Meals for Which Body Wisdom Clashes with Social Convention

As part of our Body Wisdom approach to health, we listen to the body and respond to that, and one of the main things that gets in the way of this is social convention.

There are many examples of this, none more so than one which many people will have experienced during the recent holiday season when big meals are expected to be eaten.

The whole premise of Body Wisdom is that we listen to the body and respond to our own instinctive instructions and inner guidance; if our body wants us to eat, we eat.  If it want’s us to drink, we drink.  If it doesn’t want us to, we don’t.

Dinner is served - but are you hungry?

Dinner is served - but are you hungry?

But in social or family situations, and especially so during the holiday season of Christmas, New Year and the like, we are often expected to eat regardless of this, and it can be very difficult to insist upon doing right by our bodies when people go to so much trouble to put on vast meals and put so much stock into them being a certain way.  We don’t want to offend people, so we eat even though we know it’s the wrong thing for us right now.  Or we eat too much just to please someone.  Some people spend weeks or even months planning special meals, so the emotional pressure we experience may be considerable.

So, you see, there is a clash between what the body really wants, and what the social aspect of the situation is pressuring or focing us into.  This is just one of many ways in which social convention conflicts with Body Wisdom, and if it wins, inhibits the healthy (and happy) flow of our vitality, but it is one of the most prominent examples – perhaps the most.

But we also know in advance that this is how things are going to be, so this is just one of the reasons why the supposed ‘holidays’ are often so stressful instead – the entire principle of celebration in spontaneity and freedom never gets a chance to surface, and our bodies and minds become slaves, unwitting vehicles of the agenda of the social convention.  Hardly the natural way to ‘party’.

“To succumb to what is essentially the conscious degeneration of our physical system is absolutely crazy and against our own human logic and intelligence.”

If we want to stop this all-too-familiar clash from being an issue in our lives, and most importantly for the sake of our health, what we are required to do is to create our own new micro-culture, and let it be known how we wish to approach mealtimes so that the formal element of them does not cause us to go against our own health when we don’t even want to.  If we want to have the meal, then fine, there is no problem.  But otherwise, to succumb to what is essentially the conscious degeneration of our physical system is absolutely crazy and against our own human logic and intelligence.

I started creating this culture around me a couple of years ago, and it can take time, but to the point that this time when I was asked if I would be eating with the big meal (tomorrow), I stated that I didn’t want to say for sure in case I wasn’t hungry, and after a couple of years of people getting the message, the response I got this time was, “Okay, that’s absolutely fine, only if you want to eat then.”   Two years ago, such a request for such an open-ended and flexible attitude might have been met with complaint and criticism, however, those around me are starting to see the virtues of the approach.

Does it mean that I expect people to put up with messing them around, or causing cooked food to go to waste?  Absolutely not.  I have more respect than that – I am an Integral Theorist, after all!  If people think in any way that my insistence upon intuitive eating and a responsive approach to eating food is going to cause a problem for them, I say “not to worry about me then”.

And as I explain in The Wisdom Diet, food is also wasted if it is eaten by someone who is not hungry or who is no longer hungry.  In this instance, there is no difference between putting the excess food in a dustbin, or in a human dustbin…  except that it might needlessly increase the human dustbin’s chances of developing cancer or heart disease in life, particularly as this is a habitual culture and therefore has a cumulative effect.

And if you are a host who wants a practical solution, might I suggest a buffet approach – with no pressure being applied.  Then you can see what the natural demand for food is.

“As I also state in The Wisdom Diet, this will allow you to enjoy your food more, not less.”

We’re not talking about denying what you might want to eat here.  This is about the extra that you don’t want, but consume because of the social pressure of the situation and the emotional importance that so many people, especially Christmas hosts, put upon these situations.  And as I also state in The Wisdom Diet, this will allow you to enjoy your food more, not less.”

Indeed, if you watch people who eat for the wrong reasons, they are often very uncomfortable when others don’t do the same, and may even become judgemental or bullyingly insistent – I have been sadenned to watch this being applied to children on occassion.  You don’t want to live like this though, your Life Force is worth more than that.

James Blacker

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