At the start of the holidays the first plates of cookies, treat-laden gift baskets, and big special meals are delicious. Yet by New Year’s Day, with your pants tighter and your body bloated, you find yourself craving . . . a simple salad.
Researchers speculate that the reason we have trouble controlling our consumption of fat- and sugar-laden foods, is that in primitive times, our next meal was never guaranteed, so it paid to overindulge.
That makes sense. Yet it equally makes sense that once a person inflated past a healthy weight, another signal would emerge to put the brakes on their eating; after all, there’s little survival value in being slow, wheezing, and obese. It’s just that this signal is subtler and more easily ignored. (Interesting fact: research shows that exercise encourages weight loss not simply because it burns calories, but because it puts people back in touch with their hunger/satiety signals; moving your body makes you less alienated from it.)
Indeed, it seems all human systems – physical, psychological, mental, emotional – send cues toward wellness and away from sickness; toward balance and away from being saturated with one element to the neglect of others.
You can become satiated on social media: experience indigestion from seeing details that once remained private; feel that if you see one more inspirational message accompanied by the “influencer’s” own posed portrait, you might ralph.
You can feel as if you are choking on isolation and loneliness; glutted with the profane and material; sick of your cowardice and passive inertia; nauseated by the amount of porn in your life. You can feel disgustingly full and yet desperately empty.
There’s likely an area of your life calling out even now: “Basta!” “Enough!”
Listen. Push back from the table. And move towards what it is you’re really hungry for: relationship, meaning, freedom, action – health.