Let's get philosophical.
Pleasure is the first good. It is the beginning of every choice and every aversion. It is the absence of pain in the body and of troubles in the soul.
Epicurus was a philosopher that studied under Plato in Ancient Greece. For those not familiar with the timeline of Athens back in the 4th century B.C., we had Socrates, who taught Plato. Plato wrote down Socrate's lessons and started a school to teach a new generation of free thinkers the wisdom and to expand on their school of thought.
One of these disciples was a man named Epicurus. You've probably heard the term Epicurean before, it gets thrown around a lot in regards to food, and more specifically indulging in food. Epicurus proposed that life is meant to be enjoyed, here on Earth. While he believed in the gods, he didn't conclude that they were interested in a human species enduring suffering in order to attain their approval.
A short rundown of his philosophy entails the idea that humans should live their lives in accordance with making themselves happy. He believed fear was a useless emotion that stemmed from the belief of a painful death and possible punishment in the afterlife. If you can eliminate fear, you can eliminate anxiety, which helps us enjoy life.
While some groups have extrapolated his original ideas to take on more hedonistic meanings, in their original form, Epicurus wasn't advocating for reckless indulgence. His approach was far more measured; striving for tranquil and calm over wild and chaotic.
This life is all we have, so live it to the fullest.
Where this idea gets warped is when people think that living life to the fullest means doing things in the present, that they want to do, without concern about what happens next.
Do you want to sleep with that attractive stranger? Sure, why not? You only live once.
You feel uncomfortable at a party full of new people and alcohol will numb those nerves? Well, get plastered and live without regret.
Hungry and tired and want to sit on the couch eating an entire pizza? Life is for living, dammit, give in to those urges.
Now there is an obvious problem with this approach to life. You're married, sleeping with that stranger will cause much grief for your family. Drinking alcohol at every tense moment only reinforces your low self-esteem. Making a habit of sitting on the couch and eating pizza every night will lead to depression and health issues.
Hedonism isn't all it's cracked up to be when we look to the future, and while we must live in the present, we must be aware of how our actions could affect our future selves.
The problem isn't Epicurus' philosophy, as with many things, the problem is people misunderstand his teachings. Epicureans are not about hedonism, they were about making decisions that will help your life on earth be enjoyed to its fullest potential. Eating for energy is one way we can apply his teaching to our current times.
Feeling fatigued and tired all the time is not living a pleasant life. It's the opposite actually. No matter how great your success, or how wonderful your family, if your body feels sluggish, achy, and tired, you won't be able to enjoy it. Your body is the foundation of all other layers in your life. It is imperative to have it functioning at its highest level in order to enjoy the rest.
When we eat for energy, we are making food choices that will enable us to live our life to the fullest. Next time you feel the urge to eat fake food, skip your time outdoors or stay up watching Netflix instead of getting your sleep, remember that life is for pleasure, and your body is the most important tool you own for achieving that goal.
"We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it."