3. Practical Aspects Involved In A Change In Lifestyle—Part I
3.1 Honesty with Ourselves
Why does change come so easily for some people and so slowly for others? It all comes back to truth and honesty. How honest we are with ourselves determines the strength of our willpower. People who see the truth like a shining light and know a natural lifestyle is best for them, lose their false appetite for foodless foods, and change is easy. Other people choose to ignore the truth. Some of us find ourselves somewhere in between the two, and see the truth even though we give in to our temptations at times. We have our excuses, but are we not also choosing to ignore the truth and look the other way?
Obviously the easiest way to lose all the “cravings” is to undergo a lengthy fast, after which a person will desire foods that are good for him instead. Some people say they don’t have time to fast. Everyone has time for short fasts, one day a week, for example. Hopefully everyone has time, if they really look for it, for a longer one! How can they afford not to? We must find time for our health and well-being, for no one else is going to do it for us.
3.2 Habits—Breaking the Chain
“Humans are creatures of habits. Habits are conditioned responses—repeated performance of an action creates a mental pattern. We spend many years from infanthood in learning responses to many thousands of situations and circumstances. With set response patterns we don’t have to go through time loss and trouble in solving problems anew every time we face them—once we have solved a problem, we develop a solution as a fixed, automatic response—a habit. When situations occur, we unconsciously use our habit patterns. We have more “conditioned responses” to carry us through more complexities than any other creatures in existence. However, sometimes these habits lock us into wrong conceptual frameworks, distorted outlooks, unwholesome practices, etc. Fortunately, like computers, we can be reprogrammed for better performance!” (T.C. Fry, How To Reprogram Yourself for Superlative Well-Being.)
Habits are made stronger by repetition, and many habits are self-perpetuating. Like the pendulum that swings to one extreme, the other extreme is the inevitable next swing. Some people live out the path of the pendulum quite literally in their lives, “awakening” in the morning with coffee and “relaxing” in the evening with alcohol. The law of dual effects states that stimulation is always followed by an equal amount of depression, and vice versa. People who are constantly altering their moods are swinging back and forth on the pendulum. Physical and mental balance and harmony must be restored to the body.
The following drugs and habits enervate the body with stimulation/depression cycles. At first the altered state seems “enjoyable”—once it becomes addictive, we crave its repetition more and more often.
amphetamines, barbituates, morphine, heroin, etc.
coffee, tea, tobacco, marijuana, caffeinated carbonated beverages, sugar, chocolate, non-caffeinated carbonated beverages (full of chemicals, etc.), strong spices, vinegar, salt
animal food such as meat, poultry and fish, preserved foods, concentrated sweets and starches.
For example, meats stimulate the body; then a subsequent depression occurs that “requires” further stimulation. We must learn how to recognize and break bad patterns. Food addiction is every bit as overwhelming, potent and destructive of the human organism as a heroin addiction, when you look at its awesome short- and long-term effects.
Yet many people cling to their culinary traditions in the face of all logic and reason, with mounting evidence (Hygienists have already been long-convinced) that many of their “favorite” habits are self-destructive. Why do they allow themselves to become puppets of fleeting desires, ignoring warning signs and playing a sort of Russian roulette with their health? There is an old expression that says “if you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler.” Some people speak of karma: what goes around comes around. Others say you reap what you sow or you are what you eat.
People have become brainwashed by the media. Commercials show steaming portions of spicy, heavy meals at dinner time, to the tune of “are you hungry?” How often do we see a commercial for fresh, raw fruits or vegetables? Probably never! We must wonder about the mental health of a nation that runs on cereals, milk, meat, sugar, caffeinated beverages, snacks and processed foods, that washes off its natural skin layer with soaps and detergents, smothers itself in creams, lotions, perfumes, and as we said before, won’t even sweat. Some people’s eating habits are even regulated by time: they eat in a hurry and/or always eat at certain times, according to “convenience” rather than true hunger.
Are people truly becoming robots and prisoners of mechanical actions? What are they looking for in food? In Lesson 16, Mike Benton talks of food associations like sentimentality, security, family, rewards, friendships, childhood memories, and so on.
3.3 Love Is a Basic Human Need
People seek a sense of nurturing. They also search for shelter, a sense of belonging in a safe, secure and trusted territory, and a sense of purpose. Yet the one most important need they have is for love. People must have love, touch and contact with others. Let’s not underestimate this for a moment.
If you travel to another country you’re likely to notice that Americans (especially those who live in the cities) seem to be, for some reason, less tactile and more concerned with privacy and space than people of many other countries. This may sound like a generalization, but in the last decade here, there has been increased awareness of the need to “reach out,” as evidenced by an upsurge in “encounter groups” and all sorts of “therapies” encouraging people to hug one another and express more of their feelings.
Is it possible that some people’s isolationist tendencies stem from their unnatural birth experiences? Ever since doctors and hospitals took over, childbirth has become less and less natural. The traditional medical birthing ritual routinely separates newborn infants from their mothers and places them alone in cribs in the nursery, and one might ask what emotional price these children have paid. Did they “adapt” and, rather than become bonded in their first intimate relationship with another human being, adjust to their aloneness by becoming “more independent”? One can only wonder. In this society, families are also separated more often as people become increasingly mobile.
It’s not difficult to see that many people make up for that restless, empty space inside by eating. Why isn’t it obvious that we won’t find love and affection in a double banana split? The conscious mind may be reaching for a bag of chips, but the subconscious mind isn’t fooled. The person is no closer to his real desires, and the frustrations left behind because of unfulfillment are merely buried deeper, to be reckoned with at some later date.
Sound familiar? Just as we palliate symptoms of detoxification through drugging, so too do we resort to food for palliation of symptoms such as inertia, boredom, restlessness, thus leaving the mental toxins inside instead of dealing with our true feelings. Some people have difficulty admitting their true feelings to themselves. They may not see that it’s love and contact they’re after, deep down, but the subconscious knows, even if they don’t see it in their conscious minds. The games people play with themselves far outnumber the games they play with others. They must first fool themselves before fooling others.
Some of us “cheat” when “no one’s looking” (including ourselves, presumably) and eat something we’ve been trying to avoid. Trying to fool ourselves! We try to convince ourselves each time that it “doesn’t matter” or that “next time it will be different.” As long as our intentions are good, we are off the hook temporarily. But truth is truth, whether we like it or not. We must see our selves as we really are, not as we should be. Again, our subconscious mind knows what is really going on. If we choose to let our conscious minds rule the subconscious, we will remain captives of our lower selves.
“Stuck here trying to figure out the price of having to go through all these things twice…”
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Psychology Of Making A Lifestyle Change
- 3. Practical Aspects Involved In A Change In Lifestyle—Part I
- 4. Practical Aspects Involved In Making A Lifestyle Change—Part II
- 5. Using Psychology On Others
- 6. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Ahimsa Excerpts
- Article #2: Excerpt from “Live Foods” by George & Doris Fathman
- Article #3: The Doctrine of the Memory of Cells By Stanley Bass
- Article #4: The Green-Eyed Monster By Virginia Vetrano
- Article #5: Ridding the World Of Violence By Arthur Andrews