Thursday, September 21, 2006

On Dieting

I am reading a book called Diet Cure that my friend Cynthia loaned to me. It is a wonderful book, and it really makes sense to me. It talks about the chemical nature of food addiction, and I've never thought about that before. I have always thought I was addicted emotionally, and that I had no self-control or willpower when it came to my favorite foods. But the book points out that we should look at the rest of our life, and see all the things we manage to accomplish and take care of - raise children, manage money, take care of housework, work, just generally keep a life going, and I can see that I actually do have a lot of will power and self control. That really opened my eyes to the fact that maybe there is something more going on than just my love of sweets, carbs, and fats.

Our brains are deficient in essential amino acids because of the way we eat now, all the refined and processed foods that make up our diets. The brain uses refined carbs and sugars as a substitute for the things it needs, but these are a very bad substitute. It results in a craving and an addiction to these foods as powerful as an addiction to drugs such as cocaine. That seems very unbelievable to me. I mean, cocaine is a powerful addiction. But then, I am totally helpless when it comes to sweets and carbs, and I've always thought that was a character flaw, that I was stupid and totally lacking in self-discipline. And yet I have the self-discipline to get up every day and go to work, when I'd much rather stay at home. I keep an office running, and that includes doing a lot of things I would personally rather not do. I set aside time to pay my bills, clean the house, and various other necessary things. I went to school and got my bachelor and master degree while working and taking care of my child. I studied hard enough to pass the CPA exam the first time, while taking care of my sick father. I have a lot of self-discipline and drive to succeed. But I am helpless when faced with sweets and carbs. Yesterday at work we had birthday cake, and I had two pieces, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. And in the afternoon, someone brought me extra icing that had been left. I was sick to my stomach from all that crap, but I couldn't quit eating it. I knew I should NOT eat it, so I got up to throw it away. I ate it all the way down the hall to the break room, and by the time I got there, I had only an empty plate to throw away. That is a powerful craving!

The author says that by correcting these deficiencies, I will be able to go back to a normal, natural diet. She says that we don't crave the foods that are most healthy for us, because we are not addicted to them. They simply nourish us and provide our brain with what it needs. The thought of never having another cookie or piece of cake, or chocolate has a part of me saying NO WAY, NEVER WILL I GIVE UP THESE THINGS, I LOVE THEM! I cannot even conceive of what it would be like to not want these things, to have no desire for them. Is that how drug addicts, alcoholics, and smokers feel?

This book is giving me hope that maybe I can get off the diet cycle, which isn't working. You would never know from looking at me that I constantly try to eat right. You would never know from what I say about food that I really try to eat right. I allow people to laugh at me, to make fun of me, and even insult me over my love of food, and usually I start it because I really hate myself and what I thought was my lack of self-discipline. I hope what I learn from this book will give me the knowledge and tools I need to break out of my compulsive, obsessive love of food that is killing me.


Anonymous said...

hmmmm, interesting thoughts you've just posted.....
Publication info, please? Author, publisher, ISBN, etc.

Cyn said...

wow. What a powerful and insightful post, Lisa. I'm glad you feel the book is helping. If I remember, there is a website, too. I will try to find it again. HUGS!

Cyn said...

Hah! Simple enough: Diet Cure is by Dr. Julia Ross.

Rissa said...

I hope I have never said anything hurtful...because I totally understand. I figured you had read/heard some of this before. I got my real introduction to it with SugarBusters. I lost 100 pounds, lost the cravings, kept it off for years. No wonder I freaked out when I gained back so much. Like I said, you are the only one I would ever tell my actual weight. That twin thing again. LOL

One important thing I learned with SugarBusters was not to beat yourself up if you slip. It happens. It is not a reflection on you.