27. The 5:2 Diet and Digging Holes

The 5:2 diet is a way of being healthy, eating what you like for 5 days and for two non-consecutive days eating 600 calories. It is a pity that it has to be called a diet – suggesting that it is about weight loss. The biggest gain appears to be that it decreases the level of human growth hormone IGF-1 which is indicated in lots of illness. Eat, Fast and live Longer seems a better explanation but then to advertise it effectively it has to be sold as weight loss: good health is not a sexy!

It is well known that we over eat, with little exercise doing sedentary jobs. Generations before either learnt restricted diets from war rationing, or expected to do a lot more physical exercise. Stories of workers in the 1940s and 1950s walking or cycling miles to work are not uncommon. Like the rest of sport doing exercise has become part of the world of marketing, and life style choice rather then something you had to do to travel to work or actually do at work.

Digging holes for water pipes is instructional: you start by digging a hole, then extend it in the direction instructed. You do this for eight hours, and then go home for the evening. You go to bed after a hot bath tending aching muscles and an overworked spine. Coming back to the hole the next day is a problem. It looks like it has been waiting for you all night unchanged ready for you to spend the rest of the day digging it. It looks fresh in the new day light, as though energised with its rest from you. It is relentless in its waiting: nobody else is going to dig the hole for you and the hole knows this. For the first few days it is painful, but then your body adjusts to the task and begins to grow muscles. Then the problem becomes the psychological tedium. Your body has adjusted to the task, and now your mind is free from physical pain. Here the road divides between being able to imagine and have satisfaction from your thoughts, or want more stimulation and become bored and resentful at the amount of money you are earning and the unforgiving nature of the hole.

Yet there is a beautiful simplicity of earning a living digging a hole. Anxiety and depression lessen as fitness develops and extra energy is used up in the hole. Travellers pay money to go to exotic parts of the world to dig a hole: ok there might be better views, better company of fellow travellers away from their sophisticated urban lives, than a road crew.
But it is similar.
So 21st Civiliseds try the 5:2 Diet and dream of digging holes in your holidays!

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2012
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog content are the views of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.

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