It's Tuesday night and I should be working or catching up on sleep.
I'm sick of hearing that weight loss is simply a matter of "eating less."
Because what no one realizes is that for many people, the question is, "well how do you do that?"
I wish the answer were as simple, but the sad case is that it's just not.
Eating habits are something that are developed over a lifetime, they are fairly deeply rooted.
When you throw in additional issues, such as hormonal problems or drugs that make you resistant to weight loss, physical ailments that prevent exercise, or people who have psychological issues with food such as comfort eaters, as well as the fact of how hard it is to break bad habits (like, how you eat day in day out your whole life).
Think about it-- we are programmed to want to eat. Go back to cave men days... eating is pleasurable because it is a necessary thing to do. Your body-- or brain-- or both-- urged you to eat because you had to eat to survive, so it made eating enjoyable. A happy experience. It's the same brain with the same instincts, but different environment now. Now, food is in abundance, but that doesn't change the instinct. Maybe this is why the more food is in abundance in our society, the more convenient and readily available unhealthy food is, the more the problem of obesity grew. Think about it-- even back in the 1800s most people had to work their asses off for food. Much was still home-grown and home-caught. Preparing it was a bitch with gathering wood and lighting fires making everything from absolute scratch without any electric appliances. But the more food became a commodity in the 20th century, the more people lost the battle of the bulge.
One of the worst things is that when you are addicted to food, you still have to eat. I mean, what's the first thing they tell you when you're addicted to drugs or alcohol? They tell you to stay the hell away from them! They tell you not to go to bars, not to keep the stuff in your house, and not to hang out with your old friends or in old places if it involves drugs or alcohol.
Do you know how hard it would be for a drug addict or alcoholic to be told, "here, you can have just a little every day, but just a little!" How many people do you think would be successful in shaking the addiction? Huh? How many would not be addicts any more and be able to live a normal life with a beer or a joint a day but never any more?
Meanwhile, we live in this society with a drive-thru window on just about every corner, we are assaulted with food ads on tv and in magazines, we have to eat to survive which means we have to partake of our addition on a daily basis and still manage to control it somehow even though genetic, psychological, physiological, plain old bad habits and ingeneous marketing campaigns are working against us.
We are supposed to fight temptation, when by all standards the temptation is completely overwhelming.
Frankly, I don't think being fat in the situation our society is in right now is all that surprising-- I think it is almost amazing that anyone managed to stay thin! While I applaud many of them who probably just had better discipline than I did, I'll bet that for many others of them they just got lucky and didn't have to defeat as many environmental and social and phsyiological factors as I do. So many of them cannot imagine the challenge as I face it.
And then the offered solution is to just "eat less" ???!!!???
Being fat is just the symptom... not being able to eat less (at least not for long periods of time) is actually the problem.
I am so sick of people acting like there is just some simple solution to the problem. If it were simple, obesity rates wouldn't be ever-growing. If it were simple, there wouldn't need to be 100 different diet plans on the market, and people wouldn't have to try 99 of them, because the first one would have worked. If it were simple people wouldn't be living their lives feeling miserable and unattractive, people would not be dying from weight-related diseases.
No, it's not simple to just eat less when every cell seems to be screaming at you to shovel something into your mouth, when it makes you want to cry because you want to eat something you shouldn't soooo badly, when you toss and turn at night and are all agitated and you can't think or get anything done because your brain is telling you to EAT EAT EAT whether your stomach is hungry or not.
Maybe that is something society needs to work on first if we are going to solve this obesity epidemic-- let's stop pretending it's easy. Let's stop pretending it's a matter of some minor modification. Let's stop pretending that it's not a complex problems with many, many different factors leading to it. Let's be intellectually honest and admit that it is hard, that it is complex, that there is no easy single solution.
Me, I ate some things this week that I shouldn't have. One night I had Doritos, Pepsi & chocolate. I was stressing and PMSing. But you know what, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. It happens. It's okay to have those things, as long as it is occasional-- moderate-- rather than habitual. For the most part, I've been eating my veggies & fruits, trying to cut down on the butter and mayo and other such stuff in everything, drinking water. All good things. Not as much exercise as I like, but I've had to work a lot lately and I work sitting on my ass.
But I'm going to Disneyworld this weekend so I'm going to do plenty of walking and very little eating because I can't afford the food there (I live near by, we have passes, but I couldn't go if I bought food there for the whole family! $10 just for a round of soft drinks! $50 and up for lunch at a snack stand! Umm, I love Disney, but no way). But I'm hoping that couple of days of light snacking and light eating and heavy walking and having too much fun to worry about food will push me under the 360 line.
Wow, less than 2 weeks now and you get the next photo. I guess I'll take it on the last day of the month. I wonder if there will be any difference? Maybe I should wear the same clothes and do the same pose so it will be easier to judge. I'm not kidding myself though, it might take a few more months for a noticable difference.
So the spell I am doing is to fight that voice in my head-- to silence it when it tells me to eat. I don't need it egging me on anymore, I'm not a cave woman. I know enough to put some food in my mouth 3 times a day, I don't need that voice tormenting me beyond that. I'm going to work this week to write it and figure out the best timing for it, but in the mean time I will begin adding it to my daily meditations and affirmations.
Still eating enchanted grapefruit, by the way. I eat 2 grapefruits each day in place of one meal, and they are so delicious! No qualms about it! I will be sad when I finish them probably by the end of this month. They were free! I love that!!!
But we are coming into strawberry season around here, when the local growers have them everywhere and soooo cheap and they are huge and red and sweet. So I will probably start eating those for the month of February.
I'm also getting ready for gardening next month (here in zone 8 we get 2 growing seasons) to set out tomatoes & peppers. I also will be putting up zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce & of course a variety of herbs. Believe it or not, I don't even have an actual garden, I have a sunny screened-in porch that gets great southern exposure, and I grow them in containers. This year I am trying to grow them upside-down. I've actually known about this for over 10 years but never had the need to do it before (or a good place to hang plants). Now since I've moved and I only have the small porch I'm going to give it a go.
I also want to get a bike so I can drive less around the neighborhood. I can take my poor dog for better walks, too-- he's so damn fast and likes to run, and I waddle so slow behind him. I do bring him to the dog park and let him off the leash and he runs in big laps around it for 20 minutes so fast I think he was a race horse in a former life. I can tell he wants to go faster, a bike will help. I wonder what the maximum amount of weight a bicycle can take? I wonder if I can afford to get one that can take my weight after I get under 300 lbs or something?
Ah, I've just been rambling for quite some time now, so, till next time...