Friday, August 8, 2014

Literally Watching the Grass Grow

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I'm seeing an Intuitive Eating dietitian because I've never understood the art of moderation. A diet to me isn't just restricting carbs. No, a diet to me is not eating at all. If I feel passionately about something, I feel all the way passionate. The middle road is a very foreign country to me. I don't speak that language. I don't understand the customs.

At our first appointment I was straight up honest with her, "I am an extremest," I said, "I feel the most comfortable firmly set on one side or the other." This ranges from politics to daily antics. When I schedule out my day it's rigorous pattern of appointments. If I plan out my weekly meals, no part of the plate isn't plotted. If I clean, it's down to the minerals that make up the spaces I scrub. If it's parenting I'm restricting sugar and screen-time. If I am blogging I am aiming for daily posts, or it's no blogging at all.

But my dietitian is holding my hand, pulling me into the waves of moderation and asking me to bobble around in it. This experiment has moments of relief and moments of great anxiety. Moderation has an uneasy fit in my life. Exercise for example, is something I fight to NOT do every day. I fight to NOT to do it every day because ultimately I will run out of steam and slide to the other side of the spectrum where I will not do it at all. I pat myself on the back for three or four days a week.

I fight every single day to not turn to dieting, vegetarianism, veganism, breatharianism, to control my life. I fight every day to sit in that spot where food isn't a battle, it's just a means of energy and sometimes enjoyment. I fight to sit in that moderate place and not run away. And when I feel my legs start to spin in their restless ways, I have to pin myself down and just sit in the spot I am in.

And yesterday, as I battled with myself, I decided to drive up the mountain behind my house. I watched the tall grass sway back and forth for fifteen minutes. I noticed the furry edges of each blade ripple in the breeze. I noted how yellow the grass turns in early August. I saw a grasshopper hurdle over a bundle of dry weeds. I stopped thinking about what I was aching for in my life, and just noticed life.

I realized, moderation is the art of being present. It's about noticing what I feel: the emptiness in my stomach, the anger I hold, or if I really even care about an issue at all. It's not about being passionateless, it's about being aware of your real existence, and rejecting some fantasy you've created to compete with life. Practicing moderation is learning to feel imperfection, powerlessness and vulnerability and accepting it without regret.

I have so much more to say about this...but I'm fine stopping here for now.