A post over on Hacker News reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, which is the concept of “bad habits” like excessive shopping or overeating really being happiness problems.
The quote that triggered my thought was:
Obesity is the result of finding your happiness in food.
The reason I did my own post here instead of just posterousing that one is because I think he grazed the concept here without hitting it.
I think the key is that people who don’t have creative outlets or otherwise acceptable ways of being happy are naturally sucked into certain types of activities, e.g. eating for pleasure, shopping for pleasure, etc.
People are tempted to think that skinny, non-materialistic people are interesting and active, and have lots of projects going on. But that’s not the case. It’s the opposite. People with lots of projects and interesting things in their lives tend to be non-materialistic and view food and “things” as a desert rather than a meal. Life is the meal.
So, if you have an eating or a shopping problem it’s likely because there aren’t enough active and creative things going on in your life that occupy your time and focus. And in their absence, there is food, T.V. and shopping.
1 Yes, I know there are many active and creative fat people.