Soylent – Day Six

My burrito last night was tasty, but it did not usher in an overwhelming desire to eat the world, which I was a bit afraid it would. I am fine today having my Soylent. And this is something else that Soylent might end up being helpful for…

**DISCLAIMER: If you have or have ever had any kind of ED, please don’t listen to this or take some dumb blogger’s uninformed advice on anything, you shouldn’t be reading this anyway, and you should not experiment with meal replacement unless you are working with an MD who knows your history.**

I think Soylent might be a good tool for people with binge eating disorder, which I suspect many people have, and I also think that it’s basically the same thing in the brain as alcoholism or any other type of addiction (except way more stigmatized because although people with BED don’t hurt anyone but themselves and people with alcoholism usually hurt everyone they know, still, people with BED are often less physically attractive and that’s all we care about), but the problem with BED is that you can’t simply stop eating food the way you can stop drinking, so you’re just triggering yourself over and over again forever, and who could possibly fight that successfully? But I can see a total meal replacement like this being a really valuable tool in repairing a disordered relationship with food, or possibly freeing people from it altogether.

Obviously, a lot of the problems that people have with food are made worse by decision fatigue and the limits of willpower. And this certainly applies to dieting, which all us fat, sedentary Americans are constantly trying to do. If you want to lose weight, you really have to make that your main focus in life. It requires being completely obsessive about your food, thinking about it all the time, planning it, leaving nothing to chance, and for the time you’re working on losing weight, your entire world must revolve around your eating habits, because that’s how hard it is to force weight off the human body. And then you have to keep it off.

Most people aren’t dull enough to channel all of their willpower and concentration into their diet; they have more important shit to be focusing on, like building their careers, raising their children, creating art, or just fucking around online. Dieting is boring, self-absorbed, and time-consuming, and naturally, for anyone with an unhealthy relationship to food (which is basically all of us to some degree), it also exacerbates a lot of problems. Something like Soylent would remove all personal battling from dieting or from just nourishing yourself in a balanced way without descending into obsessive behaviors and binge-and-starve cycles, and could therefore be a very good thing for a lot of people.

Or maybe it would make everything worse, I don’t know.

Anyway, it was an absolutely deliciously beautiful fall day in Albuquerque today — warm and breezy and sunny, with crisp good-smelling air. So naturally, I spent the entire day inside reading, although I did open a few windows.

And this is the other thing about Soylent that I love: I’ve always found it much easier to only eat once a day when I’m in a physical job like waiting tables that doesn’t take much mental concentration. I don’t think my body needs food as much as my brain does — it’s easy to go for a long run on an empty stomach, but try and read an article when you’re hungry? Not happening. With sedentary jobs that require a lot of intellectual effort, I fade out pretty quickly if I get hungry, but at the same time, I don’t want to be eating a lot because I’m not actually burning any calories. But Soylent is great, because you can just sip it while you’re working, and you never get foggy-headed, and you never have to break your concentration to get up and fix yourself some food and try to hit the right balance between not getting hungry again in an hour and at the same time not eating so much that you just want to go to sleep.

God, have I mentioned what an absolute pill eating is? Why doesn’t everyone hate it as much as I do? I’ll never get it.

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