In the mind of any average individual, healthy hedonism would be one of the oxymoronic terms ever spoken. By their simplest and most common definitions, the two words could not be further apart on a scale of opposites. But in the modern world, where language is mercenary and nothing means what it used to, healthy hedonism may not be as far-fetched as one might think. Additionally, when one actually analyzes the true meanings of the words in a practical sense, healthy hedonism might make more sense than it does at first glance.
Of all the hot keywords that define our modern culture, “healthy” may be the most marketable, complex and meaningful to the average consumer. Entire industries seem to pop up overnight, based solely on the latest and trendiest idea of someone’s clever new take on healthy eating. Bookstores are filled with thousands of different ideologies and philosophies on healthy living, and the internet hosts every possible concept and idea on what is-- and what is not-- healthy, as any blogging for beginners course could quickly teach.
If you grew up 30 years ago, you likely believed that diet soda and “fat free” foods were a healthy alternative to their mainstream counterparts. If you came of age 20 years ago, you were probably learning the unquestionable benefits of a vegan lifestyle and the undeniable truth of yoga. If you became an adult within the last 10 years, you have learned to reject the sinful item that is gluten and embrace the holy kale and avocado. But if you are still young and currently trying to form your idea of what is healthy, you are probably confused beyond redemption.
That is because the idea of healthy food has always been malleable and non-permanent, but in the digital age, ideas are changing more rapidly than ever before. What was obviously healthy last year may not be so great the next. Holes can be poked in any health theory, and no food is perfectly healthy.
In a world of uncertainties, it is impossible to truly know what is healthy. Even if a brilliant dietician is able to accurately identify a perfectly healthy diet, every person is different, and more details and further study may prove that it is not ideal for everyone. The only true indicator of whether or not a food or activity is truly good for you is your own body. Your body has its own internal guidance system, and listening to it can be the clearest path to true health.
Out of this basic idea, an entirely new concept of healthy hedonism has been born. This type of hedonism is not about living like Caligula and gratifying all of your basest instincts. It is simply about loving yourself, listening to your own body and embracing the simplest pleasures of life as a way of healthy living.
This still may seem contradictory to some, especially for those that love sugary or fried foods. Of course, the number of articles on indulgent foods is right up there with the number written to have more space while flying, but healthy hedonism is about getting back to a simpler kind of nutrition and pleasure than what you have become accustomed to in our processed world.
Practicing Healthy Hedonism
Indulge your body on foods that still have a touch of the magic sea or soil from which they were born, and your body will quickly adjust to this new form of pleasure. You will no longer suffer the sugar hangovers, flabby body parts or other physical consequences that come with base indulgence, and cutting out the bad food will lead to a true form of pleasure that you may have never known before. For example, try going fishing to relax and take the stress off of your body.
In the end, there will always be differing opinions of what is and what is not healthy, but your own body will be the clearest indicator of what is good for you. If your body responds positively, this will lead to a fitter body, a lifted mood, increased energy and overall wellness. This will create positive desires for more simple pleasure than you could ever get from any deprivation diet or purely indulgent eating.