Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Allan, Intuitive Eating, The Pleasure Principle, Gluttony, and How It All Ends Up!

Okay, so Allan can be a button-pusher. :) Oh, you don't know who I am talking about? It's ALMOST GASTRIC BYPASS's blog owner and really talented scribe. (The guy has fiction chops. He surely do.)

He's pretty brutally frank, and that's not everyone's cuppa tea. I am an INTJ, and I like to analyze, and I often see all sorts of solutions to problems. I sometimes am paralyzed by my ability to OVERanalyze. I like my life introverted and tranquil as does my INTJ hubby. But, when engaged in a debate, I used to be so fierce (and often the winner) that I scared people. My bad. I've mellowed with menopause and age. I don't wanna debate anymore. I just want to enjoy my golden years as much as life, health, and Islamic Terrorists will allow. ; )

So, I wouldn't debate with Allan. :) He's a toughie. (And cute when he smiles, and scary when he doesn't.)

My journey is not his in DEGREE (ie, I don't eat as few calories as he does and I will never lose at the rate he does. I'm older. Female. And my thyroid ran off to Argentina to tango with someone slimmer, apparently.) BUT...we know one simple, inescapable fact: we gotta eat less. Even if we choose not to move a lot more, we do better to move more. But we gotta eat less.

I"m assuming the big trend in talking about Intuitive Eating (gee, thanks, Oprah) is because a lot of us who are fat have disordered relationships with food. I get it. But sometimes, let's face it, it's just that we like to eat, food tastes good, food makes us feel all yummy and serotony in the brain. Pleasure is something we want as humans. Food is a basic and legal form of pleasure. (Sex is another, but that requires someone else's cooperation for us to overindulge, and there are all sorts of components that can make it complicated for many to do the whoopsie 3+ times a day in an equivalent way to how overeaters eat. With gusto. With abandon. With frequency. And sometimes in secrecy.)

I'm a Christian, and there is a longstanding historical legacy of teaching against overindulgence--be it sex, food, anger, acquisition, frivolity, etc. All those fasting and starving ascetics--and fasting has a favored place in many religions, though it's not as in favor these days, it seems--knew that it was dang hard to resist food (what, wine, women, song?). Yeah, better to sing than schtup and stuff indiscriminately. Overindulgence tends to lead to bad things.

Too much wine and you could say something so stupid you lose a pal or a spouse or you could run over an innocent bystander while driving.

Too much sex and you could end up with a lot of broken hearts or infected bodies in your wake. Not to mention a bad rep (at least in ye olde days) or in the midst of your own personal stoning. (Yeah, if you shtup someone else's spouse, here come da rocks! Even today in other countries!)

Too much song (ie funtime diversion) and you might end up with no money and too many mooching friends who'll ditch you when times get rough. And also too much sex and wine if your singing takes place on South Beach. Heh.

Too much food: you get fat. You don't fit in public spaces. You may have a harder time dating, finding a spouse. You pay more for clothes. You gotta buy 2 plane tickets. Your arteries start clogging. Your liver starts scarring up. Your joints wear down faster. You get sleep apnea and up your risks of cardiac arrest. You get diabetes early. You cause isssues for your fetuses.

Every vice has a price.

I don't drink too much(maybe two glasses of wine a month with the sisters). I've never smoked. I never got a speeding ticket. I never caused my parents worries (as my mom so often praised). I never cheated on my taxes. I never betrayed close friends in the usual, dramatic ways one hears of. I considered once becoming a nun and my husband even considered being a priest. (Thank God that he did NOT cause I like bumpsywumpsy with him a LOT!!!) I've been wholly monogamous, well, always, but especially since I met hubby in 1982. I never indulged in unsafe sex. I never took drugs that were not prescribed. (It's amazing how many people do not believe that I, a teen in the 70's, a 20-something in the 80's, did not TRY pot at least. Nope. I even refused to date guys who smoked...cigarettes.)

I did have an anger issue--which was made worse by the drugs used to treat my asthma and allergy issues over the years-- but being married to the calmest man in the universe helps a lot. and food. Yikes! There is my big vice. GLUTTONY!

It's a vice where you pretty much mostly hurt yourself, not others, so it seems pretty innocent.

But the ancient abbas and ammas knew something. It's a bad thing. It's a sign of being out of control. It's a sign of selfishness. It's a sign of greed (another one of those big sins).

If we tallied what we fat folks spent on food, and then considered how eating 1/3rd or 1/5th less comes out in terms of moolah--that's money that isn't being put toward better uses. Whether it's planning for retirement (so we don't mooch off other people), or investing in our children or families (be it education, health care, housing, etc), or assisting our fellow human beings-- those who NEED calories an ain't getting them. We could give them, literally, our excess calories in donating to hunger relief.

Gluttony means we use up more resources than is fair in a world where so many don't have a fair share.

For people of faith, eating is not just eating. Eating can be an act of spiritual discipline or an act of faith or a communal exercise in fellowship, even an act of generosity, an opportunity to say, "My spirit will overcome my flesh. I will let you have this food and I will go without due to my love for you."

It can also be an act of willful rebellion against God. It can be an act of total self-absorption. It can be choosing to live by bread alone, as it were. It can be an act of unfaithfulness. It can be a form of suicide (which the Roman Catholic church would say is a huge, huge NO NO.) It's a denigration of the temple...which is what the Apostle Paul calls the human body. The Lord's temple. His dwelling place. It must be treated with dignity, honor, and reverence.

Whether what we eat is low carb, high carb, in-between carb, whole, vegan, organic, etc, in the end, if we're obese or overweight, we eat too much of the stuff produced by the hard labor of farmers and cattlemen and chicken ranchers.

If we want to reduce our bodies, we have to reduce our intake. I don't see how you get around it.

