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An Argument With Reality About Food.

by Anu Sundaram 6 months ago in Taboo
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Who am I? Useless, good for nothing, fat person OR someone who had a chocolate bar one day.

Feeling Fat - reality or a story?

If you looked at me, you would probably say I look fine. And by fine, I mean not fat. I know my BMI is where it is supposed to be. I exercise five times a week at least for 15 minutes. I meditate twice a day for two hours. And to top it all, I am 80% vegan.

On paper, this looks so wonderful, right? Except when I have had a bad day.

One of my employees quit, or my boss decided to ding me for not being technical enough or terrible weather. Or I am feeling any emotion like loneliness, sadness or the 'just feeling a bit off', as you can see, it does not take a lot for me to have a bad day. And that's when my mind tells me that I deserve a treat. And despite being a vegan, I can eat and indulge in vegan treats such as Indian deep-fried snacks, Indian sweets, which are just sugar. Or have a cheat day(s) and eat chocolates because I will start eating clean from tomorrow, which never arrives.

And in the last two years, when we have been stuck at home with the kitchen just a few steps away - my day runs on its 'food-o-clock' time rather than the standard time. And I suspect this has always been a problem, and going to the office just masked my relationship with food. But COVID has definitely accelerated the issue.

First things first - do I really have a food problem, or am I making it up in my head, as my husband says? And in all honesty, nobody will call me fat when they look at me, but I cannot deny that I feel fat. Maybe there is a word for this condition called - 'insecure females'. Even when I was really thin, I thought I was fat - now we can blame the marketing, advertising, portrayal of females, myth of a perfect body etc., or we can accept that I am a result of the conditioning and move from there. That's what I am going to do. Instead of questioning why I am the way I am, I will accept who I am right now.

Before I come to this year's resolution, I want to give you a little bit of context. For the past decade or so, I have started the year with a lemon detox diet or 'Beyonce diet' - in which you don't eat anything solid for ten days. But as I grew older, it became harder for my body to recover - willpower was never an issue. I do well with extremes. Moderation is difficult for me. So, I switched to a raw vegan diet. I even tried intermittent fasting for one year. And both these diets worked until I had a bad day, a series of bad days, and then I would wait for the next year to start.

These diets did not work not because they are not sustainable but because my thinking is not sustainable. Regardless of how many diets I did, if I do not investigate the thought 'I had a bad day - I need a treat' - It would be like groundhog day for me. So this year, I decided to not argue with reality. And that requires me to face reality - the reality is not what is supposed to happen, or what is right or what I want. It is what it is. It is another way of accepting yourself without judgement because the judgement causes the vicious cycle to continue.

What do I mean by this? Let's take a real-life example. I started intermittent fasting yesterday - and that means I eat only from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (ideally plant-based foods only). And as expected, I had a bad day today at work, and I needed inspiration before writing this blog. So, I ate a whole bar of Cadbury's chocolate right at 5:50 PM.

Previously, I would have been very guilty about eating the chocolate. I would have blamed my office folks or blamed my husband for not listening to me, or even screamed at my inner artist for needing chocolate. But, this year, I decided I was going to take ownership and not argue with reality. At 5:40 PM, I ate a whole bar of chocolate. And I will be ruthless about not attaching to the thoughts around it. Yes, I take ownership of eating the bar of chocolate, and I will not feel guilty about it.

The difference between these approaches is that if I stick to the facts, I suffer only once. Whereas if I use guilt or blame, then the cycle continues. Instead of somebody who had a chocolate bar one day, I turn into a person who is a fat, weak-willed, good for nothing, useless female. And to continue that image, I have to eat something unhealthy every day. I end up projecting my thinking onto my actions. It is freeing to know that I am not a person with a food problem just because I ate a chocolate bar today.

My new year's resolution is to not argue with reality and be ruthless about the thoughts I have by asking - 'Is that thought absolutely true?' All I have to do is ask myself what reality is and stick to it and not to the stories of what happened. I will let you know how this experiment turns out to be.

Wish me luck in accepting reality as it is instead of arguing with it.

Taboo

About the author

Anu Sundaram

My vision in life is to be a Better Version Of Myself Every Day. And my purpose in life is ‘Learn, Grow, Inspire and Contribute’.

Everything that I do ties into this vision - including my writing. Check out anumorris.com for more info!

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