6 Signs of Gluttony

Every year Becky and I take a vacation around our anniversary. We like to go to the beach. It is off season, rates are lower, the crowds are small. It is easy to enjoy fine dining at our favorite restaurants.

Becky and I are also avid readers and love to read on the beach. This year, two of the books Becky read were on healthy living and good diet. She would read out loud from time to time the things she found helpful from the book.

Both books are written from the perspective that VAST numbers of North Americans are seriously unhealthy and we are doing daily damage to our bodies with our bad diets. Becky typically orders salads when we go out to eat! Me...I go for the good stuff.

Well, between the books Becky was reading and the chapter on gluttony in Dangerous Passions Deadly Sins, I had a lot to think about. I do my thinking on this in light of my own lifestyle choices, my own crazy schedule, my own dislike for time spent in preparing to eat and cleaning up after eating. I am situated in the fast food nation where super-sizing is just standard operating procedure.

fast food nation

Gluttony is applicable to more than food. Gluttony is basically the "over-consumption of and over-indulgence in" anything. But like Okholm, I will list his 6 signs of gluttony as it pertains to food. These signs really help me understand this deadly sin. Typically we only think of it in terms of the first sign, but numbers 2-6 give more substance to how gluttony works. Here they are (found on page 18).

ONE:  Gorging ourselves and not savoring a reasonable amount of food.
Okay, I understand that. Been there, done that, will probably do it again, although it is a much rarer thing for me these days. If you need an example of this, just watch, "Man Against Food."  ugghh...

TWO:  Eating at any time other than the appointed hour.
Ouch. Hmmm. Another author called it grazing. Which I love to do at night from about 9:00 p.m. until I go to bed. Of course one way around this is to do what Hobbits do and that is multiply the "appointed hours of eating."

THREE:  Anticipating eating with preoccupied, eager longing.
This one is not my problem. What is weird for me is that I am not even a big fan of food. I don't think about it. The time it takes to prepare and clean up is for me - wasted time. I would rather do fast food and get it over with and save the time. 

FOUR:  Eating expensively, consuming costly foods.
One of the restaurants we ate at, the price was just about 40% too high. Paying for the restaurant name, brand, reputation, atmosphere. Any way I describe it - it was an expensive meal. The ancients say this too is gluttony.

FIVE:  Discontent with common food and seeking after delicacies.
Well, usually not my problem. I like common food. Of course the common food I like is common Mexican, Cajun, Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese...  But I don't like the frilly, fancy stuff. Give me burgers, steak, sausage, shrimp, scallops, Becky's peanut butter pie... If you detect a little rationalizing you are a smart person.

SIX:  Paying too much attention to food.
Certainly cooking channels abound. We North Americans love food and food related shows have proliferated. If you are on Pinterest, the numbers of boards devoted to food is pretty striking.  And along with our fixation on food, it is inevitable that diet approaches abound as well.

This is one of those deadly sins that has become socially acceptable. I saw a graphic that compared the girth of males from around the world. Striking where North American males are.

average weight for males around the world.

I know my tendencies toward this dangerous passion and how much vigilance I need to resist it. 

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org