by Andrea Elizabeth
The above video gives a very fascinating insight into how biochemical reactions in the brain can influence a person’s eating habits. It is interesting to me that the anorexic does not get positive feedback when they eat. The response is a mix of neutral non-response and very loud “noise” comprised of lots of negative thoughts. Many times this does not change with treatment, but, similarly to a diabetic, the person has to learn to approach food from a strictly measured medicinal standpoint that remains unenjoyable.
I do not have anorexia, but the ambivalent argument in my head regarding food is very noisy and stressful. The act of eating is very positive with lots of pleasure sensations involving my mouth and nose. I have a neutral digestive response. I do not feel full most of the time, so there is no, “stop now, we’re done. This will last a long time.” I could easily weigh 1000 lbs by eating a moderate to large amount of food all day with very short breaks in between, and enjoy every minute of it. However, I do notice that the longer I wait between, the better food tastes, but the payoff of occupying myself with eating is greater than the taste advantage to waiting. I could very well live to eat, occupying myself only with planning, executing, eating, cleaning up, drinking, then repeating with only sleep or entertainment breaks. I force myself to moderate this craving as I do have some impulse control, thankfully. This is the argument. “you are overweight (well, not that fat, you still have a shape), you are eating more than your share (yeah, but if I only take this much they wont miss it), you are gluttonous (I don’t eat as much as those 1000 lb people), you just ate half an hour ago (but it was just half a sandwich and one bite wont hurt), it’s too expensive (but not as much as Panera), you will run out and have to go back to the store which you do not like at all (with enough planning I can make it last), people think you’re fat (I still get some looks), they will admire you more if you lose weight (this is the most ambivalent of all. Weighing vanity and prideful indifference, having a habit of how I relate with people based on how I used to look and whatever else influences how I want others to think of me), temperance leads to theosis and the conquering of other passions (you fast from meat and dairy half the year! you deserve it!).
A few years ago during clean week I fasted completely for about three days and was surprised at how relieved I was not to have that argument going on constantly inside my head. I understand what the lady above is saying about the peace of a quiet mind by not eating at all. As much as I enjoy food, I do not enjoy my relationship with it. As soon as I had a meal though, and the suggestion to fully abstain was lifted, I went right back into the cycle. At almost 50 with my metabolism slowing way down, I’m wondering if eating a moderate meal only once a day around 7pm with a little grazing allowed until 10, not just on fasting days, will be nutritionally enough and allow me to keep my mind quiet the rest of the day,. It would relieve me of the constant guesswork for 21 hours a day. I think I might can do that and enjoy the break to develop other interests.