Ammar Mian

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The Ritual of Eating

[...] My growing disgust leads me to my next experiment.

For the past three months, I have withheld from eating outside of a 2-4 hour window. Nutritionists calls this Intermittent Fasting. I call it Satiety. You eat when you are hungry, and what we typically consider Hunger is merely Craving.

In 2013, I removed sugars and grains from my diet after a bout of bloody shits.

During my first week, my mood soured and my senses yearned for any trace of grease, bread, cheese, or sugar. By day seven, I broke out in a cold sweat. I dry-heaved over a toilet. I craved sugar. Hunger does not behave this way. Addiction to pleasure does.

Five years later, as I revisited this experiment, I made note of my sensations as they appeared.

7am: I wake up. I consider eating out of habit, but I'm not hungry. I drink a glass of water and head to the gym.

10am: My hands begin to sweat a little, and my stomach growls. However, these sensations are compulsions, a small child throwing a tantrum.

12pm: My focus deepens. I can think more clearly, and my perceptions feel more continuous rather than discrete, disjointed, and scattered. The body operates differently when it isn't busy digesting food.

3pm: I feel Hunger. It is not desperate like Craving. Craving is the monster at your door. You notice that it is there, and you may choose to ignore it or you may choose to feed it so it goes away. But it will always return until you make peace with it. Hunger feels like a wise old owl in comparison. It whispers as a suggestion that maybe it is time to eat. So I eat a bowl of the familiar cauliflower, sweet potato, and chicken. Later, I eat some yogurt and make myself a spinach smoothie.

7pm: The fast begins. I am content. I am satiated.

10pm: My body prepares for sleep. I crave chocolate. I drink mint tea instead. [...]

Bookshelf

  • Roaring Silence - Ngak'chang Rinpoche
  • Muraqaba: The Art and Science of Sufi Meditation - Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi
  • Domain-Driven Design - Eric Evans
  • Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics - Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Elements of Typographic Style - Robert Bringhurst
  • Skin in the Game - Nassim Taleb

full list

Projects

  • Bookswell - Product Hunt- and reddit-featured book recs app
  • Survival Aesthetics - Email newsletter on building things designed to grow
  • BLAGH! - Mini templating language that produces everything you see on this site!

Email: ammar dot x dot mian at gmail dot com