Chopsticks

Finding simplicity in limitation.

Wooden chopsticks atop black concrete

I'm obsessed with restriction. Choosing to have only one all-black outfit stopped the constant inner-voice nagging me to buy that new shirt with a pattern or colour that felt like me. Removing animal products from my life has naturally narrowed down my selection of food, cleaning supplies, and other possessions. These restrictions, whether artificially or ethically imposed, encourage me to live a simpler life while reducing decision fatigue.

Restrictions should be healthy and enjoyable. Deprivation will quickly cause you to fall back to old habits.

According to a study about mindless eating, the amount we eat increases when distracted. Personally, enjoying a meal while watching Friends (~22 minutes runtime) or Grey's Anatomy (~48 minutes runtime) is one of my favourite pastimes. Because my cravings match the length of my current show, I end up filling any extra time with larger portions, salty chips and mayo, or a dark chocolate sweet.

Some people may be strong enough to simply eat slower with a fork. My weak self-control treats a fork like a power-tool for consuming. Replacing a fork with a pair of artisanal, handmade chopsticks not only made me enjoy the process of eating more, but physically slowed me down. Now lunchtime feels like driving a manual car, necessitating a blissful and intentional focus.

L’appétit vient en mangeant.