Friday, October 18, 2013

Putting Life into Living

One of my favorite podcasts is Vinnie Tortorich's "The Angriest Trainer Podcast." Whether you are low carb/ high fat, No Sugar, No Grains (NSNG), vegan, vegan curious, fruitarian, or a flexitarian, this podcast is worth a listen. In addition to some great Rocky quotes, I  always get at least one bit of interesting info (either health related or something completely different) and of course a good laugh. While Vinnie touts the importance of a NSNG diet, he frequently uses his tag line "put life into living and do it with enthusiasm." Many interpret this as that it is alright to sometimes break the NSNG (or dietary) "restrictions"*** and have a treat for a special occasion like a birthday party or celebration. After all, to quote Vinnie once more

"It's not what you eat between Christmas and New Years. It is what you eat between New Years and Christmas."

Bottoms up and lights out
I am not sure if I take this interpretation though. I put life into living in a different way. Yes, food and libations enrich life and experiences, but they can also take away.
 For example, if I am at a bar or party and I have a drink, I am out for the night. Some people get happy when they drink, others get touchy-feely, and others get mad. I am what they call a tired drunk. A few sips and I need to go to bed. Needless to say, I have the tolerance of a high school cheerleader on Prozac; even Diet Coke gives me a buzz. If I put life into living with a drink, consequently, I actually enjoy life less than if I had refrained and stuck with my typical lifestyle. These moments of life into living set me back so much they are not worth having.

In the same way, if I have a piece of candy, a soy latte, or sweets, I feel disgusting afterwards.It may taste good for five seconds, but for the next five hours, Willy Wonka gets his revenge ("Augustus leave some for later"). I am craving those sweets long after the enjoyment has worn off. It's all that I can think about. Then I get really cranky, tired, and hungry--hungry enough to even go dumpster diving. I pretty much turn into Oscar the Grouch.  Is that living? No.

Indulgent food and drink are enjoyable. They taste good, they make us feel good, and we do not get called out at parties for being the odd ball who orders soda water and raw vegetables. In my opinion though (this phrase is critical because everyone is different),  the social event would be more enjoyable for the experience itself and the memory rather than the food or drink. 20 years from now I will remember having a blast, but chances are I will not remember what I ate or drank.

I put life into living by putting my energy into the experience itself and enjoying every single moment with a clear mind and not one that is in a brain fog from what I have eaten or drunk. Moreover, I enjoy living by having a clear memory of what has happened and no guilt, remorse, or regrets about what I did. Some (bless them) can still have a great time despite having drunken lots or eaten lots; their lives continue as normal if not better. Unfortunately, I am not one of them, but that is alright.

One of the problems and indicators of an eating disorder is avoiding social situations because of the fear of food or eating in public. I did this all the time. I would feign sickness to avoid parties where I would not be able to control the food being served. When people would ask me out for dinner and I did not know what was going to be on the menu I would stay home and "enjoy"  a calorie restricted meal (emmmm lean pockets) instead. Hardly what I call living. Now I jump on the opportunity to go out regardless of what food is there; food should and will not dictate whether I go out or not. What crosses my mind instead is "will this be a fun time?" If there is food that I want to eat there then I will eat it but that is not the main focus. I may eat before I go out or bring my own, so that it does not become an issue and I can enjoy myself to the fullest.

Creating those experiences is what I call living and I am going to do it with enthusiasm....but that's just my two watts.

How do you put life into living? 

***(I am not big on this word because as I mentioned in my previous post, my changes in diet have liberated me from the restrictions of fatigue, brain fog, and cravings) 

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