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Where's the Dirty Cut Gone? And Some Notes on Introverted Sensing (Si)

Friday March 25, 2022

Aspen asks,

Where did you end up with your dirty cut dieting regimen? Did it continue working for you?

It’s been a while since I was really focused on that! Good q.

(This makes me think about the way weight loss is also an archetypal interest, itself a symbol, since its subjectively-interpreted importance REALLY varies in interesting ways over time. Lately I’m interested in this other stuff over here, but wow, I was really laser focused on cuts back at that time! Interesting to observe that.)

So first, I’m definitely not in a really intense mindset about weight loss right now.

But second, health in general is always interesting. And I’ve been working on what you could call Si lately.

In other words:

  • What is my body “asking” me to eat right now? (Or not eat? Or drink? Or do?)
  • How much will do the job? A lot, or just a little bit?
  • How do I feel after eating it? Did it help to think it through?
  • What does my body seem to like to eat, and when?

This kind of thinking helps me a LOT. You may recall that I wasn’t very aware of my limits and needs with eating in previous decades.

I was certainly way more into the Se box. Sensory impression and sensory variety were really important to me.

Overeat? Sure!!! Hey, you can have so much fun eating a huge plate of what’s basically garbage! NICE!!!

Whoa Whoa Whoa what about Se though?

Now, before I get into the rest, I’m still in the Se club:

  • New and interesting foods are awesome!
  • Interesting AMOUNTS of foods are awesome!
  • Whoa look at all that FOOD!

I will probably go to my grave a fan of videos like these because they are too much fun to watch with my kids, for one.

Enter the SiNJA

But I married into Si psychology. My wife and some members of her family are SUPER DUPER into Si, by nature. I always appreciated this, but I never really got it, at this psychology-of-food level, until recently.

During a stressful day, my wife would ask something like, “would a little piece of chocolate help?” And I’d think, “you mean like the LARGEST chocolate bar in the store, right? Can we go to the store? That would be so cool! I would devour that thing!

I had found my groove in this fundamental level of non-attention to my physical needs. Unfortunately, that non-attention led to ERUPTIONS of food-need, in a feast/famine cycle of my own making.

Eventually it started to click as I studied personality dynamics—this is a more frequent, low-level attention to those needs. It’s more sensitive, too, so it’s gentler by nature.

And it feels really good.

I used to eat candy like Skittles by the handful. But now I can figure out the exact number and flavor of Skittles that will make me feel better! And sometimes it’s like THREE of them.

In yellow.

This kind of thing used to weird me out.

So with the dirty cut

The focus on Si has this funny way of making words like “dirty” and “cut” seem kind of ridiculous.

So, I no longer really do a dirty cut.

But overall, my diet is more under control, and also more indulgent! At least in the sense that I more frequently ask my body what it needs. Which—in other ways is not indulgent at all.

It also helps that I learned to sense fluctuations in water weight by about a half pound, which is a pretty useful input and guide in a way.

Oh and This Other Thing

These days, I find that when people talk about “healthy food” it doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. Like, it’s downright confusing to even start to talk about.

“You mean you think there’s food that’s just ‘good’, and for EVERYBODY?”


I was raised on what my dad called an “inspired diet”. Tons of whole grain, greens, diet this, healthy that. It was based on all these nutrition books he read, and asked me to read, and send me clippings from, yada yada. OK, sure there was some interesting stuff in there.

But I have to shake my head at that a bit, now.

And these days I see ads with “fresh greens” and “lean meats” and I’m thinking, this seems kind of like 101-level Eating.

Maybe I’m only at 110-level myself, maybe it’s 102, I have no idea. But that style of thinking about food seems way too kibishii. People can be gentle with their bodies and still have a healthy diet that’s not so green.

This must be where the Subjectivity in Si (that little “i”) comes from: Sometimes it depends on the details and depth. The person, their situation, their environment, etc. Why be so shallow about prescribing specific foods for all humanity?

To me, healthy food could be a candy bar or a donut. And often is! This is related to why I gave myself permission for the dirty cut back then.

I admit I probably wouldn’t eat a whole box of donuts though. Though gosh…I wouldn’t ever rule it out. Subjective stuff goes so deep…

Oh and finally

  • I know this all sounds a bit breathless.
  • In my coaching mind, that’s a good sign for energy levels.
  • I am still just as dumb as ever, both intentionally and…sub-intentionally.

Thanks for reaching out Aspen!

Filed in: Sensation /40/ | Dieting /18/ | Si /18/

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