Jan. 9 – Tame your appetite. Tame yourself.

“The pleasure connected with food is undoubtedly the most difficult of all pleasures to combat.” – Musonius Rufus

It’s a new year! So that mans many of us are trying to create healthier habits. Whether that means you’ve put yourself on a diet, or you’re just watching what you eat and drink, the challenge to tame your appetite is a difficult one.

It’s important to remember that food and drink serve a purpose. They exist as nourishment to your body. So, I find it helpful to frame my choices when I’m struggling with a sweet tooth or I’m craving a glass of wine.

I ask myself—what am I really craving? What purpose am I trying to fulfill with food and drink?

When I approach my appetite in this manner, I easily recognize that my sense of hunger is really just a sugar craving, and that my longing for wine is really a desire for stress release.

In this way I can better modify my actions. Since sugar doesn’t nourish my body, I can choose something more appropriate instead. I could opt for a piece of fruit. Similarly, since wine offers less than optimal nutrition, and my real desire is for stress reduction, I can choose to place the bottle aside and practice something more mindful like prayer or meditation.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat cake or have a drink. I love both. All I’m reminding you is to remember to direct your actions with purpose. The easiest way I know to build willpower, self discipline and resilience is to master your appetite.

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