So much has been made of the 7 deadly sins over the centuries. In a changing world some of these old concepts shift meaning and value. It’s now year 2012 and the world has changed more in the last 50 years than the previous thousand. Here is how I would apply meaning to some of these old concepts it today’s world, particularly relating to health and wellness.
Wrath is defined as an uncontrolled feeling of hatred or anger, leading to a path of self destruction. In terms of health the wrath is usually taken on ones self. More and more people are hating the way they look and learning to beat themselves up for it. While I’m definitely not a promoter of the “just love the way you are” or other self loathing touchy feely tactics. I do believe that constant negative feelings about ones self is counter productive. Rather than accepting yourself just the way you are, I believe people need to accept responsibility for how they have taken care of themselves. When you start accepting that you got to where you are in life based on the choices you have made, you can start down of path of making better choices and seeing the improvements you can make. Hating yourself and blaming the world never motivated anyone to do anything positive.
Greed is a huge sin in terms of health and fitness. I like to describe greed in this perspective as those who want to have their cake and eat it too. This is the sin of always wanting that easy way out, the magic pill, or anyway of getting somewhere without doing any of the work. Greed is what gets people conned into the late night infomercials, the fitness fads, false promises, and gimmick training systems. And what do greedy people do when these things fail, they move on to the next one. The constant desire to get somewhere faster and easier without any effort fuels these crap products and programs.
Envy is just an extension of greed for most. Wanting what others have achieved in itself is not an issue, but wanting it without having to put in the time, work, and sacrifice is a big issue. People tend to envy others because they see themselves as lacking. The truth is people that are lacking in what they have are usually lacking in what they are doing to get it. There is not a cap on success in this world today. That’s one of the reasons it’s so great. You don’t need someone to fall to get ahead, you need to lift yourself up, elevate your game or remain the same.
Sloth usually goes hand in hand with greed. Sloth is defined as failure to utilize ones talent, or failing to take care of the things you need to do. In this context, it’s failing to take the time and effort to take care of ones self. Failure to exercise, eat right, take your supplements, and go to bed on time. Health is not a privilege granted to all, it’s an accomplishment of those who follow a healthy lifestyle. It’s harder to follow this path now than ever, but that does not make it any less important.
“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Pride is considered the most serious of the deadly sins because not only is it defined by the desire to be greater than others, but it is the desire for others to be less. I have no problem with people trying to be the best they can be, but your measuring stick should be comparing yourself to the person you saw in the mirror yesterday. There is an epidemic of people asserting them selves as successfully simply because others are failing. Being overweight is not something to celebrate just because you’re not obese. Celebrating mediocrity in a declining world only lowers the bar even further. You should dare to be great, and to be great amongst the best. The best champions in the world love most the competition of the best of the best. Those who end up a mile ahead do not saver a victory near as sweet as one who has fought hard and come on top.
Lust is perhaps the easiest to understand when it comes to health. People lust over junk foods, alcohol, and then still lust more for the bodies and health of those who do not give in to such things. We have completely forgotten why we eat, and what it means to put something in out body. If you were to ask the average person why they eat, I guarantee you, the answers would be shallow. People eat for entertainment, satisfaction, happiness, and because they are hungry. If more people understood the power of healthy food, and that what we ingest is what makes us what we are, maybe there would be a lot more healthy people.
Gluttony is often fueled by lust. It’s our over consumption of these things we lust. Too much junk food, too much alcohol, too much tv, too much everything. Everyone wants what they want, when they want it, and when they get it, they just want more, a little more, a little more. People today have more than they have ever had, yet so few would consider the selves satisfied. Taking what we do have for granted and always wanting more is just another reason we have 100 times more stress than our grandparents.