Food & Fitness

Food as Nourishment (and nothing more)

Nicole, a local nutritionist and the co-author of the book we’re working on regarding overall health and emotional attachments to food, came by my place on Wednesday so that we could work on the book. We ended up spending 6.5 hours working on the book (and on another project we feel passionate about – more of that in the future!), with only one 10-minute break to walk around the block. The full 6.5 hours was glorious and energizing and inspiring. As you can imagine, we accomplished a lot! Our brains were working overtime and they loved it.

After she left, I was thinking about how I’d like to set some goals for myself over the weekend. I have been working less at the vet clinic because I have started working more intently on freelancing projects, and it is wonderful to work from home. It gives me so much more freedom to design my own schedule and to feel great. And I am also getting much more work done, it seems, when I’m powering through work on projects that I sincerely adore doing.

But part of the problem from working from home is that I’ve started putting off little “at-home” things, because I know that I can get to them at any time. When I’m at the vet clinic for 9 hours in the day, I do a lot of work the moment I get home because I know that I only have a couple hours to do it. When I have all day at home, I work a lot on the projects I’m paid to do – but other things in my life fall by the wayside.

So at 9:30pm on Wednesday, I sat down to make a quick list of goals to accomplish over the next four or five days. Things to do for myself. Some of the things that I immediately wrote down included:

– Dust and vacuum;

– Organize all the papers on my desk (this is going to be the toughest challenge. My desk – the little one, the one that my computer is not on – is absolutely covered in piles upon piles of documents, papers, folders, and other random bits of “stuff”. It will take a solid couple hours to really sort through it all.);

– Pay bills;

– Take a book to the gym to read on an inclined treadmill.

It wasn’t until after I’d started the list that I realized something very important: not one item on the list was food-related. And I think that’s a good thing. Thanks to the comment that fd left on one of my blog posts, I am now trying to focus more on the ingredients in cosmetics and household items than on health in food. That doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring the nutritional content of food, but it means that I’m scaling back from critically examining it. Instead I want to focus on other things and let food just be food.

It’s surprisingly difficult to do that, but I think that if my sub-conscious mind started making a Things To Do list that didn’t include food, then I’m off to a good start. It’s going to be a slow process, I’m sure, but I’m making progress and that’s what’s important.

And it’s timely too, considering that that is what the book Nicole and I are writing is all about.

What’s on your to-do list this weekend?


  1. hydrantgirl

    I have to laugh at this because my personal trainer always says “food is fuel and unless you want to fill your car’s tank with sugar then don’t expect the good stuff to always taste nice”. How true, and really changed the way I think about what I eat.

  2. vered

    “Instead I want to focus on other things and let food just be food.” That’s a good goal. Except that when it comes to processed and packaged foods, I do feel the need to carefully read the label…

    1. Emergefit

      I make this argument — almost hourly with someone; that reading the food label notwithstanding, every time one puts food to one’s mouth, instincts prevail and one of two signals goes off, “This is good for me and I am going to eat it.” Or, “This is NOT good for me and I am going to eat it anyway.” Labels just complicate the story an dilute the instincts.

      1. Sagan Morrow

        That argument really appeals to me. I hadn’t thought about it quite like that, that labels dilute the instincts… but I think that in large part, you are correct. We sometimes use the labels to guide choices without thinking about what the body needs. Other times, I do think that some of the indicators on labels can be helpful in making the healthier choice, but I don’t think we let our instincts take over as much as we could.

  3. Pubsgal

    Sagan, you’re definitely one of the “cleanest” eaters I read; I would think it’s perfectly safe for someone with your eating habits to “let food be food.” I’m looking forward to the cosmetics/household items articles, although I do love the food talk, too.

  4. Dr. J

    I knew a serious cyclist, in his late teens. Food was just fuel for his real passion, riding. Not such a bad thing really. Perhaps the middle ground is the place to be, but too many people now-a-days are nowhere near the middle ground when it comes to their relationship with food.

    Rode the horse today. They don’t make ’em like that old warrior too often. He’s 120 in human years. It makes me a little sad when I remember what he used to be.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      I think the middle ground is often the best place for us to be. Need to have that balance. But you’re right – most people are nowhere near it. Even those of us who build our lives around health struggle with it!

      I bet your horse has had a pretty good, happy life with you taking care of him 🙂

  5. Monica

    I too am trying to put less brain energy into food and more into other things that are good for me… photography, my business, and most recently, my new pet Jay, a very high energy border collie. It’s actually really nice to think about another being for a change, learning patience, training, and walking, than thinking myself all the time (what am I going to have for dinner?). The project you’re working on is great – sounds like a wonderful day!

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Aww a new border collie? Exciting! And yes: it’s amazing how time goes by really fast when we’re focused on caring for another being. It’s so rewarding. It is a good reminder that often the little things that we worry or think about are really quite insignificant – not really worth worrying about at all. Those reminders are important!

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