Minimalism and Just Portion Sizes

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

–Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist

Social justice issues have always been important to me, from feeding the hungry and clothing the naked in parish outreach work to actually living among the poor in NYC The cry of the poor has been a voice echoing in the wilderness most of my adult life.

It never occurred to me that my over-consumption of food contributed to the lack of food in the lives of the poor.

For so long, I had eaten more than my fair share of food. I’d consumed mass quantities of whatever I desired. Like so many, I suffered from the disease of “wants” and “mores.” The more I wanted (and consumed), the unhappier I became. The more unhappy I became, the more I ate. It was a vicious cycle.

As I started on my journey of life-changing decisions, I realized the importance of weighing and measuring my food. This is a practice I continue to this day.

Weighing and measuring (not just food, but, really, everything) gives me structure, balance–and freedom.  For my meals, I take no more than whatever is within the parameters set for me in consultation with my nutritionist. The food I eat today is better, tastes delicious, and less.

By taking only what I need, I choose quality over quantity. By taking only my prescribed portions, I leave more for the world around me. Sure, the fresh fruits and produce are often more expensive, but I am spending less because I am eating less. This is my just portion size.

Promoting what I value and getting rid of distractions–that’s how my way of eating is minimalist. No longer am I spending money on food I do not need (distraction, waste). No longer are my cupboards overflowing with junk (distraction, clutter). Gone are the twins of shame and embarrassment at the checkout line (distraction SUPREME).

Today, I value health and well-being. Some of the money I used to spend on food is now spent on an alternative health care practitioner. Today, I value such experiences as prayer, meditation, and exercise more than the over-consumption of mass quantities of food.

Most importantly, I can focus more on what I love to do–help those in need.

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