Perhaps the best known of all ancient Greek wisdom-bits is the expression: “All things in moderation”. Now, this is an English translation of the original “Pan metron ariston”. You might be interested to know that the English translation loses much of the meaning of the original. In fact, translated literally, the Greek version would be, “Everything measure excellent”. We might translate it more accurately as “All things in good measure “.
In fact, when I was younger, we used to hear this version much more often. Today, the word “moderation” seems to have usurped the word “measure”, and this is actually a significant loss from the original. It’s a loss because the Greeks were among the first to understand that “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist”, thereby establishing the cosmological basis for empirically-based science.
These musings come as result of my experiments with intuitive eating. In fact, the expression “All things in moderation” is most often used with respect to food. But what is moderation without measure? How do you measure moderation? I think the Ancients would have been unhappy with the substitution of moderation for measure.
Listening to internal physical and mental cues is the crux of Intuitive Eating. Getting back in touch with mind/body signals that tell us we’ve had enough is the key to a return to a healthful weight. But I must confess, those signals are not only tough to receive, but really tough to measure! I like the notion of a gas-tank gauge with 10 intervals. You should eat when you’re around 3-4 (hungry but not ravenous) and stop around 7-8 (satisfied but not stuffed). Nevertheless, it’s not easy. It requires a quiet environment, a very slow pace, little distraction, and one Helluv’an introspection.