Exactly one week ago - on the very day when I posted the last article, article number 365 - I went for a coffee after posting the article and had my eyes opened. My partner and I had a very interesting conversation about the psychologist Otto Rank. (Note to self: I really need to get my hands on his works.) Rank's books talk about how people want to make themselves immortal through creation; how truth and reality are two opposite things that cannot be pursued at the same time; and how people create ideals for themselves.
So here's the thing: you can create an ideal, rational or irrational, and pursue it all you want. But at some point that ideal becomes too restrictive - death - and you need to break it. What's more, the ideal you created for yourself might only be a distraction of what really matters; that you've created a set of rules for you to follow only to make your life hard as an excuse not to pursue more meaningful things.
Ding. Light bulb. Eyes wide open.
I had been making my life hard with respect to nutrition and exercise only to justify the fact that I wasn't writing as much as I should have.
To correct this, and to prove to myself that I'm not a piano key (a Dostoevsky reference: I didn't want to be a puppet of my own meaningless constructed external ideal), I did something I wasn't allowed to do before in my carnivorous life: I went and got myself a 100 % cacao bar, and ate it.
Later that night, I made oven roasted vegetables with guacamole, and it was delicious.
The next day, I had a piece of carrot cake while out for a coffee with a friend. I also made lentils with vegetables that night. (The legumes gave me a stomachache.)
Later that week, I also had two pints of commercial ice cream, a processed protein pudding, a jar of peanut butter, and my favorite pastry from the bakery.
Two things need to be said:
- I felt liberated as hell. No longer was I a victim of a chosen diet. I got side effects from the legumes, yes, but not much else. All the jumbo of me having to be a carnivore for health reasons had been in my head only. As a result, I began to write more and have a more joyful mindset for life. I also found myself geniunely happy and mindful in a more constant way, especially whenever I meditated.
- The counter-force - my old, wrong ideal - often raised its head to notify me that it didn't want to fade into oblivion. Meaning, at times, I felt like I should start to diet again and found myself researching lectins and thinking about calories and looking in the mirror while pushing out my double chin. But a piece of cake or an ice cream always cured that and the old ideal backed away.
This being said, I reckon my diet will start to revolve around the foods that make me feel good - oven roasted vegetables, guacamole, eggs, salmon, tuna salads, coconut fudge... and ice cream and cake whenever I feel like it. Although I don't know how often I'll actually feel like it since they don't exactly make me feel good and my body knows that. I find myself craving almond fudge much more often than Ben&Jerry's. And the legumes - as much as I love lentils, the bloating and the stomachache that comes with it just istn't worth it. (Maybe occasionally.)
So, a new ideal for the new year: no longer worrying about food or exercise. Just eat what you feel like eating, as much as you feel like, whenever you feel like. Intuition will take care of the rest. And exercise? I actually enjoy running and the endorphins that come with it, so I'll do more of that. I also used to enjoy some speific exercises at the gym so maybe I'll try that as well. Instead, I'll focus my attention and energy on writing. I'll try different things to see which ones bring most meaning into my life. I'm also going to meditate more.
The best year of my life, here I come!