Food for Thought: The Enjoyment of Less

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness” – Charles Spurgeon.

I’ve spent my month’s blogging break decluttering my house.

I mean seriously decluttering.

Decluttering in the past meant I’d throw out a few things, take some bits and pieces to the charity shop and really just fanny about with everything else. I might box some stuff up and put it in the loft or hide it in cupboards or drawers but, truthfully, it was always more like strategic resettlement rather than a coordinated clear-out.

But this time, driven by a desire for life to be simpler, I’ve really gone for it and now have noticeably less than I did 4 weeks ago.

And I have to agree with Charles Spurgeon – I feel much happier with a lot less and what I do have I now enjoy so much more.

But enjoyment can be a tricky concept when it comes to food.

If you’re Not Thin there seems to be an unwritten rule that you’re not allowed to enjoy food. There’s a sense you should always be denying yourself, rather than seeking satisfaction and enjoyment.

Instead of eating what you really enjoy in front of others, you feel you have to hide away and eat in secret. This usually results in eating a lot more than you want, followed by guilt and self-loathing, which isn’t enjoyable.

So what if you give yourself permission to enjoy food – I mean really enjoy it? What if you choose food that truly satisfies you? What if you forget what other people might be thinking and savour every enjoyable mouthful?

Do you think you’d eat more or less than you did before?

Perhaps you’d find you’d eat less but enjoy it a whole lot more.

 

32 thoughts on “Food for Thought: The Enjoyment of Less

  1. That’s a good question. I’d be curious to read the responses.
    I enjoy whatever I enjoy in front of whomever. There’s ALWAYS going to be someone looking at you and judging. Even if you ARE thin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if people aren’t interested in us as much as we think – most of us are wrapped up in our own stuff and not that concerned with what others are doing. I’m glad to hear you enjoy what you like regardless! Many thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand what you’re saying and to a degree, I agree. However, it seems to me that a few too many people are bored with their lives and so they look to others for entertainment. They might not think about us extensively, but they do make split-second judgments all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. After years of bingeing, it’s the only way for me to eat – I aim for enjoyment and satisfaction and, as a result, eat considerably less than I used to. I love your phrase “simple treasures” – that’s definitely my goal for the decluttering – goodbye stuff, hello simple treasures! Great to hear from you, Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific post, Julie – and you know how much I love to read about decluttering 😀 The link between minimising ‘stuff’ and our relationship with food is such an interesting one. Thanks, as always, for your insight xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely have to take some credit for the decluttering, Lol – your posts obviously rubbed off me, I could even hear your words as I was doing it! Especially reminding me to concentrate on what I was gaining, not what I was getting rid of – invaluable! I remember your post about the coathangers and your clothes having space so you could see them all. Well, my wardrobe is now reduced by 50% so I can experience that for myself and it’s wonderful (although I’m sure I still have more clothes than you). So thank you, my friend, for inspiring me, I’m very grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie, you’ve no idea how touched I am about your beautiful, generous comment! If I ever helped in a small way, then I am so pleased. But all the credit is yours for actually taking action. Lxx ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve helped in a big way, not a small way. I’m no minimalist (yet!) but it does feel fantastic to have a lot less stuff – the space feels so different, it feels like you can breathe. But I don’t need to tell you that, Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Important things for us to ponder, Julie. I now live alone and find that I actually eat less at meals. I still need that “reward time” at the end of the day with a snack(s), however, and rely on my “rules of eating” to keep things in check (like counting how many of something I can have or buying the single serving containers of certain things for control). I know that it’s all mind games, but I’ve learned over the years that’s how to keep my weight where I want it to be. I don’t like it, though, and always wish it could be different. Struggles with weight… gaining, losing…have been a constant shadow over my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Becky, I’m sure many people can relate to it. The issue of control is a difficult one – often there can be a side to our personality that finds control too restricting and wants to be out of control. Therefore, we can experience a constant push and pull between the side of us that wants control and the other that doesn’t. In therapy, we work to get these two sides talking to each other so we can find out what they both want and can work on a compromise. Often it’s that no food is forbidden (which satisfies the side that doesn’t want restriction) but the ‘rules’ are more around making sure you only eat when you’re hungry and listening to your body when it says you’ve had enough (which placates the side that doesn’t want to overeat and put on weight), as well as finding other ways to meet emotional needs that don’t involve food. But I understand that letting go of that control can be scary because it feels like the floodgates will open and you’ll never stop eating – this is why self-compassion is so important. It’s a complex struggle and you’re not alone in it by any means,. Thanks again for giving us your thoughts, I really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done on the major decluttering. I feel like this is what I really need to do; I’m forever picking at things, trying to get rid of one or two things, replace others, tidy up and re-arrange, but the house is too small and it just gets frustrating. That said, there’s also something cathartic about tidying and decluttering, so perhaps that’s why I haven’t yet done a huge decluttering.. As for the food issue, it’s interesting because this is a question that stuck with me from a book I read previously (perhaps ‘Overcoming Overeating’, though I’m not 100% on that as there were 2-3 books that changed my life where food/weight/eating is concerned). Anyway, the idea is as you say with giving yourself permission and actually enjoying it, you’re more able to adjust to your body’s nutritional needs; you may gain a little, you may also lose a little, but your body will regulate and adjust. Without the emotional power of food over you and the exhaustion of worrying/restricting/overeating, any overeating reduces and the anxiety around what you eat reduces, too. Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If we don’t give ourselves full permission to eat what we enjoy I think it can cause confusion about what and how much we want. Whereas, when we give ourselves our permission and, as you say, no longer have “the emotional power of food” over us”, things become much clearer and easier. I love how you say “your body will regulate and adjust” – so true, it’s just trusting our bodies, which can be challenging after years of disordered eating. Thanks for the decluttering congrats. It was huge (and is still ongoing). I think I probably deserve a medal or something, don’t I?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I reread my comment from earlier and I’m sorry it was such an awful jumble! I probably should have waited until I felt a little better before attempting to write it so you would have something that actually made sense 😂 Absolutely agree with your point about trusting our bodies, and how much of a challenge that can be. That then goes full circle back to control, and how it’s like we’re giving up control when we eat what we want and trust our bodies because we’re no longer planning and restricting and calorie counting etc. Letting go of some of that need for control is a really difficult one, too.
        You most certainly do deserve a medal! I don’t have one, but I can give you some stars like the stickers we’d get in school instead ★★★★★★★★
        xx

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! Enjoying food doesn’t mean you have to eat a lot of it – there’s something wonderful about really savouring the amount that’s right for you. Great to hear your thoughts, thank you for sharing your experience.

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  6. Thank you for sharing!!… hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with happiness!!… I believe that if one would simply establish their life guided by their heart and not others, one would do just fine… 🙂

    “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realize how seldom they do”.. Eleanor Roosevelt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree more, Dutch – much better to follow our own instincts and be guided by what feels right for us, rather than by others’ judgements. Many thanks for your comment.

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  7. Thought-provoking. Indeed, this is a post where someone should really ponder. I tend to eat what I really like, I don’t mind the stares of other people. There’s a lot of things to be worried about and eating should not add more to those situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Harry, I’m sorry to hear food is one of the only things that brings you happiness. You deserve to have many things in your life that make you genuinely happy, as we all do. Thank you for sharing your experience, I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

      Like

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