I'm going to break the last few days into a couple of posts...it's easier that way.
I've seen a few things in the news lately about obesity and weightloss and addiction. Yup, addiction. The first one was an article that upset me a little. It talked about how people who are overweight can't stop eating because they are biologically pre-disposed to do so. Scientists proved this by looking at chemical activity in the brain. OK. Sorry, but I'm not buying it. I'm not a scientist by any means, but I don't think that any of us overeat because of a biological pre-disposition. Of course, I'll probably contradict myself a little later...
Just my opinion and experience, but if I create a habit for myself, it's tough to stop. I know that if I eat popcorn every night, that I miss it when I don't have it. I miss the popcorn, I miss the motion of putting my hand to the bowl and then to my mouth. I know that I may desire to continue eating to fill the void left by the absent popcorn. I know that when I don't feel emotionally well, I'm more likely to use food to soothe myself. While these may very well be learned behaviors, I highly doubt that I'm biologically pre-disposed to overeat.
What I don't like about this new science, is this (and I'm not saying that the scientists are wrong, just that I don't like or agree with the findings as presented in the article that I read): What about our own individual responsibilities for own lives and what we eat?? Where and when does that become a factor?? By saying that someone is biologically pre-disposed to something implies that he or she has little to no choice but to follow along. It gives someone the permission to over eat and claim that it was beyond their control. We all have choices. It's a matter of whether we exercise our options. Just my humble opinion.
The other interesting news piece was on the Today Show the other morning. It's using similar experiments as the basis of the science. The piece is here. It talks about how the brains of overweight people react differently to food. How the pleasure centers of the brain 'light up' as a result of eating certain foods, namely highly processed foods. What is noticeably different though, is that the doctor notes that the brain's reaction is the result of us conditioning our brains, not a biological pre-disposition. She talks about how food can be addictive. The woman interviewed is a member of a 12 step group focused on how they use food.
It is interesting to note that I have met a woman who is a member of this 12 step group. She is very open about her membership and how her life has changed. From her, I've learned that members of this group weigh and measure all meals, basically eliminate carbs and do NOT eat between meals. I know that her food plan is much more restrictive than I want for my life...but she's very happy with it and talks about feeling 'alive', just like the woman interviewed on the Today Show.
My favorite part of the piece is where both the woman interviewed and the doctor agree that the most important piece of healthy eating and weight loss is self-worth. That is so important to remember. I'm worth it! I'm worthy of health and happiness. I'm worthy of feeling alive. I'm worthy of having the body I aspire to.
I also love how this loops back to the idea of the Rider and the Elephant. The rider can sit there and say, 'OK, we're eating like this now...' but when the elephant wants ice cream, look out! Having a food plan gives the rider clear direction. But knowing that 'I'm worth it!' engages the elephant. Any changes that we make in our lives, whether eating, exercise, or quitting a bad habit requires that we engage both our rider and our elephant. If both are not on board, our chances of success are much less. I know that I want success, I know that I'm worth it!
buffalo chicken pizza and greek salad w/ chicken...there was also a piece of pita bread
I think this was the day I forgot to photograph my lunch salad...I'm pretty sure that I did not skip lunch
mixed veggies, potatoes (w/ ketchup!) and chicken
Lamb chops with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies...and I ate it all!