my ninja obsession and moderation


i bought myself a present this holiday season. i’ve wanted a high-powered blender forever, or at least since i saw one munch its way through anything and everything on a commercial a few months back.

i went through a juicing phase a little over a year ago. i liked doing it. i enjoyed them all: the green juices, the orange juices, the red juices. juicing made me feel like i was doing something healthy for myself. placebo effect of not, my skin looked fantastic, and i swear i had more energy, but the waste of all of that pulp bothered me. you can use it in cooking and baking, and even freeze it for later, but i don’t make muffins and meatloaf all that often.

the guilt was a big part of stopping but i also put the juicer away and as is often the case, once a specialized kitchen tool is put in a cupboard, it never sees the light of day again.

then came the commercial for the ninja. what a monster. similar to a vitamax but a sixth of the price and since i’m not fabulously well-off, price is a consideration. a couple of Christmas gift-cards for wal-mart later, i was ready to commit.


it’s big and shiny and stands proudly on the counter next to the coffee maker. it grinds up leafy greens and various other ingredients like a magic bullet on steroids. i’ve only used it a few times but so far, it seems fantastic. i bet it could pulverize a head of cabbage. i bet it could pulverize a squash. i bet i could make a smoothie out of rocks.

i made myself a lovely drink this morning, in fact. apple and tomato and lemon and carrot and a handful of leafy green stuff and ice, oh my. it’s more cold soup, or runny salsa than juice but still kind of yum. unfortunately, it made a lot more than i anticipated. my cups runnethed over and surplus food is difficult for me; i get quite stressed.

drinking the very healthy smoothie was one of my goals for the day, part of the “take care of your body” section of my 2018 mission statement. i’ve decided to spend time every day working on goals. i’ve read anecdotes from people who do that who are pleased by the decision to do so.  i’m ready to embrace more positivity in my life.

so i mixed it up and suddenly, there’s this big container of smoothie just sitting there on the counter, mocking me, and i’m obsessing over whether i have to drink it all, and maybe i will since it’s good for me, but then i should probably skip a meal to account for the drink, except i try not to skip meals anymore, and then the squirrels really started racing around my head counting the calories for each ingredient and figuring out how much food was in the smoothie, and how much exercise i should now do to atone, and what was supposed to be a soothing smoothie that let me tick the box on doing something good for myself exploded into something else entirely.

still reeling from the freak out which i ultimately dealt with by drinking a glass and discarding the rest, i decided to regroup ‘til tomorrow for a healthy smoothie attempt, mark two, but questions like how big i should make it, and when i should eat it, and how am i going to fit this drink into my meal plan, and has anyone ever gained a hundred pounds from fruit and veggie smoothies rise up, and here we go again.

it occurred to me as my brain was flailing around thusly, trying to work out how i was going to accommodate this new and apparently stressful health kick, that i am seldom moderate. it’s not an innate quality and not one i’d ever thought to cultivate, which is odd, because in their way, eating disorders are all about excess. learning to be moderate would then seem to be fairly essential.

with my eating disorder i’ve experienced not moderation but excess: the excess of over-consumption, and the excess of under-consumption.

i’m not moderate with exercise either. i’m not moderate when i panic. i’m not moderate in my obsessive compulsivity: for example, my library is alphabetized, categorized, and individual authors with more than one book are sorted by publication date within their sections. it’s a thing of beauty and brings my organized and compulsive soul joy, but restrained it is not.

the thought today then, that i could try to be more moderate, seemed almost surreal. it’s seems so very much not me, but then finding out what is me is part of all this stumbling around.

it’s not as if i don’t think moderation is a good idea in the abstract. it’s not as if i haven’t heard a plethora of people say “all things in moderation” and other similar phrases as i’ve travelled through life. i just never really thought that moving away from excess could apply to me.

i’ve always been a little intense. i go all in. i was that kid. if i liked it, i really liked it. if i saw the movie, then i had the posters and the spin-off books. i bought the toys, picked up the stickers, hoarded the magazines, and joined the fan clubs. if having one book by an author you like is good, having all of their books is better. if one doughnut is good, ten would be better. if one binge is good, a thousand is better. it’s why i stay away from sales people. i can absolutely be sold just about anything.

it’s a dramatic way to live; it’s very all or nothing. it’s odd to realize that i live in such an extreme fashion when philosophically i believe that people and situations have a lot of grey in them. i believe in the grey yet i’m living in a dramatic, overdone, overly-complicated, black and white, all or nothing paradigm. it’s why random thoughts like “what about moderation” can bring about so much surprise.

so then, why not moderation? what if i don’t obsessively push myself to make a smoothie every damn day? what if i enjoyed it three times a week instead? does that mean i’m failing at something?

what if instead of feeling i had to consume all three glasses and skip the next meal (or two), i just had a small glass with breakfast or lunch and saved the rest for a snack?

what if i only use my new ninja once a week? why isn’t that okay? why do i feel the need to compulsively follow the odd rules that i set up? who sets these rules for me anyhow? why does acquiring and holding onto things i desire make me feel in control and safe?

that’s a lot of questions and philosophical musings to come from the purchase of a blender. sometimes you really do get more than what you paid for.


january 6, 2017

photo credit (bowls):

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