Eating and the Pursuit of Pleasure

I wanted to share some of my own thoughts on eating and weight loss starting with this perhaps controversial thought. I was a while back getting obese and it helped me to think about things and come up with solutions. I didnt eat too much because I was hungry. I didnt eat junk food that often. I didnt eat too much because I was used to large portions. I ate because it gave me pleasure.

That may seem like a simple idea but its actually quite profound. We are creatures of pleasure. When you are a child you seek pleasure in the form of play. As you get older and become a teen, you may find you start smoking or drinking alcohol and of course there is sex. Now that I am an older adult, I look for my pleasure in food.  Instead of looking for fun or for a cigarette or alcohol buzz, now I look to pleasing my tastebuds.

We all need pleasure in our lives, from childhood to our golden years. As many of the other forms of pleasure become harder to achieve or impossible to get, the joy of eating becomes all too easy. Without pleasure we become miserable, cranky and depressed. I found that the more miserable I felt, the more I seemed to need a treat. This also explains in part, why dieting can make you cranky, irritable and depressed. You are trying to do without this important pleasure.

I also have this theory that for many of us, this is the main problem. How many times a day do you actually have hunger pains ? If you are like many, it is the pleasure you are looking for. For me, it meant stopping work for a snack. It meant going to the fridge so many times in an average day. I was becoming a compulsive eater, similar to an alcoholic. I needed multiple pleasure fixes in a typical day.

The way I dealt with this was to confront it head on. If I just tried to stop all this eating, I knew I would be miserable. The first thing I did was to substitute. I chose better foods in advance. I had a selection of somewhat strange foods available pretty much at all times. Fortunately I loved salads so I kept as much as possible on hand. If I wanted pleasure at 2 PM, I would indulge in a small salad with fresh romaine, carrots, onions and more, with a small amount of my favorite low calorie dressings. I kept apple slices handy which are delicious and satisfying. I even kept some low fat, low sugar chocolate cookies around.But there was more to it than this.

I added pleasure to my life. I began an exercise program and while I was exercising, I played some of my favorite music. I took breaks in my work to enjoy reading, walking and more. The results were not long in coming. I was eating far less often and what I was eating was far less fattening. I began to lose some pounds.

So thats my post for now. I think its important to know about your need for pleasure and how it relates to your weight. I hope that as you start your diet and fitness program, that this helps you on your way to reach your goals.

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