June 21, 2019

Food for Thought

I grew up eating this honey toast that is pure carb heaven. Every time I see it, I cannot resist buying it. It makes me want to eat a dozen of them.

We commonly blame our propensity towards excess on something animal-like within us. The idea is that we have to control our animal instinct with our rational, more human-like side. But that doesn’t sound right. If a dog saw this piece of toast, even if he liked it a lot, he would stop eating when he feels full. If anything, we humans are not adequately listening to our animal instinct. It’s our “animal” instinct that is more rational than our human traits.

Part of the reason why I fantasize about stuffing myself with these toasts is that I was never allowed to do such a thing. The prohibition created a tension that needs to be released. Because I internalized my parents’ prohibition, I myself have never allowed myself to gorge on it.

Whenever we come across something exceptionally yummy, we say something like, “Oh, I could eat a bucket full of that,” but we never actually do it, thanks to our internalized parents who also internalized their parents. This internalization has been passed on for countless generations without any of us along the way actually trying what we say we want to do.

Perhaps we actually should.

One day, I could stuff myself with these toasts until it’s too painful to eat anymore, and then fast for 48 hours. The tension of the prohibition would be released. I then look at the toast again and my fantasy would perhaps be gone because it came true. I would then tell my kid to stuff herself with it too until she can’t take another bite. And, she would pass on that tradition to her children.

Perhaps we are being distrustful of our animal instinct for no good reason. It’s our fantasies that we need to distrust.