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More reasonable talk on eating, part 3

posted by Joshua on December 12, 2011 in Blog, Fitness, Nature
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Yesterday covered more the physical side of the change in the trucker’s life with food. Today let’s look more at the emotional side.

The movie showed that, however ingrained the punishment of “food” and its related confusion-based helplessness, just a few days of new experience can overcome it. The trucker’s physical health didn’t change overnight, but his emotional health did. And a major point of this blog is the fundamental importance of emotions in changing your life.

Once he found that food — something so simple as food — could create power (ability to influence his life), joy, reward, and so on, he found he could create something to live for, which I believe was a better life for himself, spending time with his family and building community with others in the condition he was leaving behind.

The power, reward, and freedom began with his emotional change. From that point on, the outward results of his fitness and health improving were inevitable and secondary.

I’d like to distinguish a subtle point about his motivation. While the healthiness of the food he switched to over “food” was integral, I suspect what motivated him most was the reward, power, and freedom he felt. His new behavior, beliefs, and environment gave his life meaning.

Notice that the trucker didn’t switch to eating food to follow some diet. After the start, he didn’t follow anyone else’s rules, eat anything he didn’t like, or avoid anything he did like. He tried the food and liked what it did for his life. Once those effects kicked in, he didn’t use willpower. In fact, he showed the opposite of needing to use willpower. Instead of forcing himself to do something he didn’t want, he couldn’t help sharing his reward with others, as exhibited by his teaching others to do the same.

I will come back to this perspective over the next few posts, that food habits are not based in reason, but in the emotions and motivations they bring. I try to convey that when people ask me why I eat and avoid what I do, but they seem to have trouble accepting that I just like what I eat and don’t want I don’t.

Anyway, as a side note, it seems “food” manufacturers — Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds, Keebler, Kraft, Pepperidge Farm, Frito-Lay, Monsanto, Conagra, … the list goes on — fight being associated with unhealthiness as much as they promote associating themselves with food — whole, unprocessed apples, pears, broccoli, etc. It seems to me that “food” and “food” manufacturers remove meaning from your life, or at least keep you from creating meaning through food.

As for myself, after watching the movie I bought kale for the first time and ended up blending it into a sort of smoothie shake with some other vegetables and fruit. Turns out it tasted great. I shared it with a friend and she liked it too. Now I’m eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, just because I like what they do for me and how they taste.

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