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I will be posting short essays on each of La Rouchefoucauld's Maxims

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I am the author of "Diaphysics," a poet, playwright, and interdisciplinary scholar. I am married and have a daughter and two sons. I have a Ph.D. in the Humanities, a M.A. in English, and a B.A. in recombinant gene technology and chemistry.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Maxim 633

"To safeguard one’s health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness indeed."

While health is indeed important, we cannot forget why we want to be healthy – so we can live not only a long, but a happy life. If we extend our lives by five years, but we are miserable all our lives, then what have we really gained? At the same time, one cannot be happy unless one is healthy, either. The key here, as with everything, is proper balance. Only if we achieve a proper median or mean can we live an ethical life.

In the United States especially we have become too body-conscious. We are all obsessed with food. Bulemics and anorexics are as obsessed with food as are obese overeaters. Obsessive dieting is really food-obsession. Not only this, but our own food is now designed in such a way as to ensure we overeat. High fructose corn syrup has the side effect of not triggering to your body that you are full. Thus, you continue to eat more and more. Further, carbonated drinks expand our stomachs, making more room for food.

We have to learn to find joy in food once again, and to integrate it into our overall lifestyles. We should enjoy the food we eat, and only eat foods we truly enjoy. And we should savor the food – food savored is food eaten slowly, which has the added benefit of allowing the stomach enough time to tell the brain when it is full. Eating should be made again into the pleasure that it is and can be, rather than something we have to do in order to have enough energy to do other things. Further, we need to make dining a social activity once again, and not just an eating activity. Conversation while eating slows you down while you eat, and it relaxes you and allows for more proper digestion – meaning we could get rid of most forms of indigestion, acid reflux, etc. if only we remembered that dining is a social activity, and not merely an eating activity.

4 Comments:

Blogger Ari said...

I'm reading French Women Don't Get Fat (amongst other things) right now. It advocates just what you're saying -- the more we fully enjoy what we eat, the less we have to stuff ourselves.

I think that's true of life as a whole, for me at least. I rush through everything and don't take time for true enjoyment. I'm trying to turn that around.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philosophy and eating theory? Who do you think you are, the next Nietzsche?

10:51 PM  
Blogger Dr. T said...

Well, I don't know about being the next Nietzsche, but I will admit some influence. :-) But why shouldn't philosophy be concerned with such practicla things? Of what use is it if not for living in the world?

1:44 PM  
Anonymous mortgage rate said...

thought-provoking, mootable pv. just my thoughts, well anyways gl & be chipper is what i say

3:40 PM  

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