0240 – destroy your limiting beliefs about food

Breakfast and limiting beliefs.

Today has begun as a very beautiful day. I woke up at about 6:21am. I lay in bed and scanned through Twitter and Instagram for a while, and a bit of Quora (since I had answered a few questions the day before.) Then I got out of bed before it was 7am. I brushed my teeth. I had half a glass of water (the other half is still at my table). Then I woke up the wife, who is now out for a walk and is washing a very dirty stray cat. We were both up by 720am. Then I decided to make myself breakfast– just scrambled eggs, sliced cherry tomatoes and glass of milk. And then I had that, and I started writing this (before getting distracted by the Internet for a while, but I’m back here.)

Now it’s 845am and it feels like I had a reasonably good start to the day. I wish I spent a little less time dicking around on the internet, and that I had finished writing this earlier, but I don’t think that’s a huge deal. I’m getting a little bit sleepy post breakfast, but I think I can just shower and deal with it.

Done showering. Yeah, I feel good. It’s 910am and I’m ready to go to work– just waiting on my wife now, who’s showering. More time for more thoughts.

I guess I’m wondering now about the role breakfast has played in my life. For the most part, I’ve never really had a regular breakfast habit. When I was in school, I’d typically just drink a cup of milo before leaving home– and those were in my younger days, as I got older I didn’t even bother with that. I’d typically just have a cigarette in the morning. (Yeah, I know.)

Come to think of it, my healthiest breakfast routines were during national service, which also seemed to be my most productive times as a writer (I might be romanticizing it by now at this point, because I seem to be remembering it better and better each time. But what I DO remember is that I filled out entire notebooks during my Signals course, and that must have counted for something).

It’s a little staggering to think about. What if a whole bunch of my supposed issues– my inattentiveness, fidgetiness, etc were influenced by my bad eating habits? I’m sure it’s more complex than I’m making it out to be, and the source of my food issues themselves ought to have been addressed…

let my try and start over. I’m pretty sure I have bad food issues. I don’t know if there are any underlying Freudian type reasons that I’m not aware of. I think one of the thing that really messes me up is the fact that I don’t have a very good relationship with food preparation. I don’t know how to prepare fish or chicken. I don’t even really know how to prepare vegetables, though intellectually I know a lot of it is just washing, chopping them up, eating. I hated the taste of plain milk for some reason (I’m now okay with it… after using it to dunk chocolate chip cookies in.)

I used to drink a lot of coke and pepsi– I’d drink a 500ml bottle of it every day in school, and then eat McDonalds after schol everyday. On hindsight that’s absolutely horrific. I’ve been clearly starving and malnourishing myself for maybe 2 decades now. And it must have had some pretty nasty effects on my brain. Quite a scary thought. At least I’m aware enough now to start doing something about it.

One of the first things I need to do I think is to get acquainted with all the kinds of food are available to me. I just had dragonfruit for the first time a few days ago. I think I should systematically go through all the possible food options and sample them with an open, experimental mindset. The only reason my options are as limited as they are is becaus I have all these mental hangups about different kinds of food– some foods are familiar, some are unfamiliar, and I don’t like eating the unfamiliar. So the trick then is just to make the unfamilar… familiar.

I had a really emotional moment a month ago when I was eating chicken rice at the nearby coffeeshop on my day off. I realized that… I’m an independent person, a pattern in space-time trying to sustain itself, feed itself. And I’m doing okay, you know? Life often seems to me like a series of failures– every success is just a stepping stone to the next failure.

And I was dependent on my parents for that when I was a kid, entirely dependent. Parents, fast food, hawker fare. And I didn’t know how to prepare my own food, apart from toasting bread and eating it with peanut butter, or cheese. That was really the limit of my ability to prepare food for myself, and because of that I was bored really quickly and didn’t eat all that much.

But now that I’m an “adult”– married, working, paying off a flat, I can and should start thinking about how to feed myself in a sustainable, suitable way that makes sense for me. The idea that I’ll never eat healthy, that I’ll never be able to prepare my own food, that I’ll never be able to take care of myself– all of those are incredibly painful, frustrating limiting beliefs that have no place in my life. If they were ever valid, I’ve outgrown them. Things like my parents worrying that I’d hurt myself or burn myself in the kitchen– I’m not even sure if those worries were real, but they’re certainly not valid anymore. I’m entirely capable of teaching myself to use knives, to use fire, to use pots and pans to cook and prepare food. And I like to think that I’m a person with taste, so I do believe that over time I’ll actually prepare meals that are fun and interesting.

If nothing else, I think just improving the relationship I have with food- preparation and consumption– will greatly improve my quality of life, much more quickly and easily than any of the loftier more philsophical type improvement ideas. So I’ll do that.

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