I've been learning a lot about our body's way of dealing with the whole energy in/energy out thing over the past few years. In some ways, I've been pretty slow about putting that knowledge to good use.
It would appear that we are designed as pretty efficient organisms when it comes to energy consumption. As a matter of fact, we operate best in a near starvation mode. When it comes to our typical first world diet, less is definitely better. The problem with supplying an energy efficient organism with too much energy is where do you store the excess?
Imagine that you have a very fuel efficient car. But in the economy of our imaginary world, you buy fuel every day. At the end of the day, you store any unused fuel. At the end of day 1, you only have a little extra fuel and so you place it in a specially designed storage bag and throw it in the trunk. You can get the fuel out of the bag when ever you want, but only if there is no other fuel available and only if you follow certain procedures.
Tomorrow comes and you are ready to fuel up for the day. You have a choice--you can use up what was stored (in your trunk) from yesterday, but you won't be able to fill up with fuel until it's gone. You decide that would be inconvenient. You'll go ahead and fill up now and just save the extra fuel for another time. At the end of day two, you fill another specially designed storage bag and store it in your trunk, as well.
Before long, your trunk is full of these special storage bags of fuel. There is more than enough to get you through a day but it's going to be a pain to get the fuel out of each bag and into the tank where you can use it. The truth is that it is much easier to leave the fuel stored and just fill up the tank like you always do.
When the trunk becomes full, you begin to store fuel bags in the engine compartment, then the passenger area. This presents a whole new set of problems. Not only are you hauling around the extra weight of fuel stored in your trunk, you are now causing the engine to struggle to get enough oxygen through its air intake and causing it to work harder in a crowded environment and you are becoming uncomfortably crowded as well. Driving is beginning to be unsafe as the fuel bags shift around inside your car.
Again, you could use the stored fuel if you really wanted to--but that would take some work on your part.
That's what might happen if we fueled up our cars like we fuel up our bodies.
But what would happen if we fuel up our bodies like we fuel up our cars?
What would happen if we only added fuel when we needed it?
What would happen if we were more conscientious about the quality of the fuel we used?
What would happen if there was no warranty and the only way to make sure that our bodies would last was to take good care of them?
Our prosperity and abundance has caused a great problem for our extremely efficient energy burning bodies!
We are storing away fuels that are beginning to poison our systems. We are clogging our fuel lines, blocking our air intake and adding weight to our load with each extra bit of fuel (food) that we add to our systems. We have switched from the more desirable foods to the most abundant foods and traded away quality performance for sluggish lives that manage to make it through the day and are worn out and tired...all of the time!
I have been guilty of living to eat!
I have planned trips around what I would eat and where I would stop.
I have over indulged by eating the largest servings and the tastiest foods until I was miserable.
I have used chemical sweeteners to reduce calories (trading one poison for another doesn't sound so appealing when you put it in those terms).
I have spent the day sitting on my ever widening ass--day after day after day.
But I am learning.
And I am changing.
I still have a long ways to go, but I am eating better and I am eating less. I am learning how different foods affect my energy, my sleep, my gut, etc.
I am learning that I can eat what I want, when I want...if I'm willing to endure the consequences of my choices.
I am learning what to eat to feed the systems and keep things running smoothly.
I am learning that some foods are great energy boosters and some are naturals at helping to relax for a good night's rest.
I am learning that water is awesome and that clean drinking water is a blessing that we take for granted.
I don't know if any of this makes any sense to anybody else or not. It's not something that I really thought out. I just started typing and that's what came out. It works in my pea brained way of thinking. If it doesn't make sense to you, well you'll have to come up with your own reasons for why you need to stop what you're doing that isn't working for good health.
For me, my new food mantra is going to be, "Enough, is enough!"
It's time I am satisfied with enough!