nonabundance and overabundance

Not one but three distant friends from high school have contacted me recently via facebook to comment that I am aging well and that I look healthy. Er, actually, that I look like I have lost/not gained weight since they last saw me. …Thanks.

Also, each one asked (only half-rhetorically) “how I do it.” In thinking how to answer, I was forced to outline the timeline of my dropping 30 lbs after high school and keeping it off throughout the last ten years.

  • college meal plan (food only available certain times a day)
  • lived on college campus, walked everywhere
  • moved to Europe, no car, good public transportation, walked everywhere
  • started buying my own groceries (thrift leading to nonabundance)
  • went backpacking in Eastern Europe for four months on a tight budget (eat less, walk more)
  • lived in New York for three months (again, money controlled food ration/amount of walking)
  • went to grad school in Europe (same story)
  • gained weight when I moved to Scotland (fried central) and started working full-time
  • lost weight in a period of bereavement
  • started biking everywhere
  • gained weight during two-year period of office work (bigtime overabundance of food)
  • moved to Mexico City, where I continue not having a car. also I work freelance (no office food) and my income fluctuates (food not regularly abundant)

In other words the answer to how I did it is my calories/exercise ratio has remained aligned with what is natural for humanity.

This made me realize the extent to which what we consider abundance is actually overabundance. Like for example, maybe some people would worry that I don’t always have more than enough to eat. I contend that the body is more than capable of dealing with such a pattern, though. It’s designed for this pattern. Obviously even when I occassionally go without, I still have *enough*… otherwise I wouldn’t be able to function normally. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so healthy looking.

I do very much appreciate the Emergen-C vitamin packets Laura brought me when she came to visit, though. I may criticize food overabundance, but I won’t criticize a constant supply of nutrients.

The “aging well” comments, on the other hand, I’m pretty sure come from the fact that I’m wearing sunglasses in almost all of my facebook photos.

I will take/make any excuse to republish this photo. There are palm-tree silhouettes in my lenses!

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