Custom and traditions are funny things, aren’t they? I’m reminded of this every Sunday when our worship opens with two songs and then the opening prayer. Now, I don’t know about your place of worship, but we are obviously convinced that two songs and a prayer is the scriptural way to open a service!
This past week, I had to laugh again when someone told me that I should be very careful to remember to eat three meals a day. Of course, I didn’t say it aloud, but my mind certainly screamed, “Well, how silly is that?” It also reminded me that I wanted to discuss this old custom here on Texansunited.com.
Eating three squares a day is a custom, a tradition, and nothing else. Although it may have begun long ago in Europe as a sign of being a part of the upper crust, it is a practice that was probably needed once upon a time in America…once upon a time and not so much by most people today.
In an agrarian America, which was the bulk of the country for centuries, people rose before dawn, and they did physical labor for the duration of their day. Eating breakfast, dinner, and supper only made sense. Breakfast broke the night’s fast, dinner was the largest meal of the day and was certainly welcome both as a rest but also to allay the hunger after six hours of hard labor.
Supper usually consisted of leftovers from the dinner table. According to my greats, it was bulked up by bread and butter (when the cows were fresh).
Thankfully, there was no electricity in rural areas for many, many years, and there was certainly no Daylight Savings Time! This insured that people could fall into bed when darkness fell since there was no television to tempt them. Today, if you happen to still be living this life or another equally hard, I’d say three squares might be just exactly what you need to replace the tremendous calories you are burning each day.
I’ll also say that very, very few of us live this kind of life, and we just don’t burn a huge number of calories. Taking in more than we burn is easy to figure out, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating living in starvation mode. For me personally, it works to seldom eat a large meal. I prefer to graze, eating small amounts much more often.
Of course, I don’t hand out medical advice so I’ll just say that I know very few people who eat three large meals a day who do not have health problems and who are not fighting their weight. I’ll also go a step farther and say that every individual has to decide what eating habits work for him.
As for you, just keep in mind that no one, unless it is your physician, really knows enough to tell you how many meals you should eat each day. Also, beware! Most physicians don’t spend a lot of time studying nutrition.
And certaainly an old tradition should not be allowed to dictate expected behavior to any of us!