When someone is an alcoholic, they need to give up drinking altogether. Doctors don’t just advise cutting down on smoking, but giving it up completely.
I knew someone who had overcome compulsive eating, and had slimmed down (without surgery) from nearly 500lb. She went to a support group and, much like a recovering alcoholic, she never ate for pleasure. She would only eat what was necessary for nutrition, fruit vegetables, dry crackers, nuts and the occasional boiled egg, and followed a really strict eating plan, even if other people were eating out. She knew that if she started eating, like the alcoholic having ‘just one drink’, it would lead to more serious problems.
There are really two kinds of eating, eating for pleasure and eating for nutrition. As a Catholic who struggles with gluttony and eating for pleasure, I’m thinking, maybe, like the smoker or the alcoholic, I should just give it up cold-turkey.
What do people think? Is that a good idea? A good penance? A good way of combatting gluttony? Or is it too extreme? I’m a little overweight and have a family history of heart problems and high cholesterol, but am still young and eat reasonably healthily, but just have a few weaknesses.
The other thing that concerns me is the environmental impact of my food choices. How can we overeat when people in the world starve? How can we eat ‘quality’ brands grown with the best land and the best cultivation when land is being taken away from those who don’t even have the basic grain and vegetables to survive? That’s the (only) reason I became vegetarian about a year ago. The environmental impact of our meat-intensive diet really concerns me.