Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pierini's Law

Parkinson’s Law was the first sentence of a 1955 humorous essay of Cyril Northcote Parkinson, based on his years of experience as a British civil servant. Parkinson’s Law is an adage that work expands as to fill the time available for its completion. I learned of it in a college economics course and then saw examples of its truth during my brief stint as a government employee over 30 years ago. Times may be different now; I really don’t know.

There are a couple close cousins to Parkinson’s Law related to eating behavior, or at least my eating behavior, although I don’t think I’m alone. The first one I read about on another fitness website and the second I learned by self-observation.

The first was written by a person describing how his Dad used to say he never let being full stop him from eating more. There’s an element of truth to this and I believe the roots of it go back to childhood experiences when parents would tell their children they needed to finish their plate of food before being excused from the dinner table.

The second one is based on observations of my behavior at home and work, particularly the contrast in behavior during busy and idle times. This adage states that eating increases as to fill the time available for eating. I don’t eat as much when very busy with my work or home activities because I don’t have the time to eat. In contrast, I eat more when I’m not very busy because I have more time to eat.

If you observe something similar with your own eating behavior, rather than blame it on lack of willpower, you can now find comfort in knowing it’s a middle-age man condition caused by the forces of Pierini’s Law.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Charles Long said...

Cool. Now I have an excuse.

Anonymous said...

lol at Charles Long!