NEW START: TEMPERANCE and HEALTH
"Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." Proverbs 23:19-21
DECEMBER 27TH, 2012
What exactly is temperance? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as moderation or self-restraint, especially in relation to eating and drinking but also in advocating abstinence. Temperance covers virtually every aspect of human life, relating to moderation in necessary functions such as eating and our interactions with others, and in abstinence in areas like smoking, alcohol and drug use
Temperance is a word more commonly used a century ago, and it and its concept have become unfashionable today. Pop psychology, media, and entertainment have encouraged people to give into their impulses and whims with the justification that self-restraint might lead to emotional distress and damage. For example, the idea is suggested that anger must be released or else it will be suppressed which is destructive to self. No hint is given regarding other options, such as to exercising self-control, letting the anger dissolve, and creating a character that is not quick to anger. Let's examine other areas where temperance should be employed.
It doesn't take a genius to know that food is required for life, yet many people go way beyond the need for nutrients and a satisfied appetite. So many people are overweight, women more than men and we know that excess weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant and is the most widespread drug abuse problem in the world. Besides causing severe and often fatal health problems including liver disease and cancer, it is a leading precipitating factor in domestic and non-domestic violence and in traffic fatalities. There is no safe alcohol level when operating a vehicle or other machinery. Researchers will tell you that chronic alcohol use or periodic binge drinking also causes central nervous system damage, impotence, malnutrition, and memory loss.
Other drugs from which people need to abstain include marijuana, steroids and depressants (such as Valium and Quaaludes), stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamines), hallucinogens (like LSD and PCP), and narcotics (including heroin and morphine). All are highly addictive and cause a wide range of health and social problems ranging from heart disease, impotence, mental illness and stroke, to inability to cope with activities of daily living and responsibilities to self and family. Certain drugs such as narcotics and steroids may be prescribed by doctors for short-term treatment of certain disorders, but cause harm when misused.
Whatever the vice, whether using drugs, anger, or overeating, people do not exercise self-restraint for many reasons. Reasons may include the desire to escape reality by having a few moments of perceived pleasure that they believe will help them relax, reduce depression and stress. Others engage in self-destructive behavior to forget about physical or emotional traumas, and numb feelings of guilt, shame, or loneliness. These are false hopes, for intemperance not only is a pseudo-solution but in turn causes its own often catastrophic effects. Only in God is there found true escape from the stresses and nightmares of life.
Temperance covers areas of diet, sleeping habits, choice and fitting of our clothing, our daily activities, our exercise and all other aspects of our life. When it comes to food - It is important that each day we eat a well balanced diet. This means eating the right amounts of food from the different food groups, at the right times of the day. We should never feel bloated and over-full after a meal. We should always feel we could eat a little more when we leave the meal table. Due to body make-up and workload, the needs differ for each person, but the body knows and will give signals of satisfaction before getting over-full. The body does not handle food nearly as well when it is gulped down as it does when it is chewed well. It takes a little time for the stomach to give the full signal and one can easily overeat developing into a bad habit, over-weight, gas and other problems. Chew the food well, let the saliva work on the contents. Remember our stomachs do not have teeth -digestion starts in the mouth.
It is unwise to mix vegetables with fruits at any one meal. Lemons and oranges will not have so bad an effect being acid fruits, but sweet fruits such as bananas, dates, raisins, etc. are a bad combination with vegetables. Temperance covers the old adage, "You can have too much of a good thing." If we continually overeat, the body becomes continually overloaded, the stomach becomes weary and the risk of disease increases. Some illnesses will not necessarily surface immediately, but they can accumulate internally and break out once internal damage is irreversible.
Temperance in drinking is also important. It is highly recommended that coffee, canned drinks and alcohol should be out of the diet. Most contain caffeine and although it may give energy for a short term, after the boost has had its peak, the body becomes tired and the mind can become depressed. Often the low that comes after the caffeine wears off is worse than the tiredness before taking that cup of coffee. If you are tired, the body is calling for sleep, not a charge of high-octane fuel. The human machinery can only last so long and starts breaking down after continual abuse.
Clean fresh water taken up to 20-30 minutes before a meal and two hours after a meal, adding up to 6-8 glasses a day, is the best beverage we can possibly have. Clothing should fit our bodies well. It should not be tight around any part of the body to restrict blood flow or digestion functions.
Sleeping is also included in temperance. One hour before midnight is better than two hours after. Developing a habit of going to bed about 8.30-9.00pm and rising about 5.00-6.00am will help bring health to body and mind.
The information given here is for educational purposes only. It is meant to be used as a guide towards health and does not replace the evaluation by and advice of a qualified licensed health care professional. For detailed interpretation of your health and specific conditions, consult with your physician.