“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

Self reflection: Go eat something

I have written extensively about my sugar addiction, and how the first step is recognising the problem; and the second step is to guiltily continue with the addiction. To my credit, I did try my best to cut somethings out. I no longer binged on a diet of custard doughnuts, chocolate chip muffins, cake, cinnamon rolls, chocolates, gummies, fried food etc (I still eat these things, just not all at the same time as I did before). I have fallen off the wagon, and that’s what this post is about. One thing I learned from this journey of self-reflection is that I unfortunately have no self control, and once I pop I don’t stop until it’s all gone. When I buy a pack of sweets I tell myself “Oh I won’t eat this all at once, I’ll buy it and eat it over the course of the week.” LIES! It will all be gone in an hour. I am frequently oscillating between the guilt for not being able to fully break away from the sugar diet, and a feeling of resignation “oh well I’m alone and lonely; I might as well have sweets and chocolate.” This is the same narrative spewed on shows such as My 600lb life, so I do have to tread carefully.

My guilt is constant these days because I indulged over the Christmas break and have not truly been able to recover. I had successfully set myself up on a diet of fish and vegetables, a meal which I actually enjoyed and looked forward to. Over the break I bought red meat for the first time in a while (well except the occasional lamb chops) and I have not looked back. I cannot go back to my Salmon and spinach lifestyle, I am so done with it. I have also had a craving for chicken wings which I have been satiating. For the first time I got some cooked frozen chicken wings and was surprised at just how tasty it was. It cannot be good for my waistline though.

Anyway, the point of this post is this: I was relaxing on Sunday and only left my bed to get my breakfast of pancakes and leftover chicken wings (so good). After relaxing restlessly (as I do) for hours, I decided to pop out to the store for some popcorn as I was feeling peckish. Of course I also got some Malteser biscuits (first time seeing them, and they were on sale-can’t resist a bargain) so I bought them both. I started eating the Malteser biscuits immediately after paying for them, and by the time I got home they were almost finished. This is over 35g of sugar which I casually devoured. I then opened up the supersized popcorn- hmmmn maybe I’ll just eat half and save the rest– ahahahaha of course not. That was gone in a twinkling as well. I sat in bed looking at myself, wondering what the problem was. Just the day before I had gone on one of my walks (the only exercise I do) to a store where I bough bonbons and toffee and finished them all ( the roof of my mouth is still extremely sore). It was quite a sugar packed weekend and my skin is paying for it.

In the middle of my guilt, I realised it was already past seven and all I had was breakfast. Could it be that rather than being a greedy sugar junkie (which I definitely am), I was just hungry? If all I had was breakfast, and it was late evening, then it makes sense that I would be hungry. My guilt didn’t last long however; I had my dinner of meat and vegetables and then washed it down with diet coke (I don’t ever drink soda but this hit all of the spots! Damn).

As a sensible person, what I need to do is properly curate my diet, and invest in some healthier snacks. On the weekdays I have my first meal at 11-12ish and then there are no meals planned until dinner at 6ish. Weekends are similar, although it is harder for me to get out of bed to go get breakfast and the day passes by with no breaks. What then happens is that I feel peckish and rather than satiate this with actual food, I just ingest copious amounts of sugar. Surely the restless peckish feeling is hunger?

As a child I would not have guessed that a big part of being an adult was simply worrying about what to eat. One of the first things I’ll do once I win the lottery is to hire a chef and meal planner. For now I have to figure out new meals and snacks. Currently the extent of my healthy eating knowledge is oatmeal for breakfast and spinach, protein, and potatoes for dinner. I still love my oatmeal breakfast, but gah I’m so over dinner. Last time I had salmon I had to garnish it with some chicken wings to make the meal palatable. That is not a sustainable lifestyle.

The sweetness of doing nothing.

No stress, no pressure, nothing matters; just live in the moment, a ‘doing nothing’ moment. Dolce far niente is a way of life.

The period after completing a task that one has been dreading is usually the sweetest. One waits anxiously with bated breath as the months become weeks and days, then the hour arrives and it’s time to go. Sometimes the anxiety is overwhelming and I just want to get it over with. Depending on the severity of the task (for example, a professional exam which is essential to my employment), I spend the days before in a catatonic state of panic and stress. I am jealous of the people who appear to not have this stress; carefree strangers on the train, at the mall, walking down the road; friends and family wishing me well.

However, once the task is done, and done successfully, life takes on a new sweet meaning. The air is fresher, the steps are lighter and life is just good. The days loom ahead, stretched out into blissful nothingness. The sweetness of having nothing to do is intoxicating; no more revision, nothing to prepare for, just happy guiltfree relaxation.

I want to bottle up that feeling and relieve it often.

In my dream life, I have no pressing daily commitments, no need to set alarms, and no one to answer to everyday. I work hard, doing whatever, and relax deeply. In real life, it is so difficult for me to do nothing; I always feel that there is something I should be doing, and this ruins any relaxation. I would love so much to be able to fully and mindfully enjoy being idle. I say mindfully because every weekend I have the intention of relaxing but then I wake up at the crack of dawn and end up spending all day on my phone scrolling mindlessly. The result of which is that I end up not doing anything, but still end up not relaxed. I look up at it’s 7pm and I have wasted the whole day which then stresses me out.

Like everything else I need to be more intentional about doing nothing. Would it be counterintuitive to create a schedule for doing nothing?

Anyway, I am still happy about having some free time. I have been studying for a test for the past month and I completed it easily yesterday. Now I don’t have to worry about studying in the evenings after work and I can repurpose that time into relaxing. So help me God.