Ever since I first watched it a couple of months ago, Matt Cutts’s “Try something new for 30 days” TED talk has been on my mind. If you haven’t watched it, you should. It’s only about 3 and half minutes, and it’s quite inspiring.
I try a lot of new things. I’m a big believer in shaking my life up and, for better or worse, I don’t do all that well with routine. The older I get, the more I crave… well, new. Different. I want to explore. Stretch. Expand. Make shit. I want to experience all the stuff that happens when I do the things that scare me, and learn all the things I can learn when I’m willing to be a clumsy beginner again and again.
What attracts me to Matt’s idea is the 30-day part. It’s just enough time to try something out – a new art form, a new exercise program, a new diet, a new habit – but not so long that you feel daunted by the commitment. I’ve been waiting for the right 30-day project to occur to me, and while we were traveling last week, eating too much food in too many restaurants, it did…
For 30 days, I’m going to eat like a child.
Years ago, I read an article which said that children up to about age 10, if left to their own devices, won’t overeat. Children, when not prodded by parents or other well-meaning adults, eat when they’re hungry and stop eating when they stop feeling hungry. They don’t stuff themselves and they don’t eat because they’re bored (or depressed or worried or heartbroken).
I have a difficult relationship with food, and I don’t really remember the time before food and I became so adversarial. While I don’t starve myself anymore, I often obsess about eating. It’s a control thing for me, a thorny calculation of indulgence and deprivation that is far more compulsive than it is necessary. So I wondered, what if I take all the psychology out of it? What if, for 30 days, I eat like a kid?
I’m on Day 3. So far, so good. This may be the easiest diet I’ve ever been on. It’s definitely the most relaxed I’ve felt about food in a long, long time. In 27ish days, I’ll let you know how it all turned out.
If you’re interested in doing your own 30-day thing, tell me in the comments section. We can cheer each other on!
I am absolutely loving the answers to Samantha Reynolds’s (Bentlily’s) question from last week. You guys are so creative (and funny and surprising and poetic). Next Thursday, July 5th, I’ll pull all your answers together, fold them into a paper airplane, and hurl them through the ether to Samantha. Someone’s going to win a limited edition Bentlily book of poetry! (Seriously, just typing that makes me grin.)
If you haven’t commented on the post yet, hop on over. There’s still time!
Finally… One of the Love Essays, “Earnest, hippie and doe-eyed,” has been published in its entirety on the very new, very cool, online magazine CLAMP. I’m honored to be part of that site’s launch because I think it’s going to be an amazing place where smart people write and talk about things they (and we) care about. Check out the site, and if you haven’t read the Love Essays, please read “Earnest, hippie and doe-eyed,” then consider downloading the collection. I wrote it from the deepest parts of me, and I’ve never wanted to share my work more.
Oh, and I took this picture for you in Santa Fe last week…