Food restriction can be thought of as a special type of exercise; that is a stress state that stimulates the body to strengthen its capacities, a training mediated through nutrition rather than movement. Like exercise it can be exhilarating and is a taste that grows in the eating. One becomes what might be called a food athlete, an anti-addict, an inverse master not of additional activity but its subtraction.
Don’t expect this but there may well be moments when the body feels and moves like a weightless wand of pure energy.
There is a point when a food metered lifestyle becomes easier than the alternative as unlikely as that may at first sound. A spell of free feeding feels like attending some wild bohemian party that we enjoy much less than we imagined.
Just as with larger life issues one may still replay the same cravings but hopefully in a more conscious and elegant way each time.
We are of course free to go back to unmeasured eating for short periods when circumstances force us to, like trips away from home for example. We may find however that the unmetered life is not worth living; it promises the taste of excitement and gratification but ultimately feeds us dullness and despondency. We soon look forward to returning to the quiet practice that infuses through our daily living, the safe harbor after the ocean’s anarchy.
The perspective changes from seeing free feeding times as “reward” to just temporary delays, unavoidable side-trips along our journey. The reward really is our health, well being and mental clarity; the fruits of our discipline that in turn feed discipline itself.