I am studying several philosophers and applying all the knowledge I am learning into a 'melting pot' of ideals and characteristics I am applying to my life to better myself and attempt to live more virtuously and less by impulses my ego generates.
But how far does one take this to be satisfied they are remaining virtuous?
For instance, I am currently bettering my diet, and I am considering whether I should cut out all sugar as sugar is something I've always been drawn to due to ego-related impulse. Is moderation appropriate or does that defeat the purpose; giving into my ego at any point willingly seems to go against the idea of living as virtuously as possible.
Another query I am battling with is lust, is masturbation acceptable in living a life of virtue? It was something that I did alot before making these lifestyle changes (I am 22) but it feels wrong to use pornography as that plays into impulse and lust just as I described having sugar in my diet is still giving into my ego.
Would one find it acceptable to use their imagination as a means to arousal or is that still lust gaining control, and I know from a medical standpoint regular masturbation has been shown to help with avoiding several medical problems down the line but it still feels like it goes against the ideals and virtues I am seeking to live and abide by.
This question stems to almost anything related to 'temporarily giving into ego' in some manner; whether it be getting angry someone cut me off, getting blinded by joy that I dont make logical decisions and remain in control of my thoughts and actions etc.
What are your thoughts on this, and suggestions (If you have reading material related to this please link it as well I would love to delve into the minds of geniuses of philosophy to get another perspective and understanding)