The modern world has a strange relationship with food.
While early humans foraged for survival, modern civilization indulges in the increased production and availability of food, which has enabled us to focus our attention on other pursuits.
Food has become an affordable disposable luxury item for the developed countries, while the majority of the third world’s population cannot get enough to eat.
How is it that we over-eat until we feel sick then do it all over again? It is a cruel Pavlovian reflex.
We eat or drink to celebrate. We eat or drink because we feel we ‘deserve’ a treat or as an emotional response. We eat or drink to be social or to ‘fit-in’.
And sometimes we do not eat enough with the hope to control our weight. Both extremes can leave lasting negative outcomes.
In his book How to Be Compassionate, The Dalai Lama says:
“There are many discrepancies between the way things appear and the way they really are. Something that is impermanent can appear permanent. Also, sources of pain, such as overeating, sometimes first appear to be sources of pleasure, but in the end, they are not. They actually bring us trouble. Although we want happiness, in our ignorance we do not know how to achieve it; although we do not want pain, we misunderstand its workings, so we end up contributing to its causes.”
This can also be the case with exercise. Pushing so hard, not taking enough time for the body to rest and recover to the point of developing stress fractures; knowing better but not listening to your inner voice or the physiotherapist for that matter.
Can you find a parallel in your life? Something that you do in excess or even in what might seem like a negligible amount that you know is harming you or will harm you in the future?
Will you stop this cycle? Do you want to?
Were you able to stop this cycle? How did you do it?