The importance of proportions
The season of excess is upon us. Snacks here. Dinners there. Food jumps out from everywhere. The five senses (six senses in Buddhism) become numbingly overwhelmed. Indulging, overindulging, seems to just ‘happen’. At some time, somewhere along the line, a conscious effort must be made to reign in the impulse of sight induced food consumption. To do this, there has to be an internal concept of what one views as, takes as being healthy. One must develop and become comfortable with an attitude of moderation. The availability of things to consume will be moot and have minimal influence on our day to day actions.
How the season promotes sight based food consumption
The season is a product of the merchandiser promotion encased in religio-familial bonding. At the core, one wants to feel as if they are taking care of others and / or that they are being cared for. A vehicle for this is the production of and partaking in foodstuffs. Media bombards society with visions of holiday cheer, food, festivity, togetherness. The social fabric is directed towards suspending any doubts, reservations, or issues that may be of pressing concern. In this way, one is able to ‘enjoy’ the feelings that are generated from the perceived lightness of the season.
How comfort is derived from eating food that is given to us
It is a well known fact that consumption of food is comforting to the brain. If the brain feels good the whole body feels good and vice versa. The belief in feeling good is tied to the season by the precedence of ‘genuine emotional connections. Spending time with family, food consumption and indulging in ‘traditions’ are the top three reason why people (consumers) look forward to the season. Many stay true to ‘Traditional Christmas dishes. There are others who, due to ethnic, religious or cultural authenticity, incorporate their own cuisine choices into these ‘typical meals’. All, then, is well.
The alure of the senses
The (six) senses are wired to prefer ‘delicious foods’ over those not deemed as such. Yoga parlance describes two aspects the maintain persons as base humans: 1) raga – attraction to pleasure and 2) dvesa – aversion to pain (or that which is distasteful). When the society at large espouses eating, indulgence and the like, the senses are able to venture forth in unbridled fashion. This can pose grave consequences for those with addictive personalities but, even the average ordinary person has to contend with the barrage of eating, treats, festive gatherings and such. The senses, not checked, will succumb. One has to step outside of themselves and see that moderation must hold sway.
How to deal with feeling the need to eat (everything)
The pull of the holidays need not be such that one is swept away in the tide of over-indulgence. Individuals can enjoy the holidays, along with what they entail, and still be responsible and guilt free. Responsibility needs to be exercised, even more so, at this time of year. There are guidelines that can help in this endeavor:
- Drinking lots of water
- Be kind to yourself
- Portion Control
- Fill up on protein
- Limit your alcohol intake
It is possible to be a rock star at Christmas without over indulging. Have fun, be responsible, enjoy the season.