A sedentary lifestyle seems to encourage an unhealthy diet, but why? Since I have an answer to everything, here it is:
I have noticed during this pandemic that I don’t have much desire to drink. Even when I do have a bottle of beer, it doesn’t taste so good. Beer tasted amazing when I was working as a waiter in my youth. To enjoy alcohol, you have to stress yourself physically or mentally. Coding, designing, or any job where you are in “the flow” does not stress you. In fact, it allows you to escape from stress. That’s what “workaholics” do; even if their jobs look stressful, they are trying to escape from much greater stress in other aspects of their lives.
So, there are two different ways a sedentary lifestyle can lead to an unhealthy diet. If your job is managing people, this pandemic is likely increasing your stress because working remotely is more prone to miscommunication.
If your job is to be in the flow (to focus on a single task), working remotely makes you more productive because you have fewer distractions, but because you are so hyper-focused on the task, you forget to take care of yourself. Computer programmers, for instance, are known for living on the diet of Snickers Bars and Coke.
Where do Buddhist monks fit in? They spend many hours meditating, some for days in caves, yet we don’t hear about them eating potato chips after meditation. Meditation is essentially like unplugging yourself from the social grid. It reduces stress. In this sense, it’s like coding, but, in meditation, you are also unplugging yourself from your own thoughts; therefore, you are neither a manager nor a programmer.
What both a manager and a programmer have in common is that, by the end of the day, they are both desensitized from being at the extreme states. This is why they are drawn to the foods at the extremes too; they cannot appreciate subtle flavors, like raw vegetables. Meditation, on the other hand, does the opposite; it resensitizes you or resets your senses.
The problem, therefore, is not the sedentary lifestyle, but what goes on in your head.
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