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Old 1st September 2007   #1
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 517
Default Pleasure is healthy; guilt unhealthy

The Centre for Consumer Freedom e-mailed an interesting report yesterday called "Government-Mandaded Guilt."

In addition to noting several appalling examples of modern weight hysteria, the report (correctly) observes that the individuals and organizations which are trying impose guilt on women for their natural love of self-indulgence take a coldly utilitarian view of food -- and of life.

As the report observes,

Dictating calorie counts reduces the value of a meal to a measure of energy. But anyone who's ever enjoyed a snow cone on a hot day or shared a bottle of wine at a romantic dinner knows that food is much more than that...

Maybe someone should clue in the nutrition "experts": Good food isn't just about staying alive. It's about enjoying life too.

Very good points. But what especially intrigued me in the report was one of the links -- to a medical study from several years back; a study that reveals just how damaging guilt is to women's health; and conversely, just how beneficial pleasure is to a woman's well-being.

Many of these findings are stunning, and fly directly in the face of present-day weight-control propaganda.

Here are some choice excerpts:

Pleasure increases enjoyment, reducing stress and enhancing the immunity system, thus making a positive contribution to overall good health.

People choose their pleasures for rational and purposeful reasons, according to the desire to adjust their psychological state.

This pleasure can enhance the immune system and reduce stress.

Conversely, guilt can increase stress and undermine the immune system.

Unnecessary guilt can drive a dangerous psychological wedge between the "ideal" and the "real" self, further enhancing stress levels and undermining the immune system.

This can lead to, for instance...eating disorders, heart problems or brain damage.

The benefits of pleasure and enjoyment are seriously undervalued in both science and society. Scientific studies show that enjoying the simple pleasures in life, without feeling guilty, can reduce stress and increase resistance to disease.

Relatively little is known about the science of pleasure because scientific and medical exploration have tended to be based on a "disease" model of life which has taken "health" as a base line and measured deviations from that.

A further benefit, largely unrecognised, is the evidence that enjoyment can boost the function of the immune system and protect the individual from a range of illnesses, from the common cold to heart disease and cancer (5).

Even if the opportunity to indulge is made available, our behaviour is still constrained by psychological considerations, primarily guilt and worry over the consequences of our actions...

Guilt has long been viewed as a source of chronic mental disorders and is frequently associated with depression (11). This link has become so well accepted that measures of guilt are also used as indices of depression (12). Thus, "excessive or inappropriate guilt" is one of the nine clinical criteria used to diagnose major depression (13).

Chronic feelings of unresolved guilt can spiral, providing an ongoing source of self-degradation and an endless reminder of the failing that originally evoked the guilt. Internalising these feelings can eventually give rise to depression (14)...

Guilt-induced depression can result in eating disorders (15) of which self-punishment is frequently a component (16)

Chronic guilt, as an "intrinsic stressor", increases levels of stress hormones which can lead to infection, cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal problems, and brain damage.
The study singles out "eating chocolate and sweet things" as an example of a pleasurable activity that actually benefits health, while feeling guilty over self-indulgence damanges health, in the ways described above.

I wish these results were better known, and I wish more women would take them to heart.

Now, we know -- the best thing that any young woman can do for her health is to free herself from guilt, to eat whatever she wants, and as much as she wants, and to fully enjoy the health-giving pleasure that she feels from doing so.
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Old 1st September 2007   #2
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 633
Default Re: Pleasure is healthy; guilt unhealthy

A small but growing segment of journalists are breaking from the pack, and are acknowledging that being full-figured is actually healthy, while being malnourished is unhealthy.

Here's an op-ed piece from an Oklahoma newspaper:

It slams (as the author puts it) "the ‘crises du jour’ mentality of the special interest pressure groups that crank out apocalyptic scenarios on a regular basis in order to drum up publicity and donations"- which is very true.

After all, if the related weight-control industry (from diet-pushers to weight "researchers") admitted that their was no weight "problem" at all, their profits would dry up, and their research grants would be pulled. Ergo, they manufacture a non-existent "epidemic" to keep the money flowing.

The author entertainingly contrasts the ugliness of today's anorexic cult with timeless beauty:

I’ve got news for all you well-intentioned, thin-thinking, movie-starlet-lusting, anorexic fashion model-wannabes out on the left and right coasts: You are a bunch of sickos. This fixation on thinness that you’ve had since Twiggy is unhealthy. Grow up.

