Wednesday, February 3, 2010

#85 Pennsylvania License Plate - Y M I FAT

I saw a license plate a few weeks ago that said "Y M I Fat". Well, I thought, that's putting it right out there. I also thought that it was quite obvious "Y U R Fat". The simple answer is -- because you eat too much. Ah, but if it were only so simple. You then have to ask, Y Does 1 Eat Til Fatness? And still one more question -- Y go 2 food in the 1st place?

Why do I get fat and/or gain weight? Because I eat too much, and I eat too many foods with high calories. But the question I always ask myself is WHY do I eat too much, and eat foods with high calories? What is it that is going on in my life that takes me to this place over and over ad nauseam? When I asked my son, "Why do you eat"? He responded, "Duh, because I'm hungry". Duh! Wrong person so ask.

I shared this Y M I Fat scenario with my friend Donna, sister to the Y M I Fat struggle. We discussed this topic and decided to delve into the reasons people use food - which leads them to eat when they're not hungry - which leads to becoming overweight/fat/obese. We decided to do a mini survey and ask people we know, those who struggle with food issues and those who do not, the same the question: Why do you eat.

So, Why Do You Eat was asked over and over. We also explained right after asking the question, what I was working on so that they would understand that this question was "loaded".

Here are the answers received from those with food issues; No real surprises here. "I go to food and/or chose to eat beyond full because I am":

unhappy, bored, depressed, have no will power to stop myself once started, want everything on the buffet so start out with - a little of everything - which turns out to be a lot of food, force of habit, it's my "cigarette", how I relax/de-stress, angry, "go to drug" to take care of all emotional ills, pissed at someone or something, just because I don't know what else to do with myself, it tastes so good I don't want to stop, it's salve on the wound, worried it won't be there tomorrow/next time I want it, want it out of the house so that I won't be tempted

Here are the answers received from those without food issues. There was really nothing surprising here either. "I go to food and/or chose to eat beyond full because I am":

trying to satisfy a need for a certain flavor/satisfy a craving, likes the way it looks, curious about the taste, because it's there [like dessert], depressed, force of habit, because it's time to eat, sense memory, ie smell of it takes me back to a time...

I recently read an article by Marcelle Pick, MD. She said, "I absolutely know that craving [processed] sugar or binging on sugar is not a reflection of your willpower or your individual strength. It most likely has physical roots,..." She believes that most overeating problems stem from hormonal or chemical imbalances in your body. Once those are in check, and your emotional wellness is balanced, your problems should be gone. Ok, I'll buy that. I also know that if you stop eating sugar for 3-4 days, the craving for it should stop. I believe this, and know it for a fact, but what happens if I have an emotional hiccup during this time? Will I not "go to something sweet" because the craving is no longer there? I don't think so. I think habit trumps "no longer craving" when it comes to this scenario. I could be wrong, and will happily admit it, but I think I'm right. I also think with lots of time, help and work, this habit can be changed, and the stream of events that lead you to the craving and then eating can be broken.

While writing this and talking with Donna, we both pretty much came to the same conclusion - it's critical to tease out the specific emotions and their underlying causes that are driving your food habits and choices. We are not saying, take the enjoyment out of eating, but rather go back to enjoying. Use food for sustenance rather than support. In talking to a number of non-food attached people, it seems that they are able to intellectually link negative feelings, like bloat, belly ache, headache and self disgust with over eating. Even those people who once had a "bad" relationship with food and now don't, were able to do this. Somehow they were able to get to that place where they started to 'eat to live and not live to eat'. Dr. Pick says, if you can find balance through quality nutrition and emotional wellness, one's cravings should start to shift away from "quick fixes" like sugar.

Wouldn't that be blissful?!!?!?

Quote of the Day: "We seesaw between extremes, either over-analyzing our diets or berating ourselves for finishing an entire pint of Chubby-Hubby in one sitting" Anna Jane Grossman, author


Michael Rivers said...

The differences in the reasons for eating between "with issues" and "without" issues is very interesting. It shows how complex food can be for people. Great post.

Alix said...

Do I have to come over there and slap you? Stop calling yourself fat, chica. You are a goddess. A siren. You are a hottie mama gorgey bombshell.


No, seriously.

Chris H said...

Great post Bobbie!

Weighting Around said...

You've got me pegged! Thanks for the great post.

JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

Y M I Fat? You aren't fat. But what a great plate. Too funny.