I started this new eating plan. You could call it a diet, but I’m tired of that word. This plan calls for lots of veggies and whole unprocessed foods like grains and beans. As I was reading it and deciding to try it (again), in the fine print I saw that it recommends only eating three meals a day. The theory was, if you I am full of good nutritious food three times a day, my body will adjust and I won’t need snacks.
I started this eating plan in February. I was concerned about this no-snacking clause, so I ate huge portions of spinach lentils and kasha. I forced myself to finish, feeling sympathy for my daughter who I have often forced to “eat three more bites.”
It only took a couple days and I was experiencing the sensation of being truly full and satisfied after a meal. This was new. How had this feeling been so rare?
So a couple weeks ago I twisted my ankle. That threw me off the groove of preparing my food for the week. I went back to old habits of waiting to feel hungry to eat, then having a small amount of something (not usually spinach). I would be briefly satisfied and then feel hungry again rather quickly. Then I would repeat the pattern, eat a small something, and be hungry again.
I now know there is another way of sustaining myself. After my experience of stuffing myself to satisfaction three times a day, this way of eating—which had been my habit for years—was totally annoying.
It took me a week to realize it. My wounded ankle probably distracted me, but that is still a long time. Look at this! I am a terrible judge of my hungry. How come I underestimate the true depth of what it’s going to take to fuel me?
Instantly I realized that I do this with most things in my life. I underestimate the amount of effort it is could to take to do any creative project. I mean, anything that requires thought and orifinality.
And if I don’t put enough resources—time, energy, attention—into these creative projects, they are not nearly as satisfying as they could be.
Maybe I am scared of them. Like I am scared of food. The stories of what food is supposed to mean to me as an American woman makes me want to pretend I eat very little. And the creative projects that pull me—like hunger—are similar. I can hardly face what might be required of me to do these.
So I kind of hide from myself how much it’s REALLY going to take. Lord knows, if I had realized it was going to take 12 years to write The Russian American School of Tomorrow, I might have given up. But then again, I didn’t know how beautiful it was going to be.
I am already going back to the huge meals eating plan. I am not really sure what to do with the realization of how poor a judge of size of meal and projects I am. I suspect I will do better on anything with a full stomach.