All the people who over the decades said it was their glands and their bodies and they couldn't lose weight: Gastric banding and gastric bypass have shown, oh, yes you can. It's all about restricting intake.

I have glandular issues--how cliche is that. But it's true. Nevertheless, when I get below a certain level of calories, I go down.

I will never be Hollywood slim. I've never been Hollywood slim in my life, not even when I was 15 and normal weight (139) and active (biking, swimming as much as I could, playing softball, walking to school and back). It would require eating so little as to make life...too harsh.

But I do believe I can reach a reasonably healthful weight and eat, yeah, a lot less than the 3500+ calories daily that got me to 300 lbs.

So,, back to Allan: He put up a challenge to find out what certain blog-post-commenters had in common. I don't know what they have in common. But since they claimed not to have a "plan", my guess (aside from that they're, like me, FAT) is that they, in fact, know that it's not intuitive or whatever: It's calories in, burn out. My guess is that they know that to lose weight, they gotta EAT LESS AND MOVE MORE (or just eat a lot less).

My guess is that when they see the scale go up it's cause they took in too many calories, and when they want to take it off, they cut back on calories and maybe hit the jogging trail or gym.

My guess is that they know what the plan is or should be. Eat less. Period. Move more, ideally.

It's the same core plan for everyone who wants to lose weight.

How you make the calories work for you is what is pesonal. How you move is what is individual. I can't run, but I like dancing and Pilates. I can't eat seafood (dammit), but I like chicken breast and lean pork and I like beans and I love eggs for breakfast. I can work in things I like, and what I like is different than what you like. But most dieters end up finding the "added value" of veggies and some fruits for filling up with little caloric damage.

So that was my guess to Allan's Challenge: They say they don't have a plan, but they know what the plan must be--fewer calories in compared to calories out.

You can't get away from that.


Allan said...

I read this three times, and I agree 1000% with everything you say. The answer is correct. I have all of the problems you state, and I can not understand intuitive eating. Again, I write that on my blog, and that is my opinion. I appreciate the love, but I wish everyone could get your point. It works,,,,

Lanie Painie said...

The only thing that's wrong with the whole premise is that Allan is the only one that said these people don't have a plan. Intuitive eating IS a plan and you obviously understand it well. Eat less, move more IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN the plan for losing weight. Just because intuitive eaters don't "buy into" any paticular commercial plan doesn't make them idiots no matter how much Allan would like to imply that it does.

We've all known all along that the eat less/move more strategy is what we needed to do, but we all have different ways of doing it. And there are successful people who have done it all kinds of ways.

As always, I don't disagree with his OPINIONS but I will continue to defend myself against his LIES.

Just Me said...

So true about how you need to make the calories work for you and that is a personal. We are all trying to achieve the same result, but we are not cookie-cutters, so we need to find what works for us. Great post, except for the parts when you refer to Allan.

Princess Dieter said...

Lainie, I tried "intuitive eating." I got fatter. But I guess that's not what they called it ages ago (ie, intuitive eating). They called it something else, but I've long forgotten. Essentially, it was waiting to be hungry and then eating what we felt we needed/wanted. What I intuitively "need/want" when I'm hungry is very often something that is going to have a bajilion calories. Seriously, my intuitive faculties are screwed up ---probably partly by the freaky availabiity of all sorts of insane caloric choices and the mad combo of fat-sugar-carbs that makes us want to eat ourselves to death. I mean, why is it that we no longer have pizzas that look like the real thin in Naples or wherever--smaller in serving, small dollops of cheese, bit of sauce, some basil. Why is it huge globs of cheese, big quantities of meats, and even some have ranch dressing or double meats and cheese and stuffed crust. It's like we really do want to di faster.

My intuition is not to eat a plate of crudites with some boiled eggs (though I have eaten this WheN ON A CONSciOUS DIET). Back when I ate what I wanted...I ate huge piles of food until I could barely move.

Maybe I am totally misunderstanding the concept. I do know that this is not a new idea, it gets revamped, called something else, and desperate dieters decide to try it since caloric restriction has left us all yo-yo dieting.

One reason I leave myself a more generous amount of calories than some bloggers I follow (I will allow myself up to 1800, though I often go over cause I've got the willpower of a gnat), is cause it will allow me to eat foods that I don't just NEED, but desire and enjoy. I don't want to lose the pleasure of food. I simply want to deny the pleasure of bingeing or self-indulgence.

One bit of cake is pleasure. Several bites--at my weight--is self-indulgence.

A cup of pasta is pleasure. 4 cups of pasta (which was a small version of my "intuitive" serving) is self-indulgence.

I think people ought to try what they feel leads them into the right path. But when it comes to weight loss, one needs to find a path that has fewer calories. If the path doesn't include a plan to eat less, a lot less then it's really a self-defeating path eventually.

Eventually, we have to eat less forever, or we stay fat forever.

I have not seen any other remedy out there.

I think if one has to do psyche/soul/spirit/mind work, that work should go hand in hand with more restrictive caloric intake. Period.

But hey, I've got a long hike myself and I'm not expert. I simply look at the registry of those who lost weight AND KEPT IT OFF (the most important coponents being LOST and KEPT OFF) and all those people end up eating a lot less and most end up exercising a lot more, be they low carb or low fat. The end result is the same: a restriction for life.

We either face it now or we're fooling ourselves that this is not what weight loss for life requires.

Lanie Painie said...

Princess . . . I agree, it doesn't work for everyone but it does work for some and that it is a plan of sorts. To each their own, I say! Clearly, if a person's intuition isn't telling them to eat less and move more then it's not going to work.

Kimberly said...

I would try intuitive eating but I just know my intuition would tell me to eat chocolate cake and pizza and fries and ...

My intuition wants me fat.

I want to be thin.

My intuition can suck it!