This joke comes from someone I work with:

Two guys walk into a room, one very small and thin the other quite large.  The large guy looks at the thin one and says “You look terrible, you look like you have been in a famine”.  The other one replies “And you look like you caused it”.

In a science fiction novel, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, put forward the idea that gluttony is eating specialised health food for the sake of it rather than when it is necessary due to allergies or food intolerances.

Funnily enough overeating and specialised eating can cause problems for both those who do not have enough to eat.  Gluttony at its base though is the idea that there is enough that we need to eat and drink with the deadly sin appearing when we eat or drink more than we need.

If I consider this in terms of my lifestyle historically then there were times I was a glutton.  I suffered from gout because I carried too much weight which I carried because I ate too much (no hormone/thyroid problem) which may have been because of emotional issues as much as anything else.  I needed lifestyle changes to bring this all under control.  I would say  that gluttony was present as I was eating more than I needed and ultimately more than what was good for me.

The answer to gluttony appears to be self-control to stop eating and drinking more than is necessary.  However it seems that reducing what you eat and drink does not in and of itself solve the problem.  It seems to me that what is needed is truth; not of comparing ourselves to others and seeing are we eating or drinking too much but getting a true picture of how much we should eat in relation to ourselves and the rest of the world.  We live on more than $2 a day but much of the world does not.  We need to see how our eating impacts others and reign it in out of love for others and not for our own stomachs.

At the same time where there are emotional or physiological reasons for overeating these need to addressed in truth and love.

So how much are you eating and why?

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