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The pursuit of Easy Pleasure

Saturday, May 31, 2014

There is a lot of talk about the addicting nature of food, but I wonder. What I am really addicted to is Easy Pleasure. And what's easier than a cheap bag of Cheetos?

We all reminisce about "simple pleasures", but they all sound so pedestrian these days. Today's Little Things didn't exist for most of us until a few decades ago, like professional mani-pedis. Now they are so cheap and omnipresent that we don't see them as the extravagances they once were. It's just something else to do.

I remember my parents and grandparents telling me about how so many of them lived together in small spaces that just being alone was a treasure. Privacy was a privilege of the rich. Now we take it for granted. All those tiny closets from the 50s and before? No one had enough clothing to fill more than that. Now we expect closets as big as the bedrooms we lived in when growing up, the bedrooms we had to share with siblings (Wally and the Beaver shared a room). Only the wealthy had food out of season, and enough food to avoid hunger. Now there is so much cheap food that we have to worry about over-consumption.

Eating is easy, it's cheap, and it doesn't require the cooperation of another person (I don't want to be more specific here). If you find easy pleasure in shopping, you can buy a dress, then have buyer's remorse by the time you get home, and you can take it back. You can't take back the empty bag of Cheetos, or transport the calories out of your body. It's easy to say No to something you know you just can't have, like the gorgeous new car or house. It's harder to say No to a pleasure that you CAN have, right NOW.

And like other Easy Pleasures (once again I don't want to be more specific), eating is really really hard to stop once you get started. I am really looking for something that will make me feel delicious RIGHT NOW, and that is something modern, something that wasn't an option to a less affluent society. I hate that it's an option, yet I would be outraged if that option were removed.

So what to do? How do I mentally tell myself that I can no longer avail myself of a special, intense pleasure? It certainly won't work to try to convince myself that it isn't all that great after all. I'm not stupid.

I have had to learn that Pleasure doesn't have to be Easy, and that pleasures that require some effort are, indeed, better than the Easy ones. That requires Patience, and trust me, that is not a virtue I was born with. I have had to translate lessons in patience learned while raising kids, sitting in traffic, waiting on hold, paying off a mortgage, to controlling my desire for instant gratification.

I have been at goal for a long time, and I still have to remind myself to look at the payoff of "later" as being better than the immediacy of Cheetos. I have long since convinced myself of the joy of the longer term goal, but I still need to remind myself, especially when I experience the geyser of desire for pleasure NOW.

My addiction is to the Pleasure rather than the Food.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Are you familiar with The Pleasure Trap by Douglas Lisle? He discusses this at length. You can find him discussing it on Youtube as well, there's a TED Talk, I believe.
    1339 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1350 days ago
    Well said! Great blog!
    1350 days ago
    It is all your fault--- you mentioned Cheetos, and I want a bag right NOW! LOL
    1351 days ago
    As far as food goes, easy pleasure is a good bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit and a square of 90%+ dark chocolate.
    I also take immense pleasure in a home cooked meal. Not quick and easy but not just food for the body but also for the soul.

    We are on a trip back to basics. As I get older simplifying and decluttering my life is where I find peace. Less definitely is more.

    Have a wonderful SparkDay.
    1352 days ago
    Agree totally with Zeedra... and great blog, thanks for the insight. ((hugs))
    1356 days ago
    I think you replaced Easy Pleasures with Positive Addictions ....self-control and portion control....all a part of healthy living. I am also at goal and I do not want to return to being overweight. What a great blog! It is a simple reminder that it is up to us to decide what we are going to eat. We also replace the Easy Pleasures with healthier just as delicious food choices. emoticon
    1357 days ago
    good read emoticon
    1358 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Very well said, and so true, Nell.
    1360 days ago
    The food industry doesn't help. I know: we must take responsibility. But just count the number of times per day you see ads for those easy pleasures. We are bombarded from all sides.
    I admire those of you who have found a way to plan and to follow that plan faithfully (or mostly....).
    1362 days ago
    Easy pleasure and instant gratification. Remember waiting for the modem to connect now an unlimited number of places to so in very small bits of time.

    Great blog
    1363 days ago
    Great way of looking at things! I keep reading about "satisfying cravings" with various feed products. I'm working hard to be more mindful of all my routines and habits. Life is too short to waste on mindless activities and junk food.
    1364 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Good point. The easy pleasure and quick fix is not worth it. It is far better to focus on the long term health benifits.

    1364 days ago
  • JANET552
    Very interesting!! You are right that we have become people used to getting what we want when we want it and often that means things we enjoy. We value what we have to work for, though, so my guess is we really don't value easy pleasure, as you put it. Thinking more about what we want and what will get us there will make us happier in my opinion.
    1364 days ago
    emoticon whether called easy pleasures or immediate gratification the results are the same.
    1364 days ago
    emoticon It can be a difficult to follow the plan, but I think I am on the way.
    1364 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon That is a great blog, and thanks for sharing!! emoticon
    1364 days ago
    I agree that the easy pleasures are often not the best. The best pleasures are the ones that take time and effort to pay off (the patience requirement). Also, I find the greatest pleasure in conceiving and executing something that requires my creativity.
    Look for my novel. Don't worry if you have forgotten my real name by the time it's published, or I write it, at the insistence of my family, under a pen name. The title is "You Should Have Kept the Day Job."
    1364 days ago
    Interesting indeed. I, too, grew up in an area where easy was not how food came. I learned how to create everything tasty from simple ingredients.

    Sometimes, I am in awe of the variety of prepared foods available. Foods that I have had, but no longer do. I have learned one thing, once I realized what was in something I liked, and the turning point was Chocolate Silk Pie. It was something we always had when we went out to our favorite restaurant,

    Then, I had to make it for an organizational dinner. I knew the ingredients in a pie crust, I'd been making them since I was 10. But then I had the ingredients for the filling measured out on the counter, three raw eggs, 1 pound butter, 2 cups sugar, 4 squares chocolate, and vanilla. I stood there looking at it and realized what I was having in one piece of pie with the topping! I would not eat some things any more if I think of the ingredients!
    1364 days ago
    Such a wise blog . . . and (as another person who's been at goal for a long time) I know it takes eternal vigilance.
    1364 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1364 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon emoticon blog...much to think about and remember here!
    1364 days ago
    BRAVO ... Food for thought.. I know.... bad pun... seriously.. thanks for sharing ...and great insight too
    1365 days ago
    Bless you for writing this!
    1365 days ago
    interesting emoticon
    1365 days ago
    1365 days ago
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