It has been a busy couple of days with work, Meditation in Motion class with Bernie Kozlowski, and gearing up for our 2nd Engine 2 challenge meet up here in Northeast PA. I have been thinking a lot about Doug Lisle and his work on the “Pleasure Trap” as I prepare for our meeting. Doug is a psychologist who collaborated with chiropractor Alan Goldhammer of True North Health Center to write a book that answers the question, “Why is it so difficult for people to adopt a healthful diet and lifestyle–despite the obvious and overwhelming benefits?” (Foreword, “The Pleasure Trap,” Dr. John McDougall).
It is very freeing to read about how we are wired to seek out the foods that have the biggest bang for the buck, the foods that are high in fat and calories that would have sustained us in times of famine. The problem now is that we don’t have to struggle to find daily sustenance in this country. Most of us can hop in our car and go to the grocery store anytime we need to or have a craving. If we want to cut out all that prep and cooking, we can just go through the drive through where we can get a quick cheap meal laden with salt, sugar, and fat to give us a quick high. Unfortunately these processed foods desensitize us to these unnaturally high amounts of these addictive substances and we need more and more to get the same high. The health problems caused by the standard American diet undermine our happiness, but once we understand that it is part of our biology to crave these foods that make us sick but are not part of the diet we were designed to eat , we can shed the guilt and the baggage around the idea of willpower and learn strategies to practice healthy eating! It is SO empowering to learn that we are not struggling because we are weak and that with the right direction and support we can turn our health around and break free of the pleasure trap!
If you ever get a chance to hear Doug Lisle speak in person, go! He is a captivating speaker and you will learn empowering information while being entertained by his wit and artistry. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at an Engine 2 immersion called Plantstock the past two summers and I learn something new every time I hear his talk. His book is very enlightening and well worth the read.
Until you get a chance to hear Doug in person, check out a taste of The Pleasure Trap on YouTube:
Remember to eat the decorations on your plate and enjoy!