Curse of Abundance Eating For Nutrition
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By JoeRD April 8, 2013 - 10:48 am Lose Weight
Many Americans, and citizens of other developed countries, fight the battle of the bulge, specifically the bulge of a man''s belly or a woman''s thighs. This battle happens at the place where needs, desires, biology, and abundance collide. It often doesn''t seem like a fair battle, and desires for excess can get the upper hand.
It wasn''t always this way, though. In terms of the battle of the bulge, we have abundance empowering our desires. The "bulge" is an obvious sign of the imbalance this leads to. In other words, we overindulge because abundance allows for such, but our biology is sending us a message in the form of excess body weight and tight pants. Tight fitting pants can help us refocus our attention onto simply meeting our needs, and thus distracting us from our desires to overindulge. Is your body sending you this message? Are you listening?
Today, many of us find that our desires to overindulge get distracted when we make our new year resolutions. Our desires are still up to their usual antics, but our biology has created a bulging distraction and, for a time, our desires settle down or we pat them less attention. There''s all kinds of metaphors that could be used to tell the story of the curse of abundance. The basic meaning remains the same; desires and needs are not in balance and the conflict between them causes many terrible consequences.
What consequences? Let''s consider a consequence related to human biology. When we feed ourselves to satisfy desires only, many of us will gain weight in the form of body fat as a result of our "needs" storing the excessive food material. This then leads to a higher prevalence of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, heart disease, and early joint issues, among many other things.
You see, the curse of abundance isn''t a result of the existence of abundance. The curse is physically seen in the form of weight related diseases, among other things, but it is a conditional curse. What do I mean by conditional curse? The curse can''t exist when there is a healthy balance between needs and desires. Abundance only makes an imbalance between needs and desires possible. The curse develops as a way to tell us that we must restore the balance.
So, curse isn''t exactly what it seems. It would seem like a terrible list of ailments and tight fitting clothing, but in fact the curse is a messenger. The message is simple and if we listen to it the curse of abundance will fade away. The message is, "Restore Balance".
Restoring the balance is essential in improving the many health disparities seen in our country. There are people going hungry in a country that, in general, is suffering from the curse of abundance. It''s like dying of dehydration on a raft in the middle of a fresh water lake. If the lake were instead an ocean, the dehydration would be understandable since the ocean water can''t be drank. But how can this happen in a huge fresh water lake? Why do we carry extra weight around my waist while other people starve? It doesn''t seem fair. It doesn''t seem right. This is the other side of the curse of abundance; disparity. The curse shortens all of our lives by both providing too much to some and providing too little to others.
This realization can bring with it guilt and regret. We can start to feel ashamed of ourselves for overindulging. No one likes guilt so we try to find a way to stop feeling it. Some people learn to ignore and simply not think about the disparities of life-giving food. They learn to go about their normal day enjoying the abundance available to them with tunnel vision that''s able to block out the unpleasant images and thoughts of hungry children and families.
Most of us, if we were really honest with ourselves, would find that we are one of these people…at least some of the time. In some ways we have to be this way. It''s an effective survival mechanism for our psyche. Without an ability to shield ourselves from the images and thoughts that cause great guilt we would all be so riddled with guilt that we wouldn''t be able to carry on with our lives. In fact, we might even have to resort to changing the way we think about our lives, which would lead to a change in how we''re living our lives.
Such changes would be huge and would cause us to restructure many aspects of our lives and daily routines. Since such changes, as noble as they might be, are difficult, many of us choose the easier option of wearing blinders and filtering our thoughts. Guilt, or the avoidance and resolution of guilt, is a powerful motivator.
But what if the big lifestyle changes weren''t so difficult. What if these changes were actually easy? What if we could erase our conditioned thought processes that are fueled by desire and rewrite the code by which we interpret the world? What if we could implement the changes needed in the way we live our lives in a way that would lengthen our lives, correct disparities, and remove the curse of abundance? What if we could experience a level of satisfaction with ourselves and overwhelming joy beyond anything we have experienced thus far? What if we could do all of this AND more than satisfy our personal desires?
I think we can. The key to all of this will be our desire. Think about desire for a minute. It''s very powerful, isn''t it? Individual and group desires can make amazing things happen. It''s simplicity is the source of it''s power. The simplicity is seen in our inner urge to either run from something or run towards it; to avoid or confront. All choices in life have some component of this dynamic involved. Whatever we decide to do in any given situation is a result of us seeking to satisfy a desire.
A possible desire might be to help someone or to hurt them, but the final action we take is affected by more than one desire. If we desire to hurt someone, but we more strongly desire to be a good person or avoid going to jail, we will probably make the decision not to hurt someone to satisfy the stronger desire. Often, the strongest desire is to avoid a pain of some kind. Avoiding pain, difficulty, frustration, and personal loss is something nearly all of us do.
To summarize, an imbalance between needs and desires in the presence of abundance creates the curse of abundance. This curse leads to disparities in which people are harmed by overindulging in the abundance while others are harmed by getting too little of it.
Zig Ziglar might seem like an unlikely person to quote in this context since he is known for selling strategies that can bring an individual financial success, but at the core of his teachings are ethical principles. He wrote, "You can have anything you WANT in life if you will help enough other people get what they WANT!”
Eat Better, Eat Less, and Give More. – Joe Walker, MS, RDN
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