" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

August 17, 2008

Weight Variance

I’ve lost 50 pounds twice…kept it off for as long as 4 years, but eventually regained the weight. Others have lost more than I--100+ pounds. Most of us have done so by eating less calories than our bodies required . Some through self effort and some through surgery. Some with the help of medication. And the majority of us will at some point in time regain part or all of the weight lost.
It takes discipline and willpower and determination to stick with any weight loss method long term. We most certainly are not in short supply of those characteristics.

Thinking about that led me to thinking this.

It’s sort of like critter love. There are people who love critters and it is evident by the number of critters they have. Some people don’t like critters and would never think of owning a pet. People like me, respect critters, we even actually like them, but we don’t care to own any. We prefer to treat them like grandchildren…enjoy them…knowing that someone else will deal with the real world day to day messes and expense.

Now put that in perspective relative to food. Those of us who have weight issues are like the critter lovers. We *love* food. It’s obvious--- by the amounts of food we eat and surround ourselves with-- that our lives revolve around food. There’s rarely an hour that goes by that we aren’t thinking about food.

Then there is there is the rest of the world. Like those who tolerate critters---they “tolerate” food. They eat it because they must …they eat to live. Rarely do they overindulge because, well, food just isn’t that important to them.

So, for those of us who struggle with a lifetime of ups and downs weight wise there is a good reason. Food is our love. Simply put…we love our food And we find it hard to resist.

What to do about that?

We all mostly agree that eating excess calories results in excess weight. So the question we ask is “how to reduce our calories intake”. And thus we begin counting calories and restricting ourselves…no easy task for food lovers. And to make matters worse all too often we limit our total food intake severely. To make up for the loss we substitute low calorie filling foods for the high calorie dense foods. We eat a ton of green beans, zucchini, salad and the like--filling and, granted, healthy. But when we do learn to eat a smaller volume of food and be satisfied with it?

I think the problem begs us to answer not “how to eat less food” but “why do we eat so much food”. To me the obvious reason is---well, because we love it. And in that all consuming love we learn to ignore those messages from our tummy that say “I’m full! Stop!”. That practice of overeating becomes a habit and the cue to stop then becomes “stuffed” or miserable full---as in “so full up I can’t take another bite ”. And that often followed by regret, remorse, shame and guilt, soon to be followed by resolve and determination to do better and be “good”.

Intuitive Eating asks the right question---“why do I eat so much?“---making it possible for us to solve our problem of excess eating. Most of us, myself included, tend to shy away from the “why” of overeating, thinking or feeling that an emotional reason is forthcoming and is a cop out. Granted, there are those who have emotional disorders when it comes to food and overeating. But the general population of fatties, like me, just overeat because we’ve quit paying attention to our stomach and used a different way to measure when to stop eating.

Before Intuitive Eating, I had prepared myself to commit to the drudgery of counting calories for the rest of my life. Perhaps now that I’ve discovered IE, I won’t have to. We’ll see.

"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.