How much Joy should food bring you?
On the one hand, in this day and age, each bite can be more amazing than the next. What’s the purpose of eating if it doesn’t bring you joy?
Well, fueling your body is the answer to that one.
Back in the day, food needed to be enticing to get us out of the cave and looking for fuel. Fat tastes good, so we’d get fatty meats in us. Berries taste good so we’d gather some of those.
But with all our collective advances and abilities what Modern Us has done is concentrate the pleasure by concentrating the food.
Sugar and flour are concentrated substances.
Delivered in its natural state, sugar comes with fiber and so do grains. Fiber’s harder to chew and digest so it slows the delivery of the carbohydrates. The pleasure is mitigated. Our brains can handle that. They were designed to.
What our brains can’t handle is concentrated versions.
When I say can’t handle, of course our brain figures out a way, but that way includes down regulating receptors and driving ever-increasing desire for the concentrated pleasure.
And the cycle begins.
Concentrated sugar is fake joy. Empty pleasure.
It’s pleasurable to be sure, but it comes at a cost.
The cost is more and more desire (abnormal sized desire), otherwise know as brain dysfunction, and extra body weight.
Is there joy that has no cost?
When Joy comes at a cost it means it brings about an outcome we don’t want.
For example, joy from connection has no cost. The pleasure of talking with a friend or a hug from your kid doesn’t cause brain dysfunction. Nor extra body weight.
You’re left with a feeling of connection, joy and satisfaction. You’re uplifted. It leaves you feeling ready to do the next thing. Not waiting for the crash.
And there’s a purpose for it: those experiences build deeper relationships.
Joy directed at building something is true Joy. Building a skill, a community, a family, a business, an art piece, a memoir, a career, a new idea, a movement, a relationship.
Working towards something you desire with purpose and meaning will bring lasting joy.
But who has time for that when you’re looking for the next best donut?
Our task in the modern world is to decide what to desire.
Decide where we want to get our Joy.
We do this by figuring out what’s important to us.
It’s where dreaming comes in.
And it has the added benefit of moving your life (and your weight) in the right direction.
Next week: How to go about doing that . . .