Before nutrition, consider appetite.
Appetite is an interesting variable — it starts as a source of pleasure. However, its ability to give satisfaction is reduced as I feed it. Eventually, it becomes a source of pain.
During the holidays, we often reinforce:
- Competitive binges (turkey!)
- Manufactured scarcity (gravy!)
Well channelled appetite can be a source of tremendous energy. I’ve used my energy to win triathlons, achieve financial independence and, more generally, get stuff done.
But, I have also experienced varying degrees of ill-effects — functional alcoholism, obesity, metabolic syndrome, work-life imbalance, promiscuity.
My appetite touches all aspects of my life.
- Binging (exercise, alcohol, food, sex, fatigue)
- Scarcity (fear of missing out, fear of loss, envy)
In order for my nutrition strategy to be effective, I need to manage appetite across all areas of my life.
I seek to model what I teach my children:
- You’ll get everything you need…
- Unlimited fruits and veggies…
- Never praise binges – no eating contests, no comments when we stuff ourselves, no keeping score via food…
While my teaching is designed to break the chain, my nutritional approach is a damage limitation strategy rooted in my personal reality!
The first two of our family mantras are designed to moderate appetite.
- We’ve already won
- We have more than we need
- It’s OK to say “no”
By way of illustration, a father rarely needs to encourage a teenage son’s sex drive.
It’s a lot like that with my appetite.
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