Thursday, January 3, 2008

Expert Advice

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, but I did make a commitment to blog for the next 365 days.

What was I thinking!?
I did tell myself I wasn't going to give up. I wasn't going to abandon this blog, no matter what, even if I didn't find a way through the maze of my food and eating issues. My struggle and thoughts had to be useful, even if I failed... to me, to someone, somewhere.

As I'm writing this, the 2008 Nutrisystem ad is on TV: "I went from a size twelve to a size two!"

Feh. Lady, I'd love to be a size twelve. But I don't want to do it eating Nutrisystem food. Yuk.

Over the holidays, my sister said her new goal was to be 120 pounds by next Christmas. She's not that heavy - she has, perhaps, twenty pounds to lose. But that launched a discussion of weight, and eating, and diet (all while we were shoveling in dessert). She's been doing Weight Watchers - but not the meetings. Just counting her points.

"It's a great way to keep track of your food!" she claimed. "I know, now, that I have 2 points left for twelve candy corn."

Harley raised an eyebrow and snorted. "Now that's a waste of two points."

Points shmoints. But then she pulled out the Dr. Phil book, telling us Dr. Phil had really helped her understand what "type" of person she was when it came to eating and diets. There was a little test inside. Both she and Harley turned out to be perfectionists. Me, I was in the middle - feeling helpless, powerless, as if I have no control.

But do I?

This morning I heard a doctor on a show talking about childhood obesity, saying our bodies are programmed to crave and like salt, sugar and fat.

Well, hell. Isn't there a reason for that? Because I know that's exactly what my body craves. Especially the sugar. Do I have control over that? I don't feel as if I do. Every time I try to stop, something, something drives me back to the white stuff. I gotta have my fix.

On the same show where the doctor was talking about what we crave was a twelve year old obese boy who said, "Food is comfort. It's always the same. It makes me feel good when I eat it. It doesn't make fun of me or hurt me."

Damn. If I'd had that insight at twelve? Where would I be today? I barely have that insight now. I don't even know what the feelings are underneath the food. I'm so out of touch with them... I can't even identify what they are. That's scary to me. No wonder I tested as feeling hopeless, helpless, powerless. I feel caught. Can't go forward, can't go back.

So Dr. Phil had a show yesterday I happened to catch about New Year's resolutions. I don't usually watch him - his "Just say No!" worldview makes me insane. And this show wasn't any different. There was a 400 pound fast food addict eating McDonalds three times a day, like some real life "Supersize Me," and Dr. Phil is saying, "You just need to stop eating so much and exercise more."

This is the answer??

This is the answer.


It hit me. That really IS the answer.

And then Dr. Phil said something that made me really sit up and take notice. "Your lifestyle is set up to support what you do. If you had a different lifestyle, things would be different."

He's not wrong. It really made sense, all of a sudden.

Harley and I keep talking about how, come spring, we want to raise chickens (for eggs) and grow our own organic garden. Ultimately, we'd like to be living off the grid somewhere in a sustainable community, but it's baby steps, for now. A garden and some chickens. Which means Harley needs to build a coop and plow a field. I need to plant and hoe and weed and water. And then we need to reap what we sow.

Change your lifestyle, change your life. That makes sense. I think I see a glimmer of hope sparkling somewhere in the distance that doesn't have to do with diets or denial. It has to do with moving our lives into a different space, a different place. For me, it's always seemed like a strange, impossible step, as if we were trying to find the way into another dimension. But now... it feels real. It feels possible.

That's exciting. Maybe I WILL have something to blog about this year.

1 comment:

elasticwaist said...

fresh eggs and sustainable living sound like heaven! i'm with you!

Queen Bee's Buzzin' on Down

King Harley's Revvin' on Down