Long time no speak! its been a hectic few months in my corner of the world. I’m in the thick of some serious transitioning – fresh from old endings, on the cusp of new beginning and somewhere in the middle in the free-floating no(wo)mans land.
Today I wanted to talk about something close to my heart of late. Its all about the issues of control, lack of said control, and moving forward.
What we consume (whether that be in food, drink, or mind) is a topic that has always fascinated me. Our culture is OBSESSED with feeling in control. We have an app for everything. Many people have their careers and lives mapped out for them (or at least an idea in their head of where they need to be when, you know, “get a job straight after school, married by the time i’m 30, with kids by 32, property ladder before I’m 35″… ) I could go on. The foodie and fitness culture is no different – in fact I think it takes control into a whole new stratosphere; we meal prep and plan until our eyes are popping out. There is a recipe for everything and anything you can think of, and advice every where you look.
We are constantly bombarded with what to do, what to eat, what to think and even what to feel. We are told that good foods and eating good healthy food will make us “feel” good (and ultimately make us “good virtuous pure people”) and the truth can be said of the opposite – (we ALL know that post pizza pity party feeling when we convince ourselves we are terrible dirty awful people “falling off” the diet wagon.)
…and without realising, on this little long journey of mine to better health inside and out, I too fell prey to the “meal plan your existence” existence. I was fully aware and conscious of having a healthy balance, everything in moderation approach, but what was happening is that I was becoming more and more controlled in my mindset, I became more “tighter” and tighter, rigid… I was completely screwed
This dawned on me in the weirdest of places. It was the long weekend, and for reasons I won’t go into, my control issues were in overdrive. I desperately wanted to plan the shit out of everything going on in my life, because a sense of feeling in control takes the edge off things.
(This by the way is VERY weird for me; I like to think of myself of a laid back chill chick, so I knew something must be off for me to be clock watching and toe tapping the way I was!)
My partner and I went for a date on Saturday night, and we went to go see a movie i had been looking forward to – Miles Ahead the Miles Davis Biopic. Now you might not know but I am a HUGE fan of jazz music, so this evening was a complete dream for me! However in my mind it was very scheduled and planned “spontaneous” date (ha). I knew what i was going to wear, I planned the time, the route, I planned what I was going to have (and that i wasn’t going to have the popcorn = too many calories). What ended up happening (of course) is I couldn’t wear the shoes I wanted, the train journey was hell, that they didn’t have the drink I wanted and I ended up getting the popcorn and eating it all too. I also had some woman with the worst wig I have ever seen in front of me, literally her big ass head covered half the screen I had to creak my neck to see my Miles!! Now thankfully I’m not a complete and utter control freak, but it was enough for me to sit up and pay attention to my internal conflict!
Check out the Miles Davis so what jazz video if you want to catch a glimpse of what Imean!
So what has Jazz and Control got to do with me, myself and food?
The Film reminded me of the beauty of Jazz – the improvisation of music. No performance that Miles Davis, or any of the greats do, is ever the same. Its full of surprise, spontaneity and life! I feel like lately we as a society have taken the full and impulsivity out of living – everything is SO organised…. why can’t we all just LIVE a little??
I realised that I want my life to be more jazz – like. I want to let go of the illusion that I have built up that I/we have control over everything, because I/we really don’t. There are some things in life you cannot control. This is a scary thing for someone whom struggles with emotional eating to admit – the last time I felt I “let go” I gained about 3 stone, but if I’m honest I didn’t so much let go but “checked out” for a while.
I think its important to have some structure; it certainly helps me on a day to day basis to at least think a little ahead of what I want to eat, when I can fit in a work out etc, but I don’t want to become so rigid and obsessive that I lose the sense of wonder and joy in it all. I’ve talked in the past about the fine line between the Debate: Eating Disorder Vs. Disordered Eating and I think, especially now our world seems so healthy conscious, we have to be extra vigilant about pathologising Ourselves into oblivion.
I certainly do not have all the answers, and I continue to struggle with the balance of finding and losing control on a daily basis, but I hope that in my round-a-bout way I have given you some food for thought
Do you ever find it difficult to “Let Go” ?
Whats the one thing you want to be more relaxed about moving forward?