January 18, 2014 by Joshua
in Awareness, Fitness

The United States seems to have two overarching messages on indulging that combine to mess a lot of people up.

The puritanical message says indulging is bad or sinful. The advertising message is that sinful or not, you live a tough life and you deserve it. Combining these messages leads people to feel entitled to indulge themselves when they want, but to keep it secret, so others don’t know they’re indulging. They probably also deny paying attention to their behavior themselves, so many feel surprised when their bodies reveal their indulgences, your body being the physical manifestation of your thoughts and behavior.

Other people can do what they want with themselves. I eat candy sometimes, but I like fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and minimally processed foods. I don’t think of those things as indulgent. I also like my daily burpees and frequent cold showers, which I don’t consider indulgent either. I like how these things manifest in my body, which I consider reasonably fit.

But those messages still assault and affect me. When I feel like eating a ton of guacamole or doing some comparable activity, I have to stop myself from feeling those predominant views. I suspect that before the majority of this country got fat, people didn’t feel entitled or moral about eating avocados. I’m confident you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want and you won’t get fat. Refined foods probably mess up your body.

Which leads to two points.

First, activity like eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and unrefined plants isn’t indulgent or moral.

Second, society’s twisted message of puritanism conflicting with aggressive sales imposes on you thoughts that some things are indulgent or moral.

I wish the holier-than-thou types and aggressive marketers would keep to themselves so I could enjoy myself more freely.

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