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.