For Thanksgiving: Two different vulnerabilities that lead to eating more than we want to

Coincidentally, I came across this passage in Jack Korn field’s “A Path With Heart” on the morning after Thanksgiving just as I was wondering what had driven me to eat more than I wanted or needed or than was healthy the day before:
We can feel for ourselves how fear, judgment, and boredom are all forms of aversion. When we examine them, we see that they are based on our dislike of some aspect of experience.
Boredom is a form of aversion? It makes sense, but I never connected them before. Boredom and fear, two expressions of one primal emotion.  
This passage spoke to me because I had blamed a lot of my eating on Thanksgiving on boredom: sitting around making small talk or waiting for people to arrive with nothing much else to do. Except snacking. But now I asked myself: what was I afraid of? What did snacking help me to avoid?
Kornfield goes on to discuss another of what he calls “demons”: desire. Of course we also overeat because of grasping, wanting desire: it was not boredom that drove me to have those 3 slices of pie, but instead the false promise of fleeting pleasure that comes with desire.
I blogged about this type of grasping — and Iyengar take on it — previously. But it is helpful to now realize that unwise/unmindful consumption can come not only from grasping desire, but also — alternatively — From fear or aversion.
The next day I went to a restaurant with friends and they ordered some appetizers. I did not want to eat too much and was not very hungry, yet again, I felt driven to reach for the snacks. This time, though, I stopped and thought: what am I avoiding? Am I afraid of just sitting with my friends — being with them with maybe nothing to say and no activity like snacking to occupy me? And as I looked at my friends with this thought, I knew the answer was No: I am happy to be with them. I was struck by a deep gratitude for my friends and for the wonderful day.  
A small triumph: turning aversion to enjoyment merely by taking the time to examine my thoughts. Something to remember next time I reach for a chip! Thanks, Jack!


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