The Pleasure Principle
Friday, March 22, 2013
Yesterday I made a large tactical error. I was in the grocery store and I came home with two things that had no business in my shopping cart: 1) animal crackers. 2) a pint of frozen yogurt. Granted neither thing was a horrific "sin" - but neither one was necessary and both of them added up to temptation that I was not strong enough to handle. Consequence? I ate half the pint in the afternoon and the other half at 3:30 AM. And not only that but I also had a bowl of cereal and some blackberries and some animal crackers in the overnight. When will I ever get this monster defeated? I keep making errors like having tempting food in the house.
Because of my night time splurge...I've been awake since 3:30. Partly because I've been feeling so badly about what I ate. These are the same feelings I had as an anorexic when I would get up in the night and eat a few bites of ice cream and maybe have a cookie. I would feel horrible about myself and out of control....just like I feel now. Yesterday I was brimming with motivation. I felt strong. And now??
Now, just like my guilt over a couple bites of ice cream....maybe I'm over reacting Maybe I'm giving food too much power. I'm giving it the power to make me feel miserable and to rob me of badly needed sleep.
All I really need to do is to do an extra fifteen minutes on the bike and that will eradicate my guilt. But is this beginning a bad response to poor choices? It's the binge purge sequence of behaviors that are so dangerous for me. I was never one to vomit...but I would "purge" by working out. Now I don't think that this one instance of doing this is going to set me up for a relapse into an eating disorder but it is good to be aware of it.....and to not make it a habit.
Food is such an incredible force. So complicated in the emotions it brings up in us....the behaviors it elicits. The complex web of responses it sets up. I mean, what is it? It's something we have to do to survive. But because it is pleasurable, it gets complicated. When we put the pleasure in front of the survival, we get into trouble. It's the same as sex and procreation....It's something we do as a race to survive....but because it also feels good, it begins to influence many many behaviors. It effects what clothes we buy and how we make up our hair and faces....all these peripheral behaviors. Why can't it just be cut and dried and simple?
There used to be a diet popular in Christian circles called "Weigh Down" and it's principle was simple....there are no good or bad foods. You can eat what you want...provided your stomach is growling and you are feeling physical hunger. Then you could eat what you want...but only until you were no longer hungry. NO more. And then you had to wait until the next time you were hungry to eat more. It sounds good in principle. And it's the way it should be. IT puts food in its proper place....something we do to survive. Why is it so hard to do? The pleasure problem. it feels good so we want MORE of it.
I don't know what the solution is. But I know that food has way too much power in my life ...Anytime something can make you do what you really don't want to do and then cause you to feel an agony of regret--well it simply has too much power.
For me, today: I'm working on regaining my mojo. And I probably will get it back once I work out and start feeling good again. But I'm going to be thinking about this...this quandary with food that we face. The push-me-pull-you of food. And what on earth are we supposed to do about it?