How to find the right diet for yourself? “Finding the right diet is crucial.” “If you eat average, you will look average.” and so on. But where does the “being happy” part come in the equation?
I have conducted a very intriguing experiment after being on diet for a longer period of time. I drank half a bottle of wine. I ate my favorite sweets and meanwhile I was feeling great. I usually hate people and children, nevertheless now I seemed to love everybody. I went out. It was great. I loved the vendor, the other customers, the screaming children and generally I felt great. Not great, awesome! I felt I was under the influence of alcohol but I could still walk straight, speak coherently.
Food can have a wonderful effect on us. And food can act like a drug too in every way. This means that can make you happy. Because endorphin hormone is produced, you will feel pleasure and satisfaction. But this feeling just like with alcohol to be produced needs to have an actual impact on you. And an impact can make only the things that are new to us. You can not have an impact from something you are totally familiar with. The body acts like a mirror of the mind. Just think about the people who are born on exotic islands. For them seeing the sun sat or sitting underneath a palm tree and watching the waves climb on the soft sand won’t give such a euphoric feeling as to a tourist who is coming for the first time to visit the place. Knowing something, having something experienced many times in the past robs the present moment from the longed feeling of euphoria. You won’t get that “chill” anymore.
Just as with alcohol for example. If you never drank before, or haven’t been drinking lately one glass of wine will do the magic trick. It will make you a fearless conqueror or make you calm and don’t give a shit about all those ignoble thoughts that keep coming up and popping up when your mind is alcohol-free, no matter how diligently you want to suppress them. But when you are under the influence of alcohol you don’t need to torture your mind in order your mind not to torture you. No need to try not to think, cause any way you suddenly won’t give a shit. You could end up even liking yourself and life altogether. But as soon as the effect of the drinks vanishes, your annoying brain returns to all those things you would rather forget about. Same with food. Eating all the time what you desire at a certain point will start not to give the same satisfaction. So you will adapt, or by eating more or eating “meaner” stuff. More sugary, more fatty, tastier… more and more. Your body will be reluctant to give you the same dose of happiness, so you urge yourself to consume more to get the same holy effect. And so a vicious cycle may start.
This is why bad habits, alcoholism, “sugarism”, “french-friesism”, drug abuse etc will form. The mind is tortured and can not cope with it. You can not cope with it. You recognize the “feel-good” causing potential of some sort of tool and you apply it. And you keep applying it. And then everybody gets shocked why you drink or take drugs. As they did not suffer too from their own brain. But some are better at suffering and some are worse.
After consuming ice cream almost every day or my favorite sweets I observed, that it does not give me that good, levitating feeling as it did at the beginning. I again despised people and was annoyed by the screaming children in the mall. Same as with any drug. The initial happiness, “zenness” vanished and there was the reality in all its splendor. And we know how that is…
It is important and the same time hard to not expect joy from food, because food as everything else in our life must be enjoyed, otherwise you are wasting valuable time, the difference is just that, that you must not expect to get joy only from that. No physical matter can make the ever-searching mind satisfied. You must not expect to get home and find yourself that you associate having dinner with the “bright and most expected event of the evening”. Eating, drinking is overrated and offers very short-lived joy, a satisfaction that will vanish in no time and then reality can take a toll on your fragile state of mind.
It is cliche, but the only thing that can make you not need alcohol, drugs, sweets in higher dosages, or even television like a nonstop background to your life is practicing awareness. And awareness must indeed be practiced. When somebody says, to enjoy the moment, it is possible only as an assertion, but not as a real experience. Because it is seemingly hard to just enjoy the one thing that you are doing. For example: do you turn on the TV every time you arrive home from work? Do you start the radio or listen to some videos in the morning or any time you pretend that you are enjoying your own free time? Do you maybe watch TV while you are eating your dinner? Because if you don’t anxiety-causing thoughts keep popping up and not letting you eat or enjoy your evening?
If that is so, the french fries are not the solution and the heartbreaking story of some Spanish soap opera isn’t either. What you need is not to get over it, meaning to lay the cover of “relax pretense” on it, but really get beyond it. Beyond the boss, beyond the colleague who doesn’t do her or his job, beyond false friends and beyond all those banal problems.
Awareness is a tricky thing. Just wanting it won’t be enough. Doing is needed. Simple few step meditations can do the trick. Those ones, you don’t have to pay for and can find on YouTube in any quantity anytime. A few minutes to focus on your toes, legs, body, arms and your breath. Nothing special. Boring strange music in the background. And I assure you, the first time you do it won’t have any effect whatsoever. But confronting the mind is an intriguing challenge. The best way to do anything with the mind is never through shocks. Shocks are like french fries. First, you will be aware of your present, a few seconds, after the shock the mind returns and again rolls the old programs. Nothing will change. Shock is not the solution. Repetition is the key. You never make peace with war, you never make a permanent difference with a shock. But with persistent repetition, you can move mountains. Repeat the awareness exercise. And acknowledge the fact that you won’t succeed. You can even trigger yourself by saying: I know you can not do it. But I do it anyway. You will be impressed by how very much we like things we can not do. That we are said not be able of doing. We are intrigued by such. There is no one day and an "everything is fine" solution. However, there is an everyday solution.
Imagine it as if driving a car. When you first drove a car it was hard and you felt you cannot concentrate on so many things at once. It seemed impossible. After a few years, driving a lot you will get to work and not even remember the road. Why is that? Cause you know. You just know how to do it. Ergo, you can learn any task. The key is not brilliance, special talent or being extremely special altogether, rather being assiduous. So go along and practice it. And fail. And practice again. At a point, you will catch yourself being aware. Automatically aware. The mind will create a path. God knows how, but it does. So trust it. It figures out all the time everything. Actually, that's the main reason why it is torturing you with your so-called “problems”. Because it is constantly searching for the solution to get you where you should go. To resolve everything. To smooth out things. That’s why you should not even interfere because it will find the solution without your conscious cooperation anyway. So just go along and try to enjoy the ride. Because it is worth taking it.