According to Horace, “Who makes the golden mean his guide, Shuns miser's cabin, foul and dark, Shuns gilded roofs, where pomp and pride Are envy's mark.” We keep repeating that everything is for people, but it's important to stay moderate. But does anyone know what the golden mean really is? Does it work?
There's the question – what moderation actually is. What amount of junk food is reasonable? Does everyone understand it in the same way?
Moderation, restraint, no exaggeration. There isn't one clear-cut definition of the word frugality. For one person it may mean something different than for another.
Restraint suggested by doctors and dietitians is like yeti. Everybody knows it but nobody has seen it. However we accept such advice very eagerly and suggest the same to others. Why? If nobody really knows what moderation really is, we somehow let ourselves eat unhealthy products in the amount we feel like right. Just like that. Because everything is for people. You just have to keep the sense of proportion. It's a very convenient solution. The question is, whether it is correct and efficient.
And so we can visualize a person who eats healthy food and lets himself consume this or that with moderation. Each of you have just thought what such a person eats.
It's highly possible that each of you has imagined something totally different.
For one person, no exaggeration means occasional (let's say, not more often than once a month) derogation. Something like eating a piece of cake during your aunt's birthday.
However, for another person, one sweet a day is fine.
How does following the rule of moderation actually end?
On Monday you don't have time to prepare breakfast, so you buy a wholemeal muffin on the way to work. Believing it's healthy and nutritious, you eat it remembering that you can let yourself eat something sweet in the morning.
On Tuesday you drink a dietetic fizzy drink. Just one small can. You still keep the sense of proportion.
On Wednesday you have to stay longer hours at work. You don't have time to eat anything. So, you order a pizza, as it's better than starving. You eat a slice of pizza. You keep moderate.
On Thursday it's your colleague's birthday. It's not proper to refuse, so you take a piece of cake. You choose a small piece, so you show restraint.
On Friday... you can finally take a breath after work and drink some beer. Just one. No craze.
Weekend is weekend. You can let yourself eat something sweet once in a week. As we are all humans.
They seem like small derogations, but they can change a lot.
Your diet is not healthy. You stay moderate. But what keeping sense of proportion really is?
Then there's the moment when your body stops working properly. You often feel tired, sleepy, your skin is not fresh and shiny. You suffer from allergies, colds, flatulence, your teeth are destroyed.
And you ask yourself a question with surprise – 'why does it happen to me?' You have always eaten the right food and showed restraint.
I don't claim there is one and only proper way. I'm not saying that you cannot drink any alcohol or eat any cakes.
However, is it worth cheating on yourself? Make some theories concerning moderation? Deeply believe that everything is for people? That you can eat everything but in small amount and stay healthy?
There's the reason for a saying that if something is right for everything, then it is worthless. Human body is not a bag you can fill with different junk and then work on 100%.
If you eat junk food with no exaggeration, you can suffer from various diseases and ailments.
As long as people don't understand that the biggest and most important medicine is food and physical activity, and not a magic pill or supplement which will change their lives and take away the diseases, they will get ill and suffer.