AP Images/Mark Stehle for Doubletree
The words sensual pleasure typically bring to mind.... sex. Sex is undeniably high on the spectrum of sensual pleasures, but there are so many more to be explored and experienced as well. This installment of the Indulgence 101: the way of the proper diet series, explores indulgence as an appeal to all the senses.
Stuffing oneself with food can be a way to fill up emptiness or sense of lack inside. Fill up on sensory pleasure instead, and indulge with the five primary senses of taste, sight, hearing, smell, and touch.
Taste: “Ahhh,” may go conventional thinking, “this is what makes trouble with over-eating and overweight. It tastes so good, and that’s a bad thing.” Taste might seem particularly dangerous in our state of Wisconsin where the lure of brats, beer, and cheese offer ongoing temptation. However, it isn’t enjoying the taste of food that creates a problem so much as not tasting it. Overeating—and ultimately overweight—result from hoovering down food without paying attention to taste. If you truly savor each bite, chew it slowly, fully experience it, pay attention to the nuance of flavor and texture, you will enjoy it more and consume less.
Sight: Do you look for beauty? If you were shoveling snow in Madison today, did you pause to take in the glory of picture-postcard tree branches outlined with white frosting? Have you looked at every feature of a loved one and taken in the beauty of that person? As the old saying goes, “He who has eyes, let him see.” Give thanks for the gift of vision, and indulge in visual splendor everywhere.
Hearing: Be electrified by the magnificence of Beethoven’s Ninth, and rock to the exuberance of Lady Gaga. Consider actively listening to what someone is saying and what it means to you. Being surrounded by utter silence can be the greatest of luxuries. Sample them all.
Smell: Indulge in a light touch of heady cologne (less being more). That hackneyed phrase “Take time to smell the flowers” has become time-worn for a reason. Just do it. Bury your nose in a puppy's soft coat and take in that earthy baby dog scent. Inhale favorite smells of the season: woodsmoke, hot chocolate, cinnamon, evergreen. Anticipate that deep, dark aroma of damp earth as spring begins to emerge.
Touch: Stroke, handle, touch, and tap the surfaces around you, and make up for all the times in childhood the signs said “Do Not Touch”. Receive touch by getting a massage to relax every muscle fiber, and absorb the soothing bliss. Returning full circle to the original statement, sex is certainly an apex of sensual pleasure—indulge in its thrill and comfort with a caring partner.
Indulge your senses. Enjoy every moment.
Other articles you may find of interest:
Indulgence 101: the way of the proper diet
Indulgence 101: satiety for diet success
Indulgence 101: real taste, real diet success
Indulgence 101: sleep your way to optimal weight
Indulgence 101: moving and grooving your body
Water: the miracle diet elixir
Ironman is out: a fitness plan for the less ambitious
An exercise in gratitude: giving thanks for this most imperfect miraculous body
When accumulated grief keeps you overweight