What to Do?

September 11, 2009

At a medical convention I once attended, the speakers described the benefits of vitamin D3. We get D3 from being exposed to the sun, thus people who live in the northern regions of the earth suffer from D3 deficiency. If you are deficient in D3 all kinds of diseases can occur, among them cancer.But dermatologists warn against being exposed to the sun because of the serious danger of developing skin cancer. Thus, as we increasingly protect ourselves from the sun, more people become deficient in D3.I recall my mother using an old Sephardic expression in Judeo Ladino, the medieval Spanish language we spoke at home: Todu que es demasiadu nu vale, which means, “All that is exaggerated is no good.”If you eat too much of anything, even strawberries, it is not good for you. Too much love is the beginning of hate. Too much hate is the beginning of madness.Moderation is the answer. Love a bit, and it is okay to have some displeasure (I would not say “hate”) toward someone. Sit in the sun for fifteen minutes in the early morning to get your vitamin D3. Don’t sun yourself all day—especially not during noontime—get burned and eventually develop skin cancer.A little bit of everything is okay.But what about a little bit of heroin? A bit of cocaine? Aha! Now we need a new rule: Zero tolerance of whatever addicts us, whatever takes control of us and enslaves us. Because when we get addicted we lose control, and when we lose control we aren’t able to follow the rule of moderation.How about sex? Have you ever seen a sex addict? I am not talking about someone with a healthy doze of libido. I am talking about an honest to goodness sex addict who needs to be hospitalized. Their sex organs are bleeding from over use. They are miserable. Sick and desperate.Too much pleasure, to the degree of becoming addicted to it, is no good.But how many of us realize we are addicted to certain foods that are no good for us?I am one of those. It took me a whole year to realize that I am a food addict. I am addicted to bread and cheese. And salami. Salt and oil. Carbs. Processed sugar. If I see it I eat it. A meal without bread leaves me unfulfilled, anxious, and I will not rest until I find the bread and consume it.I am not in control. I am controlled by something that is stronger than me and plays games with my head, my thoughts. Typical addictive behavior. I became obese, on the margin of becoming diabetic. My blood pressure soared for years, and the pills I took to control my high blood pressure destroyed my kidneys. All because of my addiction.Have you stopped to think about what YOU are addicted to? Work? Food? Sex? Alcohol? Drugs? Exercise? Tobacco?Note that what we are addicted to does not feel bad. It gives us pleasure. If it did not, we would not get addicted to it. (How many of us get addicted to okra?) The problem is that although what we are addicted to gives us pleasure, it is not good for us.For thousand of years, if it was pleasurable it was good. If it tasted bad it was bad. That was in a world of scarcity; a simple world to live in.Not true anymore. In a world of abundance, where you can have as much pleasure as you want, but todu que es demasiadu nu vale—all that is exaggerated is no good. Too MUCH pleasure is dangerous to your health and happiness.What is exaggerated in your life? Can you cut it out a bit?Watch how you react when you try. If you have difficulty, you are losing control. You are addicted. And this addiction can destroy you.What can you do to get free?I am at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, trying very hard to get free of my food addiction. It is working.Stay tuned.Sincerely,Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes

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Dr. Ichak Adizes