… Or for those who didn’t learn Latin at school:
«For a valiant heart, nothing is impossible».
Hello, young Padawan
Today is the continuation of my article on overweight and its mysteries … or not, where we were talking about “common” overweight people. We are going to approach here the eating disorders like bulimia, or pathological binge eating type, or how your hormones dictate your daily life as powerfully as cocaine.
As long as we do not understand that our intestines and our hormones guide our appetite, our cravings, our moods at different levels depending on the individual (see my article here) and this up to the pathology, as long as we compensate our sorrows, our anxieties, our shortcomings, our fears, sometimes until obsession with food, we are unable to maintain any form of healthy diet. Even Aunt Janine’s who has always been thin all her life … except that Janine is not us; Besides, she made up for it with beer, right? You see, when you scrap a little behind the layer of varnish, you often realize that what is behind is not so shiny, so let’s stop judging people and use our strength to move forward.
Here we are, between New Year’s Eve and Christmas (absolutely, ed), having barely finished our last piece of cake and glass of Champagne that hubby’s birthday is fast approaching. So what do we do? We roll in the gravy complaining that our shape is forever dead? Cute abs no more, is that it?
“The important thing is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s Eve but what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas”. I read this little quote on Instagram the other day, and I must admit that it made me happy. Indeed, insight isn’t really Instagram’s strong point, usually.
So read this quote again, it seems quite clear to me: you can enjoy it when there are events or parties if you want to, as long as you are reasonable between them. Reasonable? A word that makes you gnash your teeth with anger? If only you could control things, but today you are losing ground, your smile has given way to distress? Your daily life is just obsessions, from morning to evening, at night, like a permanent fire siren in your head? If yes, you are in the right article, if not, you can stay to try to understand what is in the head of a person with addiction because know one thing: we are never safe from nothing, near or far.
No need to be alcoholic or heroin user to be an addict
This personal aspect of my life brings me back to more than ten years of fighting because I did not understand the mechanisms immediately, I just thought that I was a weak person with a lack of will.
As explained in the intro, I am not going to talk about those who have been thin all their lives and who started by gaining two to three pounds per year after 35, but those who have medical binge eating impulses called bulimia or compulsive overeating. About those who have shortcomings, obsessions, hormonal upheavals, distress, who live overweight not as a gourmet who ate 2 cookies instead of one as a snack, but as the “I ate the whole stock of cookies at 5 p.m., and at 7 p.m., I started dinner as if nothing had happened” specimen. Without ever showing any emotion to anyone, because the greatest distress is the one that nobody can guess.
Restrictive diets, I’ve made them all my life. When I say all my life, I experienced my first one at the age of 7. Suffice to say that I have experience in this area: the restrictive diet, whatever it is, does not work. Society is sometimes very clumsy when it comes to trying to help, it is also awkward when it comes to its look, that’s why it’s time to change things.
The choice of death
I’m going to make a statement here that will drop a bomb, but you know I like to make you think. After readings, analyzes, testimonies and been on both sides of the barrier (I haven’t changed sexuality, I’m talking about the thin and the fat, try to follow me, ed), I can tell you one thing without an ounce doubt: a person who is overweight because of his pathological impulses is an addict just like an alcoholic or drug addict. These are the same mechanisms, I refer you to my book review of this book, but this doctor was not the only scientist who understood this fact. Because yes, it is a fact. It is the same hormones that go crazy in your body, making you obsessive like with the other drugs, and that’s the problem. You will never make a guy stop heroin by saying to him: “Yo, take just less product for each shoot man, and the snack one, by the way, forget it. Don’t worry you’ll be alright”. Of course not. The addictologist places their focus elsewhere, but that will be discussed below.
This is why the slimming diet is a failure, worse, it can trigger pathological eating disorders.
I was not born with binge food cravings, we are neither born anorexic nor bulimic. The diets have this problem of creating the lack, but not the lack of the kid who did not have a new toy in the supermarket, it is not a question of psychological frustration but of hormonal lack, in the medical sense of the term: The lack of the drug addict who needs a dose. And if your body has a tendency to be receptive to hormonal variations, you can take your ticket for addiction from your first binge, your first shot, or your first slimming diet. Except that it is impossible to know how your body will react.
I know people around me who have been in rehab because of alcohol or drugs addiction and we all agreed by sharing our own experiences: at different intensities, whether for the food binge or for any other drug, we generally had the same symptoms, the same obsessions, the same fatigue, the same distress, the same mood change and above all, we used the same method to get out of it definitively: passion.
The choice of life
To make the choice of life is to look at yourself straight in the mirror with the full awareness that something is wrong. If it turns out that the mirror tells you that you are an addict, there is only one thing to do to get you out of this: passion.
When I looked at myself straight in the eye at 24, I had two choices. Continue like this for maybe 5 or 10 years and choose my coffin, or take responsibility, for the best. I chose life, and I resumed singing. My passion is music, I have had notes in my head for as long as I can remember, today I have around forty music to my credit, which I always kept for myself because I thought that I was too bad, that everything that came out of my brain was not worth it. The slimming diet makes you understand that you are not good enough for the others, the addiction ends up convincing you. Since then, I started playing the piano, then bass. And now I share my music with a person who put lyrics on some of them, it’s cool. And above all, I no longer have food binge. And that’s really cool.
If you have an addiction, which is actually a hormonal addiction, offer yourself this gift: define yourself a passion. Do you like cycling? Decorate? Knitting? Newspapers? (no, I’m kidding, but why not, ed), you play the guitar and you want to start a band? Work to replace your addiction with this new passion. It will become devouring, I warn you, but you will get out of it because there will no longer be room for the other bad thoughts, and as a bonus, you will progress in your favorite hobby. It will take time, you will go through hard steps but it is for the best. Through work, I am now an octave and a half up than before, even if I rehearsed just to think of something else. Clearly, it is a question of replacing an addiction by another, but more healthy, if you follow me.
Know that if you are an addict, it is possible that you are also an artist. So if you’ve never tried, take a pencil and draw, dance or sing something, because maybe this addiction is the manifestation of a repressed truth. A word to the wise. Otherwise, you can always try your hand at sewing, you may be a new Jean-Paul Gaultier… or not.
I strongly believe in sharing experiences, because the evolution of humanity was not made by the knowledge of experts, but thanks to aunt Janine who showed uncle Harry how to plant potatoes … for a beer trade (we will not change aunt Janine at the end of this article, ed).
For a valiant heart, nothing is impossible. Remember that the biggest mistake is to believe that when you hit rock bottom, all is lost. Nothing is lost. Never. And just as we are safe from nothing, I firmly believe that we can face anything, if we really want to.
So get up and show us who you are.