Here’s the skinny on f**ness: It’s God’s plan and always has been...

Look at the paintings of the Old Masters in all those European museums. Those naked, (the artsy word is ‘nude’), beauties would be laughed off the runway in New York or Paris or Milan today. But the artists back then knew curvy beauty when they saw it. They saved the half-starved peasant wenches for the scenes of Hell and the Apocalypse. To intrigue the wealthy patrons who paid their way, Peter Paul Rubens and all those other famous dead painters depicted wealthy, cultured, healthy women. Women of substance. Women who are called ‘Rubenesque’ still today for their full-figured sex appeal...

At last, people are beginning to see outside the present day and age. They are beginning to compare the timeless values of the past with the artificial values of the present, and are realizing that the values of the past were far superior- in every way.

The author also points out that, even though the medical-quack community is pushing starvation and exercise-torture as a quick-fix cure-all, being underweight is actually what damages women's health the most:

Here is another response to the ob***** scare: On January 1, 1998, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study on ob***** as a cause of premature mortality. There was a twist, though:

In commenting upon the study results, the Journal editorialized that ob***** was overemphasized as a public health problem. "The data linking overweight and death, as well as the data showing the beneficial effects of weight loss, are limited, fragmented and often ambiguous..."

“The standard Hollywood starlet weighs a mere 105 lbs, which certainly must be considered unhealthy by medical standards. Yet rather then discouraging women across the continent from taking a path toward an unhealthy body image, which can include such stops as arrhythmia, hypertension, heart disease and ultimately death, the medical field is actually prompting them to diet.”

As the writer concludes, "The conspiracy of thinness perpetuated by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, the diet industry and the national media must come to an end." It's time for young women to embrace their natural tendency towards being full-figured- which leads to a happier and healthier life (and enhances feminine beauty too).
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Old 3rd September 2007   #3
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Default Re: Pleasure is healthy; guilt unhealthy

Actually, I started adopting different eating habits several weeks ago. I have totally quit dieting. And I will never go back.

Now, I eat whatever I like, whenever I like it. And I feel so much better. Just by no longer torturing my body with dieting, I even rid myself of a stomach-ache that I used to have. Never a diet again. Ever.
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Old 28th December 2007   #4
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Pleasure is healthy; guilt unhealthy

Originally Posted by Emily
the best thing that any young woman can do for her health is to free herself from guilt, to eat whatever she wants, and as much as she wants, and to fully enjoy the health-giving pleasure that she feels from doing so.
Originally Posted by Kaitlynn
It's time for young women to embrace their natural tendency towards being full-figured- which leads to a happier and healthier life (and enhances feminine beauty too).

The findings in these articles should hardly be so surprising. In any other era, they would have been self-evident. And yet, in the modern day, thin-supremacist brainwashing is so prevalent that these timeless truths have become "novel" and astonishing. But they only stand to reason.

The essence of all life is that it endeavours to survive--and more than that, to thrive. The artists of the past (exemplified by the Old Master paintings cited in Kaitynn's article) understood and celebrated these life-affirming tendencies, and venerated full-figured feminine beauty as being a glorious expression of the highest fulfilment of nature's will.

But modern culture, subservient as it is to artificial ideologies that contradict and stifle human essence, opposes all of this, and enforces an unnatural aesthetic that imposes the misery of starvation as a "norm" for women. This phenomenon results from an unholy alliance between materialist philosophy (socialism and so-called "social justice") and materialism itself (commercialism). Both the modern "left" (social, not fiscal) and the modern "right" (fiscal, not social) conspire to keep the androgynous standard in place, while the old aristocratic world-view, which valorized the natural mode of life, has been displaced.

A different ideology, an ideology that eschews modernism, that rejects both philosophical materialism and dissatisfaction-based consumerism, and is instead governed by an organic view of existence, is needed to overcome the malaise of modernity, and to restore the timeless ideals of the past, which were in tune with, and celebrated, human nature.

Lively stock image of a fiery vixen, demonstrating that passionate self-indulgence is pleasurable, healthy . . . and can also be quite alluring.

Click to enlarge

- Beauty from a healthier age . . .

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