I’ve mentioned before that I find my ability to control my eating more than a little frustrating. Having stopped smoking and drinking successfully many years ago, I’ve never been able to understand why I find this so hard to control.
I think the way I’ve always rationalised it is that with smoking and drinking, I wasn’t looking to control, I was looking to abstain altogether, and that’s something quiet different. If stopping eating altogether was an option, then I think I could probably do it, but sadly it’s not really viable. And that means continuous moderation. And that’s my nemesis.
I say continuous moderation, because I think it’s the continuous element that’s the problem. I can be remarkably in control of my eating for days, weeks, months and even years at a time, but at some point, I lose that control, and all of my previous ‘good’ work is undone. It’s also usually undone in significantly less time than it took to do the ‘good’ work in the first place.
I am questioning the very idea of being ‘good’ and the denial that inevitably involves. I’ve read that the brain is very good at overcoming denial – it goes out of it’s way to help address any suggestion that you’re not getting what you want. That suggests that as hard as I might work to deny myself the things that I believe I want, my own subconscious is working overtime to address what it perceives to be a shortfall between what I’m getting and what I want.
There’s an underlying theme here, which is essentially me trying to look at this in a different way. I’m trying to look at it in a way that makes me loathe myself a little less, partly because it’s not much fun, but primarily because the self-loathing seems to join forces against me anyway. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of me trying, failing, hating, trying, failing and hating some more. The shame that I feel is incessant and strong, and much as I’d love it to spur me on to take control, it seems to simply push me further down.
I’m conscious that I’m rambling here, but as nobody is listening, that kind of feels ok :-).
To pull this together in some way, dieting doesn’t work. In fact it’s stronger than that. Dieting makes you fat. Well it makes me fat anyway. My attempts to lose weight have exacerbated rather than helped over many years, and the sad fat bloke sitting here is the end result of that. I’m not a bad person. I’m really not. I’m not some lazy, slovenly, gluttonous slob. I’m just a little fucked up. And I’m not alone. I have to keep remembering that. I’m in good company. It’s not – just – me.
Every bit of advice I come across seems to be coming from a place where the intentions are good, but the knowledge is poor. If, as I mooted in my previous post, this is been controlled at a hormonal level, then nothing I have ever read about how to control my weight and my eating could ever work. Nothing.
That’s depressing, terrifying and makes me really, really angry.
Where my hope lies right now is that there are other hormonal processes that I can tap in to that might sit even below the ones that seek to regain the weight I lose. The most basic physical processes must be based on something akin to ‘eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full’. If that sits underneath everything, even the ‘must regain weight to get back to where I was before I lost it, and add a little bit more just in case while you’re at it’ then that might be something that I can use to do this.
It’s important that I learn to love myself just as I am. I’m not a bad person. I’m more than just my weight. I do many things in my life, and am good at many things. I cannot let my challenges with my weight continue to cloud every other part of my life. If am to be fat, then at least be happy and fat. Maybe becoming happy with my fatness might even open up new pathways to becoming thinner. Maybe stopping trying to shrink is the best way to actually start it.
Who knows? Certainly not me, and if I’m understanding the weight problems across the world right now, then nor does anyone else.
For now, I’ll settle with one sentence from above.
I am more than just my weight.