You were taught that food is a bad thing. Something you need to avoid at all costs.
“But Michael, I was never taught this! You don’t know anything about me!”
I’m frustrated because I’m trying to write a post about the stuff I know, for an audience who might be wanting to learn something about what I know.
Would you be willing to either read the article and take it for what it is, or message me privately? Maybe I can help you find someone else who might be better suited for you.
Your Urges Aren’t Your Fault
OK, where was I?
I was writing about how food is a thing you were taught to hate. Meaning: you were taught that if you eat “too much”, you have a character flaw that must be corrected.
Not only that, but you must be the one to correct it.
This is impractical.
Food tastes good and eating food feels good. There are obvious reasons why this should be. Food is necessary for our physical survival. If it didn’t taste good, we wouldn’t eat it. If it were easy to tear ourselves away from food, we would starve to death.
So, get rid of the notion that there’s anything less than billions of years of evolution keeping you glued to your food habits.
You’re perfect just as you are. Your urges were conditioned in the contexts they were conditioned in. Lots of them were present at your birth. They just are what they are.
The media wants you to believe otherwise. Your parents want you to believe otherwise. Your friends, your doctor, your yoga teacher, your whatever whatever whatever…
But, at the end of the day, you are who you are.
You’re Perfect and You’re Broken
Does that mean you should just relax and take it easy? Of course not. You couldn’t even do that if you tried. That’s why there’s a problem. You should work on yourself. After all, you’re broken.
I hope the paradox there confuses you: you’re perfect, and you’re broken.
Why is this a problem for you? Where did you learn to struggle with paradoxes like this?
You know you’re perfect. I know this because you act like you’re perfect. When you’re hungry, you start thinking about food. When there’s food in front of you, you act like you want to eat it, maybe even going as far as putting it in your mouth, chewing it, and swallowing it.
Only someone who truly believed their urges were perfect would act that way.
But, at the same time, you know you’re broken. I know this because you act like you’re broken. When there’s food you “know you shouldn’t eat”, you try to pull yourself away from it. You go on diets. You compulsively exercise. You promise to stop eating so much junk food.
Only someone who truly believed their urges were broken would act this way.
Paradox is Not a Problem
So, you’re kinda stuck, aren’t you? You want it both ways.
Fine, want it both ways. Is that a problem? Where did you learn it was a problem?
What if you put this all aside and just allowed the paradox to exist? What if you could see yourself not as a rational, intelligent, responsible person, but simply as a machine, an organism like any other. No responsibility, no intelligence, no rationality, no moral agency.
It’s just the laws of nature that drive you wherever you go. YOU didn’t do it. YOU can’t undo it.
Detach From the Language
“But Michael, this is pessimistic! How am I going to lose weight when you’re telling me I have no agency?”
Your weight loss or weight gain has nothing to do with what I happen to say to you. It happens according to the laws of nature. This conversation right here isn’t part of it. It’s just language.
If you can’t detach yourself from the language, it means you’re at the mercy of whatever anyone happens to say to you.
That can be useful. It’s hard to make sense of Harry Potter when you can’t attach to the language. But, when you find yourself getting sucked into every story you hear, you’re in big trouble.
It’s better to choose which stories you want to let yourself get sucked into.