Saturday, June 11, 2011

gladly pitching it

I can't throw "useful" things away.  There is definitely the seed of a hoarder in me, though I generally fight it pretty well by GIVING useful things away.  That works for things like clothes, knick-knacks, gadgets, etc.

But not so much for food, when it's already on my plate.  I have been learning to tear up my card to the "clean plate club," but it has been a real struggle.  In general, whatever lands on my plate gets eaten.  This (usually) works if I am the one loading my plate, but I get caught up when someone else hands me a tray of Way Too Much. 

I eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast (and treat myself to a chocolate chocolate chip muffin on Sunday morning, along with it).  There is much, much more available to me, especially on weekdays - JPUSA knows how to do breakfast.  I have mentioned before:  I don't even LOOK at what else is offered, because if I start looking, I'll start sampling, and the next thing you know I'll be eating breakfast like I'm going out to work as a logger or a roofer or some other extremely physical job.  

The nice part about eating from the line is I don't have to fool around with food.  It's there, I take what I want and walk away.  So getting my oatmeal is just a matter of spooning a bit, already cooked and ready to go, into the bowl.  This means I can put 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup in, add my goodies, microwave and PRESTO breakfast is perfect!  

This morning I slept in, so I didn't get down to the line.  I took out my stash of dry oatmeal in my cupboard and wandered to the kitchen on my floor to make it in the microwave.  I wasn't thinking about how very SMALL the amount I use now is.  But when I followed the single-serving directions on the bag (not very precisely - my measuring cup was a styro), what cooked up in my was HUGE.  Clear up to the edge of my over-sized bowl.  I was overwhelmed, looking at i (funny...a couple of years ago that bowl would have left me asking, "and what else can I have WITH it?")  A conversation instantly erupted in my head with myself about not eating that whole darn thing. But I didn't have much confidence that wisdom would win this war.

But as amazing as it is to me...wisdom won.  I skimmed my normal portion off the top.  When I was done, there was still A LOT more food left in the bowl than I ever even take anymore.  

I stunned myself by throwing it away.  With a smile.  With a comfortable stomach.  Without guilt.  I am not a human garbage can, and there is a difference between "wasting food" and "doing what's best for me."  

If this seems like a "duh, of course" moment to you, then you and I haven't operated from the same focus.  But I know for sure that some of you out there get how big a deal this is. 

It feels like freedom. 

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