An Upbuilding Discourse


Research on Being

The Diet Dilemma: Context, Time, and Mind

Recently, I’ve experienced a sort of shift in my perspective in relation to diet related to the method of approaching the dietary problem itself. This shift is really an expression of a greater problem that I feel I have become aware of in terms of the neurotic desire for control and subjugation of a heterogeneous reality into well organized abstract concepts.

Anyway, diet can be conceived of abstractly but when we do so it can only be conceived of in relation to an abstract person. This is why a perfect diet is never a perfect diet because even if it is perfect, it’s perfect in relation to a dietary actor whose state of being is assumed as being a certain way at all times. If we assume that many people who go on diets are unhealthy in heterogeneous ways, it seems problematic to suggest one diet as being the solution. We do not begin in the same place because of our past history (and also because of genetics) and this context must be understood.

The mind-body feedback mechanism is often overlooked or undermined in favor of the idea that everything can be understood and controlled on a separate material register. However, because the mind is the body and influences the body, the mind will always also be necessary as part of any health program as it is part of a complex feedback system that affects all bodily systems and produces new states of being.

As other bloggers have pointed out, many diets function because they provide a sort of sudden state change to the body and this sudden state change induces positive benefits which may last for up to several years, nevertheless, the positives of the state change are often short lived. The idea that a diet that works now will always work perfectly, especially if its mechanism of working is based on severe restriction of macronutrients, is faulty at best considering how things change through time. There must be a consideration of duration and change.

Once we understand context, time, and the mind then it becomes clear that one must first determine what state one is currently in before one may determine where one is to go and how one is to get there. The popular focus on losing weight and having chiseled bodies, however, leads people towards a hall of mirrors where health is undermined in favor of an aesthetic. Treating health symptomatically is never likely to produce lasting results and so it must be understood that aesthetics must be forgotten in favor of a more holistic view of health.

In summary, it is necessary to break down the ideal of a perfect diet and realize that the diet you need is contingent upon the state you find yourself in, you must first situate your being before you may change it and reconstruct it. Secondly, we must focus on the holistic interior as that which must be dealt with instead of attempting to find short-term band-aids to produce the bodily aesthetics we want, plans that are almost universally doomed to fail by their one-sided focus and we must be open to change and revision in our ideas as our responses and needs may change over time as the body goes through different state changes and remember that there is no dietary program that is not articulated within a comprehensive lifestyle and that the “perfect diet” in the context of an upset and anxiety prone lifestyle is not likely to succeed simply by virtue of its conceptual purity.


Filed under: Diet, Heavy

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