I’m living in the Dave Matthews song “Too Much.”
“I eat too much
I drink too much
I want too much
Yup. Pretty accurate. The food journal is helping me reduce my amount of eating and drinking, but I’d be a liar if I said the cravings weren’t there… and that my discipline still needs work.
I want too much. Right now I have ZERO urge to eat. None. My stomach feels full, there’s no desire in my mouth for a certain salt/fat/sugar… but if you put a delicious pizza, a massive burger, or a bunch of honey mustard pretzels in front of me, I’d start to eat them. They’re delicious! They bring comfort! But the excess inevitably brings shame. It might be when I step on the scale in the morning, when I write it down, or when I take my shirt off to get in the shower… but I’m certain it’ll come.
A large glass of sparkling seltzer with a shot of vodka in it will make the day a little more exciting. In fact, fuck the seltzer, let’s throw some whiskey in a glass with rocks and a lime and enjoy ourselves. We’re stuck indoors due to a global pandemic, who cares? It’ll be fun. Sure, have another, you don’t have anything that NEEDS to get done. You don’t have to drive anywhere.
I’ve heard this sensation, this chase, described as a hole, as if it’s something that needs filling. People fill it with food, drugs, sex, etc…. but it continues to be an endless hole that no matter how much we try to fill it, the hole remains.
This quarantine has us stuck inside with a hole that seems to grow in diameter. Maybe it was only a little hole that we filled with a couple drinks over the weekend and an act or two of debauchery. But now, being stuck inside with lots of us losing the ability to meet friends and family, losing our hobbies outside of our homes, and losing what we identified with – “Work” – we feel that empty feeling growing, like an untreated rash. Scratch it with the “too much” and it grows. We’re feeding it. That hole seems to be more of a mouth that belongs to the little red dude on the other shoulder.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed having a couple cocktails in the afternoon and eating a little differently than if society was running as normal. But “Too much” of it becomes a slippery slope. When we feed that little red dude on our shoulder, he grows in strength, like anything you feed. Though, it’s our job to control his portions and be careful of feeding him… “Too Much“
I remember a Full House (the 90’s version – we don’t speak of the blasphemy that airs on Netflix these days) episode where Danny Tanner has to explain that “Too Much” of anything is a bad thing. “Even too much owce cweam?” one of the Olsen twins asked. Honestly, this lesson hit me like I owed it money.
It can be too much exercising, too much eating of vegetables, too much stretching. The concept of “Too Much” is going beyond what can be deemed positive, or even just the pursuit of going beyond. Some people want to be the BEST marathoner. Well, they’re probably going to have to find where “Too Much” running is before they can find a proper training regimen for themselves. The person who wants to be the best violinist is going to play “Too Much“before they realize they’ve gone too far. The person that wants to be the greatest gamer is going to play “Too Much” before they realize that it was indeeed…“Too Much“.
Through doing whatever activity “Too Much,” we can find the line of diminishing returns… right? We want to find our limits and break them so that we can push them further next time, but there’s going to be a point IN ANYTHING that it was “Too Much.” It’s going to that point and then realizing that preparation and recovery from anything that we do in excess would be crucial to the “success.”
So, for instance, if I’m planning to run the furthest I’ve ever run, I should probably prepare by running smaller distances leading up to that long run, I should eat properly before hand, I should make sure that I have the proper footwear… etc. Afterwards I should stretch, rehydrate, rest, etc. I’m not a marathoner so this is certainly not my expertise, but you get the point. If we want to find the line of “Too Much” then we have to hit it and prepare properly for next time.
Perhaps it’s the pursuit of something great that can close the hole of that little red dude’s mouth? If we put our desire for “Too Much” into something artistic, physical, and/or intellectual then we won’t desire a sleeve of cookies, a bottle of whiskey, or 30 women or men. The distractions will always remain, the little red dude will always be on our shoulder, but can we quiet him? Can we keep a greater distance from him? Shit, even Bill Gates locks himself in a cabin for a week reading “Too Much” while crushing a 30-pack of Diet Coke. Maybe it’s just a release valve that we have to open every now and then as it’s part of being human… having flaws, not being perfect, NOT being some sort of deity.
I really have zero clue. These thoughts and questions are rhetorical and simply something to ponder and keep in mind when the craving to keep eating, drinking, or binging comes about.
What I do know is that I’ve been sitting for “Too Much” of my Wednesday. It’s time to do anything of “much,” which will be much better than not doing it at all.