This afternoon as we were on the petrol forecourt one of the daily newspapers caught my eye. The attention grabbing headline was “Eating fat is good for you” (Daily Express). My first thought was hurrah because I am not as lean as I should be and gratitude that maybe my unhealthy diet, which causes me pangs of anxiety so bad I have to calm them with a visit to the biscuit tin, is not so unhealthy at all. How I would love that to be true.
The article in question went on to say that saturated fats have been demonized over the last 30 years and if we were to adopt a more mediterranean diet as well as butter, milk and cheese we would all lead much more healthy lives. This sounds attractive until you unpack it further and realise every few years, as consumers, we are given conflicting advice.
Firstly it was give up eating eggs because of the risk of Salmonella. This advice worked so well that they had to have a huge marketing campaign once eggs were better regulated to encourage people to eat them again. Then we were told to be careful of T-bone steak and red meat because of the risk of Mad Cow disease entering the food chain. And yet again, a while later, this was overturned. Then we are told coffee, red wine and chocolate are bad for you and oops no hang on they’re fine, they’re actually really good for you.
With all this disagreeing going on how are we supposed to know who to trust.? The difficulty is people have their own agendas, companies pay for data that will show their products in a positive light. What is the use of statistics when we can make them say whatever we want to by tweaking an aspect of them to suit our purpose? It’s easy to understand why people are troubled and confused and want to go hide out in an Anderson shelter somewhere with their stockpiled canned goods and let the world pass them by! Y2K anyone?
I think the answer is as far as possible we have to use our own judgement about these matters. We cannot worry about absolutely everything we put into our bodies. However that is not to say we do not have a responsibility to be wise and measured in our approach to food and exercise, particularly as Christians believe that the body is “The temple of the Holy Spirit”.
There is no magical approach to losing weight. Whichever slimming solution or group you prefer ( all of whom, sorry, are businesses and want your money) they cannot give you a radical formula to drop a dress size. the only way to lose weight and be glad you read it here first before I market it, is to eat less and to move or exercise more. That’s it, it’s as easy as that. The real reason we don’t lose weight is because we are undisciplined. let me speak for myself, because I’m sure you’re all gorgeous!.
Say I go out on a certain day and catch sight of myself in a shop window in an unflattering angle, the sight of which can send me into a spiral of depression that lasts all day. So I don’t think to myself “I’ve been indulgent recently, I’ll cut back”. No I think “I’m so depressed , I’ll eat cake to cheer me up” and then I feel guilty about eating cake. It’s a perpetuating cycle.
What I need to do is eat cake, if I want it, but in moderation. If I ban certain things from my diet I just want them more.
It’s the same with what I put into my spirit and my soul too. When I watched a lot of soap operas and read a lot of trashy magazines I was more prone to depression. Once I cut these things right down I began to feel a lot better. It’s not rocket science, thankfully, because I know next to nothing about that!
Please don’t tell me that the things you watch and read don’t have an impact on you. They do. A man who looks frequently at porn will begin to look at women in a lustful way. There is overwhelming evidence that some teenagers who regularly play violent video games will end up acting out their fantasies.
Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with these things in themselves, although as a Christian, I am against porn because its degrading to men and women. Where these things are wrong is where they take over our lives. When we are still on the computer social networking at 3 in the morning then we have a problem.
Cake is fine, wine is fine, chocolate is fine (phew), coffee is particularly fine but use your judgement and enjoy them in moderation. You will find they are more enjoyable because you are not overindulging and more importantly, they won’t have a hold over you either.
Till next time.
Apologies for my digressions.
(Image courtesy of the Daily Express)