Back to Work

handmade greeting cards, collage artI just finished reading Fat City, an article by Dr. Karen Hitchcock about the convoluted problem of obesity (Thanks to David Kanigan for leading me there).  It’s a long article, but worthwhile.

My main take-away is that there are no easy answers to obesity.  I knew that.  I’m proof of that.  But the article made me want to try again.

Like everything else in my life, I swing to extremes with weight loss.  I either set unrealistic goals and hate myself for not meeting them, or I stop thinking altogether and ride my compulsive eating into the sunset.  I’m swinging back from that mad gallop, but I’d like to find a place in the middle.  I don’t like the self-loathing, hot, itchy drive to be something else any more than I can stand the free-fall gobbling.  I have no idea where that place is.  I’ve never found it before.

I’ve learned a lot this past 18 months.  I made it my mission to understand my compulsive eating, to stay awake as much as possible through the binges and the cravings.  I studied the connection between my eating, loneliness and watching TV.  I marked how a vegan diet made my body feel.  And I watched the extremes of my bipolar disorder wink my Will out of existence when I thought it was firm.  I learned a lot but, as my friend Marshall is fond of saying, understanding is highly overrated.

I still can’t control the life-or-death compulsion to eat when it takes me.  At times I can temper it, make less horrible choices, but I’ve never been able to deny it altogether.  So, no matter how many good choices I make in a day or a week, the compulsion can wipe out the benefits in a few hours.

So, okay.  That’s my Constant Companion.  Maybe I can make friends with it.  Maybe I can work around it.  Maybe I can find some compromise that will satisfy both of us.  I have no idea.

What I will do today is pull out my food journal again and write down what I eat.  I’ll resist.  I’ll forget.  But this is one tool that seems to help.  We’ll see.

As always, I’m on an Adventure.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle at The Green Study
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 08:11:09

    I like the idea of trying to make friends with any compulsion or obstacle that we encounter. This is a very Buddhist approach – one that I’ve yet to master. I have a few friends of my own to make still…


  2. Littlesundog
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 09:31:14

    I admire the way you analyze the situation, attempting to understand what works and what doesn’t. Isn’t it that way with anything we feel uncomfortable with and wish to make change? As you say, if the compulsion cannot be denied, then perhaps compromise is the answer. I am so bad at either embracing or dissecting something in my life. I had forgotten about compromise! Thanks for the suggestion, Sandy!


  3. Carol Singer
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 16:37:23

    In order to address my “sugar demon” I’m trying a new way of eating based on the book “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Even if you don’t do everything they recommend, this book is packed with fabulous information.


  4. Moss Piglet
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 13:48:00

    Oh Sandy Sue…when I was ill with bipolar depression I lost a great deal of weight…but I felt HORRID, gaunt and my clothes too loose…Medicated I have put it all back again and more…My dream is somewhere in between. I am greedy and eat anything offered to me…a Pig!
    One book I mean to read again is:
    “French Women Don’t Get Fat, The Secret of Eating for Pleasure”
    by Mireille Guiliano, and I have bought a rowing machine, as my walking is so bad now. Good Luck & lets say good bye to the “Pooch” xxx


  5. pegoleg
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 08:44:51

    This is my life challenge as well. Gaining back some of that hard-lost weight has me feeling miserable, which makes me eat, which makes me miserable…you know the drill.


  6. Jonathan Caswell
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 10:28:01

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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