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    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Weight Loss Talk

    A conversation over lunch with my stepdad, Ted, yesterday sparked some thoughts about losing weight. Obviously, I have no clue about what really works since I had to cut into my gut to make a change.

    My mom and Ted have been on a diet for the last three weeks.

    Ted has a metabolism like a hummingbird. He eats constantly to keep up with his intense physical movements. He's small but works out voraciously to keep himself at a constant weight. He has lost 10 pounds on their diet.

    Unfortunately, I got my metablolism from my mom. My poor mother has only lost 3 pounds. I tried explaining to Ted that when someone follows a diet and doesn't see results, it seems like it's the end of the world. He insisted that someone on a diet needs only to think about the moment, not the rest of their life. I disagreed because when I'm on a diet, that's all I can focus on, what I'm depriving myself of.

    I should explain that Ted is a recovering alcoholic (28 years of sobriety). He has always equated overcoming alcohol with being able to lose weight. He says that addictions are the same. I have tried to explain to him that it isn't the same. We have to eat in order to survive. Just trying to eat a little is like telling an alcoholic to have one drink.

    Another major difference in trying to lose weight is that almost everything we do in life is based around food. All gatherings revolve around what's being served. Just walking up to someone's desk can be difficult if they have a huge jar of candy in your face.

    What has changed for me since surgery is that I can no longer eat huge quanities of food, even if I wanted to. I have been forced to change my eating habits. If I don't, I must suffer the immediate consequence of throwing up. Even if my head tells me to eat more, I can't. Why couldn't I just eat smaller portions before surgery? Because my brain wouldn't let me. If food was there, I would eat it.

    I'd love to say that I've overcome obsessing over food, but I'd be lying. What surgery has taught me is that I must now focus more on what I'm eating as well as how much. I have to get enough protein and water every day or I will suffer for the rest of my life. Being aware of every single morsel I put into my body for the rest of my life, is the only way I will overcome obesity.


    Susan said...

    Great post, Jenn. It's a hard one. I'm not food-obssessed myself, but you are right. Our culture is built around food in the US and Jewish culture even more so.

    But I agree with Ted about staying in the moment. It is just too overwhelming if I have to think about all the protein I have to eat for the rest of my life, esp. with the nausea, which is, unfortunately, back.


    barman said...

    I feel the being addicted to food is just like alcohol and cigarettes in that you will always need to be on your guard for the rest of your life. Someone that has smoked can so easily slip back into it 10 years after quiting.

    What you said about it being different then alcohol is so true. You have no choice but to eat and you will always be tempted. Alcohol you can just not put yourself in that situation as much as possible and be on your best behavior to not slip. With eating, you should probably be doing that between 3 and 6 times a day. How can you stop thinking about food when you can not get away from it.

    I almost can not think of a way to reward myself with it involving food. It is just part of our society. What is a wedding without the reception and so on and so on. You so hit it on the head with this post. Excellent Jenn.

    Anonymous said...

    I think you make an excellent point jenn.
    Food is around us everywhere, vending machines, fast food places, tv commercials, family functions. So much of our lives are evolved around it, so you are faced with this almost every moment but alcohol is'nt everywhere, not to the extent of food is.
    Alcolhol is a drug, food is a necessity.
    Good luck sweetie.

    Superstar said...

    How true!
    Congrads on the 100# mark!
    LOL ;o) I ran into an ex-boyfriend last week who has lost 50# and *snort* I didn't even notice! I felt SOOOOO bad. I mean, even thought he has done a lot of things that rerally hurt me, we somehow have managed to be "friends".

    Gawd ~shakes head~ I can't even imagine.
    LOL ;o) You rawk!

    kimmyk said...

    I find myself thinking about foods I can't eat anymore and then thinking is it really worth it? The answer is always no. I have a pep talk with myself daily. Do you find yourself talking to yourself like that?

    wmy said...

    What I find amazing is the intense amount of self-hate I can muster up for myself when I cheat on my diet. I tell myself not to eat a certain food, and it seems like I am powerless to stop myself sometimes...and then, after eating, I mentally beat myself into a pulp!! Being overweight is sooooooooo much more than what size you are, or what diet you do or dont do...it is a psychological nightmare, thats what it is!

    wmy said...

    you are my hero!

    Big Pissy said...

    I've always felt like everything revolves around food....

    Years ago when I was in the depths of my panic disorder/depression, I couldn't eat in front of other people. I just couldn't do it. It was a phobia I developed as part of all the other issues.

    That's when I truly realized how focused our society is on food and how all activities seem to involve eating. Trying to come up with excuses for not eating around other people wore me out. Everyone expects you to eat if they're eating.

    G-Man said...

    Hi Jenn...
    I'd comment more but I'm eating...xox

    tina said...

    Good for you Jenn on the 100 lbs! You blow my mind!

    I can make sense from what Ted is saying - I think it is whatever works for each of us.

    I do think you can't look at it as a *diet*. A diet fors for the time being, but once you quit - the weight comes back. It's all about changes - the way we eat, what we eat, how much we eat and very important in the picture is exercise.

    3 pounds in 3 weeks is not a lot - but it is a start and it is a loss. Men seem to always lose easier than women.