We Don’t Need Balance, We Are Balance

in #hive29 days ago (edited)

This article is part of my 230 days writing challenge on my personal blog.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of people doing sugar-free challenges. Like, you know, not eating sugar (or sweets) for at least 30 days. Many of them are documenting these challenges on social media and the vast majority of them are reporting very good results. A common thread of these reports is that sugar is “poison”.

That really made me think.

If you know just a little bit of biology, you know sugar is a fundamental component for generating energy in many types of organisms. Your muscles are firing when glycogen decomposes (or, if you put it the other way, decomposing glycogen makes muscle work). I’m oversimplifying here, obviously, there are also other chemical components involved, but the bottom line is that you can’t really move if you don’t have at least some amount of sugar in your body. As an ultra-runner, I learned that the hard way, hitting many walls, during many ultras.

So, if you do need it to function, then it’s not fundamentally a poison, isn’t it?

Could it be that it’s not about putting it into your body, but how much of it you put? Like if you put significantly more of it, over a certain limit, only then it becomes a poison?

Then I realized that the same thing may be said about pretty much everything. Everything can be a poison if it’s over a certain limit. Subsequently, nothing is a poison if it’s under a certain limit. If you drink too much water, you will die, because your kidneys will fail. And if you take just a tiny, tiny portion of currara, like a few molecules, you won’t experience any poisoning effect – despite the fact that currara is actually known as a poison.

We’re Balance, Literally

What makes us exist is a certain equilibrium we reach and maintain. It’s a certain balance that suddenly propels and support existence, a tiny little “goldilocks zone” in which all quantities are “right” and where we can maintain our consciousness. A few steps outside of this space, and we’re gone.

Our bodies freeze under -40 degrees Celsius and boil over 100. If we stay too much in the sunlight, we literally decompose. If we breathe too much carbon dioxide, we choke and if we stare directly into the Sun we go blind. I can go on like this forever – and no matter in what direction I go, there will always be only one tiny portion of the whole spectrum of possibilities that allows us to be.

We’re just a lucky layer, an incredibly fortunate intersection of millions of variables, all coming together so we can exist. One “wrong” variable and we’re gone.

So, if we really are balance, the goal should be harmony of all that makes us exist, not prevalence of any certain tendency. We should strive to maintain balance, to integrate, to compensate, to flow.

The end goal is constant fluidity, any other state means we’re dead.

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I'm a geek, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Hive you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.

Dragos Roua

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Industrial sugar is a poison in any quantity.

As for anything being a poison in certain quantity ... True. I am used to say that we humans have a bucket inside and we don't know where the edge of this bucket is. You can fill it day in day out with a poison and you don't notice its ill effects. But, when the stuff comes over the edge, it's too late.

We are way too careless when it comes to our health and healthy living, food included.

There's a balance to be found in quality of life and enjoyment. I quite like sweet things now and again. There are limits to how much you can extend your life and so it has to be fun. I don't plan to give up sugar or alcohol, but I consider them treats rather than things to have all the time. I did give up sugar in my coffee a while back.

Let's get some things clear: sucrose ( refined sugar) is poison like alcohol is poison i.e. you can have some from time to time but if you exceed the daily recommended limit there will be serious consequences. For example non alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance which in turn lead to more and more serious illnesses, all of them resulting from a high sugar diet ( frequently combined with a high fat diet ). Complex sugars like those from fruit are totally ok because they come with fibres and vitamins. As a sort of conclusion: the only true essentials are proteins and healthy fats because you can make glucose out of them if you really need it ( google gluconeogenesis if you don't believe me ), also inuits have a diet base largely on healthy fats and they don't heave nearly the same incidence of cardiovascular disease as seen in the western world, poiting to refined sugar as being the main problem ( and combined with unhealthy fats they make a nasty combo ). Hope I made thinks a little bit clearer :)

Nice and clear explanation.
It reminds me of this Instagram sin azucar account which compares the amount of sugar in different food to make you aware of how much you may be ingesting if eating that product.
Isolated information is dangerous, you need to put it into perspective.

I am agree with your statement about sugar, i just wanna say limit and discipline is the best key to keep healty. Best of luck.