Don’t Diet–Pursuit Pleasure for the New Year

The second in my suggested list of non-dieting resolutions was to pursuit simple pleasure.  I need to clarify this before someone gets the idea that I’m advocating hedonism.  We should review a few principles about true pleasure.

First, simple pleasure does not come back to haunt you.  There is a difference between pursuing pleasure and making mistakes.  You could enjoy the sensation of quitting your job and telling your boss what you’ve always thought of her.  That moment would bring you great pleasure. But…the aftermath would be bad.  If you’re overweight then you’re in the habit of choosing a pleasure that comes back to haunt you.  You’ve been choosing to eat junk for the good feeling of it and suffering the consequences later.  That’s not the kind of pleasure I’m talking about.  The pleasure I’m talking about isn’t stuffing yourself with food to gratify an immediate appetite.  I’m talking about something that enriches your mind and spirit. 

Second, simple pleasure does not have to be elaborate.  Sometimes the best things are the simplest.  In fact, to me, the best pleasure is the satisfaction of a job well done.  (That’s how I’ll feel after I post this J)  Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because something is small that it’s not special.  I have a bouquet of flowers on my dinner table right now that bring me pleasure.  Reading a good book in a bed with clean sheets is a great pleasure.  There are lots of non-food pleasures that you may have overlooked.  Find them.  They will be unique to you and they will be worth the effort.  You should try to have something pleasurable every day, no matter how small it is.

Third, simple pleasure will help you be happier and being happier will help you be healthier.  I believe that the world was made beautiful because God wants us to enjoy it.  He gave us taste buds, olfactory lobes, musical octaves and nerve endings that register tastes, smells, harmonies, and sensations because he knew we would need them.  Enjoying these things brings us to a state heightened peace.   You need to cultivate pleasure to escape from the stress of life.

Pleasure is one major reason why I will never diet again.  Dieting and Pleasure are mutually exclusive.  Dieting is about removing from your life the foods that bring you pleasure.  I do not want to do that.  What I want to do is add more pleasure to my life that has nothing to do with food.  I plan ahead of time (and I use visual imagery to help—more about that in a later post) to find pleasure that doesn’t involve food.  For example, when I get home at night I put on comfortable clothes and relax on my front porch for a few minutes if the weather is nice.  When I fix dinner, I think about the beauty of the food and the satisfaction of feeding my family the old-fashioned way—sitting down at a table full of homemade food.  In the evenings I think about the warmth of a cup of hot tea and the contentment of stretching out on the sofa.  I can fill an evening with simple pleasures that have nothing to do with food.  And, pursuing that kind of pleasure is a much better resolution than dieting.

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One response to this post.

  1. Very interesting subject, thank you for putting up.

    Reply

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