of intimacy.

I define “Moments” by this intimacy. As I have learned and grown, I am better at knowing what makes this intimacy happen. I know how to make a life that allows “moments” to happen. Like everything else, it is easy to lose sight of what that takes, easy to make other things seem more important.

The Weightless Way depends on these moments. My own experience of intimacy is it feels weightless. Moments transcend what doesn’t matter so noise gives way to silence, being “full” gives way to space, and “busy” slows down to stillness.

In everything I’ve learned from my experiences and my research, Nothing defines happiness for me– silence, space, and stillness.

To be happy, I need intimacy. I need energy that knows what to do. And food is energy we cannot live without. This year I will choose food for how weightless it makes me feel, for how intimate I want to be. I will eat food that fuels the doing of what matters.

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