If your read the Canterbury Tales as part of your formal education, then you are familiar with the 7 deadly sins that give birth to immorality and that must be overcome to live a pure life. In losing weight, I have found these thoughts will pervade every facet of your life.
Lust– Yes, as your body changes into a more pleasing shape, there is an awakening of lust- a unhealthy passion for things that you shouldn’t have. Your eyes are opened to a world of sexuality that was once closed to you but the lust I found in weight loss wasn’t tied to a hot guy at the gym, it was tied to things I couldn’t have anymore…food. Coconut is my favorite food, especially when it’s drenched over a moist cake and yes my feelings of fondness and desire for this have transformed into a weird craving bathed in lust. I wash my hair with coconut shampoo, I slather my body in coconut oil and lotion, I even have this alarming reoccurring dream where I coat my body in vanilla frosting and slowly lower myself into a bathtub filled with coconut flakes. I’m pretty sure my fondness for coconut has become lustful.
Gluttony– As you restrict food, your desire to have it in large quantities, until you can take no more increases. While one should allow oneself a cheat day every now and again- the gluttony I’m speaking of goes beyond having dessert on date night. There is a whole genre of YouTube channels that originated in South Korea called Mukbang where people live-stream themselves eating exorbitant, binge-worthy amounts of food. I have become fascinated with this and watch it daily and although I’m not indulging, the experience of watching someone slurp down noodles and jam over-stuffed burgers into their mouths like snakes with retractable jaws, allows my to live vicariously through their gluttony.
Wrath– With the discipline and restriction that comes with losing weight, there is an equal and opposite reaction of an unleashing of emotions that will literally leave you screaming. I like to think of myself as pretty mild mannered but the hunger and the muscle soreness have birthed an emotional creature that I don’t recognize in myself. Extreme rage is counterbalanced by extreme love….one second I’m screaming profanity and the next I’m cuddling. When one circuit is closed, the energy travels to another and lights up pathways that you didn’t know existed. Brace yourself for a life of emotional extremes.
Pride– There are many accomplishments that I am proud of in my blessed life but the one that fills my head up the most is weight loss…one would think the greatest source of pride would be birthing majestic children or inquiring an advanced degree but no, I’m filled with pride for fitting into some shorts and not having a fat role hang over. Sick.
Envy/Greed- These 2 are connected…greed refers to the desire for the possessions of others and envy refers to a desire to be in the place of another. Yes, before your world was small, you were confined to the people in your circle and you wanted the best for them. All that working out has awakened this Olympic level competitor in you and you want it all. Your eyes widen with every new acquisition until you become blind in your greed. Your consumption of physical things leads to a desire to be in the place of others. Nothing is good enough and you end up throwing away some pretty amazing treasures in your search for things that are sadly gold-plated.
Sloth– All this energy you are putting into losing weight and getting stronger leaves you lazy in the things you once put so much pride into. There is only so much energy within you so as you channel your energy into the other deadly sins, you find you become lazy and complacent in things that are really important. Maybe you become sloth-like in the effort you put into your relationships with other people, people who really matter who don’t just feed your lust or envy. You become complacent and then are left wondering why you are alone.
While these emotions can be deadly, they are also necessary. Feeling these things is not what makes them dangerous, it’s a lack of learning from these feelings, it’s a lack of embracing their ugliness to find your truth that brings the harm. These 7 deadly sins are only lethal if you surrender to them without moving past them, rich in their lessons.