Hopefully everyone is looking forward to spending time with loved ones and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, however you’re doing that this year. I’m going to a fancy buffet with some local relatives down the coast a bit, then I’m going to meet the parents for a few days in LA. I’m sure I’ll eat a huge meal, and I’ll hike the day before, go to the gym the day of, eat lightly these next few days, maybe a few days after, and not worry about it more than that. The parents, however, are a different story.
I have a lot of resentment still about how they tyrannized me about weight through my adolescence. Who would have thought that belittling your daughter, attempting to diet her with stupid and dangerously incorrect notions of nutrition, and telling her she’s fat and disgusting would have long lasting negative consequences? Big “fuck you” to both of them, her for being her, him for not stopping her sooner (he won’t let her do it now, mostly because he doesn’t like my temper). I’m sure this will offend some of you, especially the parents, but some parents really do a bad job. I know they did the best they could, but it was so many kinds of wrong and cruel, and I don’t know how to undo the damage they did to my self-esteem and overall lack of psychological well-being. I may also see physical consequences from periods of starving myself (she didn’t make me do this, but nobody noticed) alternating with incredibly dangerous or out of control eating habits. I remember how frail and breakable my fingernails (and hair) were, compared to now, from poor nutrition and unhealthy living. They’re old now, and I wish I didn’t feel this way, it’s not helpful to anyone.
So, the point of this is that my eating/lifestyle spin out of control for about a week before I see them. At this point, I’m not much bigger than my mom, so I comment on her crappy eating, not very mature, but I kind of want her to know how it feels. She occasionally gives me a dirty look, usually ignores me. If she wants to think she’s all that because she eats low-fat cheese and doesn’t use butter or salad dressing, yet doesn’t see a connection (or disconnect) at eating 3 ice cream cookie sandwiches every night, nothing I’m going to say will make a difference. She’s never been fat, so none of this pushes her buttons. I am ashamed that I try to make her feel bad, but I am still very hurt.
I don’t like writing this blog because I feel exposed. I want to withdraw right now, not deal with people, not express emotions, just numb myself and exercise. Anyway, before seeing the parents, I get some strange internal rebellion, eat fewer vegetables, higher fat/bready meals, and start smoking again. I’ve been eating huge breakfasts, hitting the gym, skipping lunch, and then walking until I get hungry, which may be 12 hours after breakfast. I think I won’t gain weight, because I don’t think I’m really overeating, as I hardly eat the rest of the day, but this is not healthy, sane living.
Regarding big meals, I’ve been reading here and there about how people misunderestimate (sorry, GW Bush poke, I think that word is hilarious) calorie intake, especially when eating big meals. Turns out, everybody does this, not just obese/overweight. Maybe the difference is how often big meals are eaten?
Another similar, about supposed slow metabolisms, for fitness professionals, with more attitude but some useful information. I don’t buy it 100%, but one of the things this article points out, is talking about “eating frenzies”, which may or may not be binges, but will easily outdo a weeks worth of “dieting”. They don’t differentiate between emotional overeating vs the body trying to counter the diet (and neither do I anymore). This is why my first priority here is no bingeing, even though that means no dieting, and I have to be careful with my psychology first, food second. Not sure what to think of my spinning out of control eating and exercising right now, but I’m giving it a pass, as it’s disordered, but not fattening, and I’m too depressed and indifferent to fight it. Likely I’m subconsciously trying to push myself to diet because of upcoming parent visit, and it’s causing shock waves to my life.
As they try to figure out what separates those who lose and maintain weight, vs those who don’t, they’re looking at brain patterns and learned behaviors, with regard to restraint and disinhibition. It seems people who lose weight and keep it off have different responses to food than those who have never had a weight problem, or who are overweight but don’t lose weight/keep it off.
These are all summary papers, with citations available if you want to actually read the real paper, or the studies involved.
I’m not sure of the difference between restraint and disinhibition, thus don’t quite understand this one, but if someone wants to explain it to me, I’d be happy.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone