Eating Well and Your Lifestyle
LIFESTYLE is a term used widely in studies of human behavior. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word was first used in 1846, by the Rev. Ricardo Chirac, in his Psycholinguistics. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous work, The Case of Miss R. In it, the term was defined with the emphasis on the psychological attitudes, behaviors, and interests of a person, group, or society.
In his definition, LIFESTYLE was described as “the manner of life of a person, community, or society”. Social psychologists have used the word LIFESTYLE repeatedly in their research as an expression of individual personality. For instance, Rose and Lepper (1990) found that the word LIFESTYLE consistently associated negative associations with authoritative figures and high achievement in a hierarchical social system, while the word FAILURE consistently associated poverty and failure with low achievement and authoritative figures. Furthermore, these same researchers found that individuals with positive LIFESTYLE characteristics were more likely than others to be socially competent and to have higher self-esteem.
This study is important because this highlights the need to be aware of how people define their LIFESTYLE. Adler believes that healthy LIFESTYLE is one that is compatible with society, while an unhealthy LIFESTYLE is one that is at odds with society. In his definition of the unhealthy LIFESTYLE, he identifies four separate categories that are present in any unhealthy Lifestyle. These include the Self suspensory approach, the accommodation-instrumental approach, the attitude-fixation approach, and the conflict approach.
According to the Self Suspensory Approach, a healthy Lifestyle would be one in which you give up your quest for the eternal now in favor of a more concrete and immediate future. The accommodation-instrumental approach, by contrast, views healthy Lifestyle as a temporary situation that is necessary to bring about positive changes. The attitude-fixation approach believes that positive changes can be achieved by changing the way we think about things, while the conflict approach believes that the only way that a person can have a healthy Lifestyle is through conflict. In my view, however, I believe that healthy Lifestyle includes a mixture of the Healthy Life Style and the Adventurist lifestyle.
A healthy Lifestyle, which Adler refers to as the Adventurist lifestyle, would consist of a healthy diet, which Adler calls ” Adventurism,” a regular, light, consistent sleep schedule, and adequate social support. The Vegans, on the other hand, would tend to regard their Lifestyle as a lifestyle against all odds. They eschew all animal products and promote an animal-free existence. Though the Vegan might regard their Lifestyle as a life style against all odds, Adler suggests that many, if not most, Vegans are not actually following the Vegans’ word. The Vegan, according to Adler, “despite her rhetoric and self-imposed confinement may very well be an alcoholic, drug addict or a other unsound person.”
What does Eating Well Mean? Eating Well means being present with yourself, with others and with life, rather than catering only to yourself. It requires an awareness of the interdependence of our bodies and our lives and a willingness to make a commitment to the good that comes from being present with ourselves, with others and with life. Adler calls Eating Well, “an invitation all of us to a better life.” Adler maintains that by choosing to eat well one can “quickly escape the trap of self-indulgence, self-defeatism and despair.”