continues the discussion about food in an interesting direction: “More and more my inner voice has been telling me that the answers to my weight issues lie in being vegan.”
While the following thoughts may not apply to the above quote at all, it reminded me of something I see often in others and in myself:
It’s hard to mentally separate choices about the maintenance of the machine that is our bodies, from choices about our spiritual and ethical paths. This is unfortunate, because those things should be perfectly distinct. For example, there’s plenty of ways to eat badly as a vegan; there are also healthy diet choices for us meat-eaters. Why is it important to recognize that the issues are unrelated?
One reason that’s important is because of the guilt factor. I am prone to feel guilty about my imperfections. If I’ve not been exercising and I’ve been eating badly, I feel guilty that I’m ignoring my body’s needs. But, if I add on the guilt that I’m somehow flawed at a higher spiritual level just because I like fried food and ice cream, I think the emotional burden would cripple me from making any forward progress whatsoever.
A second issue is that of accurate expectations. (I’m having trouble expressing this concisely). If you adopt a behavior change in expectation that something will change, and you don’t see that change, it’s easy to abandon that new behavior. Which is a problem, if there were other reasons (ethical, spiritual) why you chose the behavior.
So, analyzing such thoughts to sort out the true associations from the false ones helps me avoid guilt and avoid disappointment in the long run. Not sure what the point of all this is, except that trying to express this in writing has helped me see more clearly how to live my own life more peacefully…