What is “The Perfect Diet” for me?…
A question asked more times than I can count. The answer is less important than the question. Our quest for perfection and our need to be right have taken over the food supply. While externalizing the body’s needs and deferring to the “experts” be they nutritionists, doctors, diet books or trainers has become a new epidemic. I think we lost more than nutritional values when we stopped passing down our dietary know how from generation to generation, we lost our way as ever evolving human beings. We became perfectionists.
This drive to be perfect with food choices and meals has driven many to total distraction. The over thinking and under feeling what and when to eat is epidemic. Dietary Perfection has become fashionable, the problem is perfection is not attainable. When confronted with this most will say yes of course I “know” that yet they continue to strive for the very thing they can never reach. The punishment is violent yet the prison door is wide open.
Today I read a wonderful post at TaraBrach.com titled
Imperfection Is Not Our Personal Problem
In the post she quotes Chogyam Trungpa:
“The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality.”
The ego loves to convert the basic everyday act of eating, fueling the physical body for surviving and thriving into a war-zone of good vs evil. This is not only for the purists of veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, or the current diet guru but also the junk foodie who swears to start the perfect diet on Monday. The ego and it’s over thinking and desire for control has us believing it is our duty to pursue the perfect diet.
What if we could come to accept the imperfection of life? Imagine the rest, relaxation and deep breath you could have if you could feel the ease of not having to change yourself to belong to your world. Imagine being at peace with yourself right here, right now. How much more life force and energy would you have available to yourself, your family and community?
How much better could you actually digest, sleep, play, love and work without the relentless voice calling for “faster”, “better”, “more” in your head?
Zen master Seng-tsan taught that true freedom is being
“without anxiety about imperfection.”
Eating is a constant reminder of where we are emotionally. Perhaps you will try a meal without anxiety over the perfect macro or micro-nutrient value. Or accept yourself for having more weight on your frame this year than last. Maybe you can let your body be your guide…eating when hungry, stopping when full and getting to know your self and your needs a little more intimately. All with curiosity and a dash of humor.
Letting go of the savior of the perfect diet (that may or may not be started in the Monday) puts more value on the here and now the plate right in front of us. When given this space of now, over time your body can and will let you know what is needed.