“Know Thyself.” I know it’s a cliche’ saying, but it’s so true, especially when it comes to healthy eating.
The basic practice of healthy eating is very simple. You have an appetite or desire and you satisfy it. It’s simple in theory, but oh so hard to do in practice.
Our modern fitness culture has royalty demented our relationship with our dietary appetites and desires. I would even go so far as to say many folks have developed a highly dysfunctional relationship with food.
Let’s count the ways shall we?
– Some say that our desires are really addictions and therefor we must beat them or over come them.
– Some ideas revolve around the notion that our desires are infinite. We just can’t get enough junk food and sweets.
– Other theories give off the idea that we are supposed to get as much as we can and get our money’s worth at the grand buffet.
– Some dietary theories suggest we need to eat at certain times or at certain intervals.
– We sometimes feel we need to put on a false face to appear stronger and more disciplined. We’ll tell our friends we don’t miss chocolate just to eat a bag of mini snickers later that day.
I could go on, but the basic premise is that we can’t trust our appetites, we shouldn’t listen to our appetites and above all our desires are unhealthy. So instead of “know thyself” it’s more like “fight thyself, distrust thyself and defeat thyself.” These ideas are very self destructive. How on earth can you fight yourself and win?
The more we buy into these ideas the more we become dependent upon the rules of a particular diet to come and save us from ourselves. It pushes us away from true self control (where the self is in control as opposed to a program) and It also causes us to push away the single most important aspect of healthy eating; self awareness.
The single goal of healthy eating is perfect satisfaction and fulfillment. You eat exactly what you want, when you want and as much as you want. The problem is, our dysfunctional dietary methods have made this all messed up. We have become accustomed to ignoring our appetites. We eat food we don’t want, in portions we don’t like and at times when we don’t want it. We’ve been conditioned to ignore our own senses and to feel good about following the rules someone else laid down as opposed to what we really want.
The first step in healthy eating is understanding that the purpose of food is to satisfy and fulfill our desires. It’s supposed to erase stress and discomfort. The second step is to become more aware of exactly what you want. After all, how else can you find perfect satisfaction when you don’t even have a clear understanding of what you want?
Understanding your desire is not easy, but it can be done. There is one down side which can derail the entire process which I’ll cover next.