Over the last two weeks I wrote two series on binge eating: Binge Eating is Caused by Dieting and Eating Enough to Reduce Urges to Binge.
I felt they were a good introduction for understanding how binge eating starts, and an overall practical guide to limiting and lessoning the urges that accompany habitual bingeing.
But I felt mechanical writing them and it’s been bothering me.
I thought about why I would feel rather empty writing on a topic that I have so much passion for, and in a way (as lengthy series) that can possibly offer explanations to anyone who is caught up in, or knows someone caught up in, such a complex eating behavior.
I felt a little guilty for feeling this way. I want to inspire people to maintain hope that it is possible to stop binge eating, not feel bored of the topic.
It dawned on me that even though both series began as a method to break down the complicated stages of binge eating, they seemed to have ended mechanically, a little drawn out, and out of obedience to finish an idea to create a series, rather than intuitive passion.
It felt redundant. I felt redundant.
While writing both series, the topic of binge eating was all I was thinking about, despite other activities that took alot of my time, and by the end of last week I was tired and felt the need to escape from all of my repetitive thoughts that fueled so many posts on one topic.
So, I took photos of my dog, and watched Blue Velvet, and got lost in my latest Book Club story.
Anything to change the pace, and to challenge and encourage me with new content.
This got me thinking.
How much of what I do is out of routine and habit? How much of what I think is a tract on repeat? How much is out of obedience to a cause that I am passionate about, but not benefiting from?
How much is out of intuition and passion?
Don’t get me wrong. Routine and habit are good things. Obedience is a good characteristic to cultivate. Rationality is good. But when they are to things that leave you feeling tired, or more likely bored and empty, it is worth exploring why, and deciding on ways to break their chains of lifelessness–deciding to turn mechanical into meaningful.
I realized when I was writing so intensely on binge eating that I had alot to say about it. Binge eating is simple, but it’s also very complex, and I want to start a new conversation on it. But as I wrote more and more, my interest became less and less, and by the end of each week, I was over the topic. I just wanted to think and write and talk about other things.
This doesn’t take away the empathy that I feel for anyone struggling with binge eating. It doesn’t mean it is not a worthwhile habit to explore or that it is not admirable to put the effort in to stop it so I don’t regret spending so much time and energy writing about it. I don’t think it was wrong to, and I don’t think it was a waste of time. Even though I felt very tired from it, maybe it helped someone, and that is fantastic. Even though I felt tired, I still aim to spread hope that anyone can stop binge eating at any time, no matter what.
Similarly, I don’t think it’s wrong to give your life’s work to a single topic, or a single lifestyle, or a single anything. I think you are lucky if you have a main passion, belief, or person in your life to expand with.
But that’s just it–expand with.
It’s really easy to get caught up in habits and routines that don’t do very much for us. Maybe they started as good intentions, healthy changes, creative challenges, enlightening endeavors, but now they aren’t. Now they are thoughtless, passionless, lifeless. Now they leave us craving more, or caring less, or not caring at all.
This can happen with anything. Your job. Your lover. Your clubs. Your breakfast. Your life.
It’s a good idea to confront your feelings of boredom and resent, when you have them, and find out what you believe about them. Beliefs create our thoughts, which create our feelings, which evolve into actions.
Actions can be energetic, they can fill us with passion. They can also be automated, mechanical, simply obedient, far from fueling.
Take time to explore your habits and routines and what you dedicate yourself to. Does it empower you? Does it challenge you to grow and expand in grace, creativity, love, compassion, empathy, acceptance for others, acceptance for yourself?
Do you think the world is more beautiful today because of how you intertwine with it? That people are more endearing? That possibilities are more possible?
It’s grueling and lonely not to.
This post seems an extreme response from two weeks of what I believe was mechanical writing. Maybe it is.
But it’s caused me to think, and explore, and remember why I write at all, and it propels me to grow and expand.
It’s not worth it to me to simply write information. There is enough information out there with enough people passing it along. There is enough reason and enough solutions and enough methods to keep you on a safe path. To keep you from exploring.
It’s worth it to me to ask questions. It’s worth it to dive deep into our approach to life, and to own it, and take responsibility for it, and to find that it’s what we make it.
It’s worth it to be convinced that it is beautiful, and that people are endearing, and that possibilities are possible.
As it relates to binge eating, to diets, to fitness, to health, it’s worth it to approach it rationally and positively, but also in its proper context.
Binge eating is a bad habit, but it’s not the worst thing that you have ever done. Remember that. Keep perspective.
Healthy eating and fitness will help you body thrive, but it’s not the end all of happiness and growth. Keep it serving you. Don’t become it’s slave. Don’t forsake intuition and passion for the illusion of perfection. Don’t play it safe following everyone else’s advice because you are afraid of making your own rules. Don’t finish someone else’s race.
Decide for yourself why you care about these topics. Decide to study and explore them and then make your own rules about how you will live them out. Implement what works for you. Get rid of everything that doesn’t.
If you’re happy to obey diets and workouts, then go for it. There isn’t any harm. But if you have second thoughts about what is trendy or learn that what is popular doesn’t work best for you, don’t be afraid to jump ship and start over with what does.
This is different from simply reacting to feelings or waiting for inspiration to make a move with your health or with your life. This is about modifying your approach to what you are engaging with so that you actually enjoy it. About seeing things differently and celebrating how it helps you grow. It’s about accepting information to help you expand, not kept put down. It’s about changing habits and routines and beliefs so that you are more in tune and connected with them.
What do you think about routine and habit for obedience’s sake? Do you find yourself enlightened by what you believe and do? How do you mix things up when you don’t?
How do you turn mechanical into meaningful?
Leave a comment if you have anything to share!
Image from Devodotcom.