EAT TO LIVE OR LIVE TO EAT?Posted by Olamilekan Oderanti

food, diet, eating

I had just finished fasting that very afternoon, it was time to break my fast. I had a plate of rice, already dished by my mother before she left home. But then, there was another plate of ‘Eba‘ with a neatly and newly made ‘Egusi soup.’


So I started with the rice. Having finished it, I felt the urge to take at least a few morsels of ‘Eba’ since I couldn't afford to let it pass me by.


I was filled, I felt it. But then I went on taking in morsels after morsels and the poor ‘Egusi soup’ was just there doing my bid. As I kept salivating, I kept throwing morsels in and in a few minutes I was done, with a heavy stomach, heavier than Osmium.


So much that I wouldn’t leave the spot where I had finished my meal, I went into a deep sleep or better still a trance, I wouldn’t know which anyways, where I heard a voice from Benjamin Franklin saying ”Eat to live, and don't live to eat.” I then responded, “How? Please explain." He then beckoned on me and took me on a journey, like a tutorial to educate me.


When you eat, survival becomes the ultimate goal. Though there are many reasons to eat, survival remains an ultimate goal. Hence, whatever food that would hamper with your health and survival should be removed from your to-eat list.


One could eat for relaxation, discovery, fun or even to either add or lose weight. Whichever way it is, all must be driven towards survival because only the living can eat.

When you eat to live, it means you’re selective and moderate in your diet because you understand the importance of survival and hence you make it a priority in deciding what goes in as a meal.


Basically, I’ll be showing you the benefits of “eating to live,"  having stated the basic concept behind it.


MODERATION: When you eat to live, you understand perfectly well the effects of overeating as well as undereating. So, you eat in moderation. Just enough to sustain life and to achieve your goals, if at all you have any, which may include health issues, adding or reducing weight, reducing or increasing sugar level and so much more.


HEALTH: Health is wealth and so you understand that before eating at all, you ought to consider the state of your health and understand the exact kind of food that needs to be taken and the kind of food you should do away with. Someone with diabetes is not expected to take excessive sugar. As well as someone who has a bad liver should flee from alcohol. All of this and even more necessitates the idea of eating to live, such that you do not feed yourself with food that is poisonous to your health. And then he said,” Olamilekan, you've just over eaten and it's dangerous to your health."  At that point I became scared, but then he continued.


BUDGETING: With the concept of eating to live, it means you are limited in your selection of meals and hence you have the ability to prioritize them. What this means is that you have enough funds to spend less on feeding and invest more on any other thing. It also means you do not spend on junks. Rather, you feed on healthy food that would promote your health and immune system. Then he spoke again, ”Olamilekan, the food you just ate wouldn't promote your health.” I sighed, then he continued.


FASTING: As one whose main purpose of eating is to live, you must understand that the organs of the body need time to relax. Studies have shown that fasting is a good dose for the body, as it allows organs of the body to rest and even make them more effective whenever another work has to start. So, as a survival eater, you should give room to fasting once in a while so as to ensure your organs relax well before another routine of work. Then, Benjamin spoke again, ”Olamilekan, you just finished fasting yet you've overstressed your organs." This time around, I was even more frightened but then, what can I do? I took a deep breath and then, Benjamin continued.


Living to eat, on the other hand, is like a life of exploration where you just want to have a taste of it all. It means every day you wake, you think of another meal to taste or even eat the usual, in excess, without proper consideration of your health or survival. You feel a deep need to satisfy your stomach.


FREEDOM: You feel a sense of freedom, where you believe that you are free to consume anything at all, provided it's at your disposal. This sense of freedom can be very dangerous to your health as it brings about excessive consumption or even unhealthy consumption which has dire consequences.


HEALTH: A person that is living to eat gives no preference to health. Rather, such person is led by his/her desire to feed and hence, only gives preference to what to eat. This can be very dangerous to the health as it could lead to the collapse of organs of the body. The stress of excessive consumption is definitely unhealthy to the body system and would cause grave damages that food will never be able to cure.


OVERSPENDING: People who live to eat are no better than drug abusers. They crave for food and are addicted to it. Some would even shiver or perhaps collapse if they don't get food for hours. This great desire for food only destroys the pocket and makes it creep. It could make one spend all of his income on unnecessary feeding because the sole purpose of living is to feed. 


At the end, food can be medicinal - aiding survival, but food can also be deadly, therefore, choose wisely!



At this juncture, I coughed heavily as I welcomed life back to my lifeless and sweaty body. It was midnight already and my plates were right beside me, unpacked and unkempt.


I felt like vomiting but then the food wouldn't come out.