It is no secret that one of the sins I struggle with most is gluttony, because gluttony is one of those sins that very few people can hide. As I read The Path to Confession and a health book I picked up at the library recently I was relatively surprised to find a common declaration between the two. One is a holy book meant to help me to understand confession and the sins I should confess and the other is meant to help me to establish better habits and show why and how.
Excerpt from Food Smart! By Cheryl Townsley (btw, this is a very good book):
“Knowing when to eat is as important as setting aside enough time to eat. The body operates on a schedule, whether we are aware of it or not…one part of the body cycle is this…8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. is assimilation time. Food is absorbed and used during this part of the cycle. Food should not be eaten at this point. All of us have eaten a late-night meal. The next morning we feel extremely fatigued. The reason is because during the nighttime cycle, the body is supposed to be absorbing nutrients and repairing the system from daily wear and tear. Eating during this period robs the body of energy necessary to absorb and digest nutrients. Digestion is a very energy intensive mechanism. The body has little time for healing and rest while it’s digesting. When the body has to digest food during this digestion-absorption cycle, the person feels tired.”
I really thought this to be interesting and wanted to find out where this lady got her information but couldn’t really find anything more online about our body’s cycles. But it made sense to me…it could be an endless cycle for those of us who like to snack while watching TV at night.
Then weeks later I opened up The Path to Confession and this from a completely different perspective:
“The harmful habit of eating too much brings many misfortunes upon people: overweight, laziness and sluggish thinking. Nightmares, or not being able to sleep at all, are often the result! How difficult it is to get up in the morning for those who eat late at night, who don’t just snack but stuff themselves with a hearty meal. Because of gluttony we sleep away the priceless unrepeatable morning with its clear, quiet sky, lovely sun and joyful birdsong.”
Aren’t they saying the same thing? One from a health standpoint and the other from a spiritual standpoint.