While eating a strange meal of baked eggplant, stewed tomatoes, a scoop of ricotta (eggplant parmesan deconstructed?) and nachos with beans during a silent meditation retreat, I realized why meditation on eating is so important. Our attitudes toward food are representative of our attitude toward life itself.
This strange meal provided the impetus for an interesting debate during the car ride home.
That conversation added to my conviction that by rejecting or criticizing the meal was to miss something important about the silent retreat. With many of the usual daily distractions eliminated (talk, chores, schedules), food was the remaining life distraction.
How many hours a day do we spend thinking about food? How many more hours a day do we spend planning, buying and preparing food?
It’s an interesting measurement to take. I think it will say a lot about why we in the US have issues around maintaining our desired body weight.
Do the math.
Input and output
When a friend and I were discussing the ever-present dieting culture one day, he pointed out that weight loss in general (outside of illness), was about input and output – simple math.
It does seem simple, but something seems to be complicating basic math in this culture. Abundance and the reduced need for physical input into life seem to complicate the math. In a place like Columbus, Ohio, for example, walking can be risking your life as this city was clearly built for vehicles and not for walking. (Our dear mayor is helping by creating and connecting lots of bike trails).
In his book, “The Culture Code,” marketer and psychologist Clotaire Rapaille examines the deep psychological “code” behind portions of our lives. In focus groups, he discovered (he believes) that the American culture code for overweight is “checking out.”
Are two thirds of Americans truly checking out?
The US horoscope
If we look at a US horoscope based on the Declaration of Independence signing, the rising sign is Sagittarius, which is ruled by Jupiter. Jupiter is in Cancer as are sun and Venus.
Jupiter is the planet of abundance. In Cancer, it represents abundance in family, food, eating, mothering and other Cancer-like senses of belonging (religion, then?).
The US is the land of plenty, of abundance, of opportunity, of more . . .
That’s good, yes, and in the US we have a historically unusual problem – abundance. Abundance in many things, I believe, including food.
Fighting abundance is an unusual problem. There are worse problems, but it is our problem.
Pluto/Uranus conjunction in Virgo generation
Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a generation was born with Pluto (transformation) and Uranus (awareness) conjunct in the sign of Virgo (health).
Virgo is a worrying sign and, to me, the hypochondriac of the zodiac because of a need to worry about every detail that other signs might simply gloss over or accept “as is.”
I believe it’s this generation that has brought us awareness of our planet’s health and the condition of the food we eat. It has brought us “foodies.”
On the negative side, I believe this generation has brought a collective eating disorder. No longer do we simply eat and enjoy our food, we must analyze it. We must think about it. In “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” the mentor says to the student that the birth of the mind is the death of the senses. I believe our excessive thinking about food has gotten in the way of the sensation of food.
What I see in this generation is excessive analysis of food – before, during and after eating – to the point that the actual intake of food is rarely enjoyed. If we eat a brownie then think about how many laps on the treadmill we must run to “burn” it off, have we enjoyed that brownie?
Can we maintain ideal body weight when we think about food constantly and then have such a conflicted reaction upon the actual intake?
According to this site, 1973 is the year of publication of a book “Eating Disorders” which, says the site, “coincided with the beginning of a surprising increase in both anorexia and bulimia.” The Pluto/Uranus in Virgo generation would have been in their early teens to late 20s in 1973.
Lose weight with astrology
Losing weight for Americans is more complicated than simple math. We live in a land of abundance where a collective eating disorder has gotten in the way of simple enjoyment of food. If we enjoyed our food, maybe we would be satisfied with the appropriate amount?
What to do?
Like all problems, we must go within to find our own answer that sustains within the stimulus of the environment. That’s meditation.
In our land of plenty, we are like the “kid in the candy store.” Candy might not be your food thing, but your food thing is available, accessible at the local mega store or online with one click.
While the whole horoscope is necessary to fight abundance, or any other problem, I believe it’s the moon that can’t control itself in this candy-store of a country.
If our sun sign is what we WANT, our moon sign is what we NEED. Our needs are what fuels addictions or other habits we want to end but can’t.
If you are having trouble maintaining your ideal weight, take a look at what your moon needs and see if there is another way to satisfy that need.
Below are moon signs and the strong need associated with each. Signs have many facets but I’ll keep it simple. Here’s a site with detailed descriptions of moon signs.
Aries – Need to assert the self.
Taurus – Need for peace and comfort.
Gemini – Need for constant stimulus.
Cancer – Need for belonging.
Leo – Need to be center of attention.
Virgo – Need analysis.
Libra – Need intoxicating pleasure.
Scorpio – Need emotional connection.
Sagittarius – Need the sublime.
Capricorn – Need control.
Aquarius – Need group order.
Pisces – Need spiritual connection.
Next time you’re struggle with weight loss and diet, see how your moon sign plays into the situation. Are you eating because you’re truly hungry or because you’re bored or because it’s dinner time or because you have food that will go bad or because your social life demands it or because you have to feed others or because your grandma is eyeing your plate as you eat or because . . .
The because will always be there.