Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FAT VS. CANCER & MEDICATING YOUR BRAIN


Recently I read THIS post from Allan at ALMOST GASTRIC BYPASS. If you are one who might not click that link let me say that it was a post regarding his wife and her survival of breast cancer. He details their journey through her surgery and subsequent treatments and then goes to say that he treats his obesity as his own personal kind of cancer. What he eats directly affects whether his ‘cancer’ gets better or brings him closer to death and to ‘cheat’ on his ‘diet’ is to basically disrespect everything his wife went through in order to live.
To quote the end of his post he said:

“What kind of an asshole would not listen to their Doctor when given the choice of living by not eating as much, or dying. If you really want the truth, the breast cancer will take a lot longer to kill you than the fat will. That is scientifically a fact. Do you wear a pink ribbon ? Do you give to Susan Komen ? Do you have a loved one that has been touched by this awful disease ? Would you try your best to get well ? Then simple, but the sandwich down, it will kill you.”
But what if you have never lost or almost lost someone to a fatal disease? How could one relate to that? Not only how could one relate to the pain of someone else’s illness but how could they then reflect on themselves and put themselves in that position?So, I have been thinking since that post a lot about comparing obesity to cancer and I had a mini epiphany. Not only are there many people in the world who could not relate to losing someone from a fatal disease but there are many people in the world that don’t care enough about their own life, their own health to continue on a path to wellness.


Amazingly enough, Julia from JewliaGoulia wrote THIS post yesterday that made me nod my head and say ‘yeah!’ Specifically this portion:

“A lot of you, who have commented on my Facebook and Twitter have said "don't stress, tomorrow is a new day," but what happens when you wake up on that "new day" acknowledge that you are about to make a bad (food) decision and do it anyways? It's not that I don't care about the progress I've made, I think that, for right now, I don't care about me.”

I literally stopped reading forward (there was only one sentence to follow but still . . . ) and just re-read this blurb over and over again, because it’s true. What happens when you acknowledge your mistakes before you even make them and then decide to do them anyway? What happens when you just don’t care? I suppose in Allan’s words you’re an asshole. But in my words… well, I’m me and apparently I’m not alone.
Emotional eating can be almost as bad, if not worse than a bad relationship. Hell, it IS a bad relationship. It has no rhyme, no reason, and it isn’t good for you AT ALL but you keep going back and eating, binging, medicating because IN THAT MOMENT you (I) just don’t care.
I have been feeling this way. Especially with so many emotional obstacles on my plate right now. I know it’s not an excuse. I know I should do better. I know I CAN do better. But when it comes right down to it, at that moment when the food is there in front of me and my burdens of the world feel so heavy on my shoulders, I just don’t care.
I got back up today. Yes. Again. I got back up after yesterday. Yesterday was a bad day. No, I take that back. IT WAS A SPECTACULAR DAY. But it really sucked when my food choices came into play. I spent the day with my husband and my girls. We ate at IHOP as usual. I didn’t eat my norm there. I ate badly. I CHOSE to eat badly. I acknowledge it. I regret it NOW. But yesterday while skimming the menu I chose to order a healthy entrĂ©e and then proceeded to eat pancakes and too many cups of coffee too. For lunch I chose to eat a burger and fries at a little hole in the wall joint. (Granted, they didn’t have anything healthier but I could have taken the condiments off and eaten only half the bun with no fries. But I didn’t care. Last night we ate at the Olive Garden. NOT A GOOD PLACE TO EAT WHILE EATING HEALTHY. Let’s just say I ate an entire day’s worth of calories in that one meal. AND BEEEZUZZZZZZZ did I feel it later.
I have done really well today. The norms are all back in place. Bagel with cream cheese and one cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer (OMG) for breakfast. A Veggie delite salad at subway with pepperjack cheese (not the extra they offer for the veggie) and 2TBSP honey mustard dressing. I’ll have dinner at 4:30 or 5 and Zumba at 6:30. Today WILL be a good day. Today IS a good day.
ANNNNDDDDD . . . I have  come up with a little saying that helps me stay away from undesirable (albeit VERY DESIRABLE) food. I have always hated being dependent on anything, especially when it psychological (ie: anti-depressants and the like) One might argue that I am the epitome of dependent but I don’t like to think so. Some might also argue that I am dependent on food and I agree. I just need to be dependent on it for the right reason. So now, when I come in contact with undesirable food instead of hemming and hawing and feeling guilty before eating it about not eating it and feeling guilty after eating it about eating it, I simply say, “I will not medicate. I will not make this better with food.” Whatever THIS may be. I have to make the conscious decision that the reason I am eating is for nutrition and energy and not because my taste buds or my emotional instability/weakness wants it.
So, I’m trying to see my situation in a much more serious tone as Allan does. I want to be successful and taking life and death and the choices to keep us on the left end of that spectrum seriously is very important. Choices to keep us healthy and happy and ALIVE (especially for all us parents with small children) are of the utmost importance. No one wants  to leave their babies orphaned because they couldn’t stop eating crap.
Which brings me to a couple questions for my readers?
#1: What are you capable of doing for other people when it comes to better yourself?
(ie: what are you capable of doing for your babies to make sure you are around for them?)
#2: What if Allan’s wife’s illness was reversed somewhat? What if she had the cancer but every bite he took or didn’t take caused it to recede or spread? Now put that into your own life. Pick someone you love. Give them a fatal disease and pretend every bite YOU take or do not take either brings them closer to a longer life or a painful death. What are YOU capable of?
XO Kristen

8 comments :

  1. Still not sure if this was a good post about me. Maybe ? All good...

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  2. It wasn't supposed to be good or bad. Neutral. But your post inspired my thinking process so neutral bordering on good. LOL

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  3. This one hits close to home for me. I lost my Daddy to prostate cancer two years ago and I would have done anything to save him. I would have climbed Everest barefoot, or at least I would have started up that mountain barefoot and died on the face of it to make his cancer go away.

    Would I have changed how I ate? I honestly can't sit here and say that at that time my answer would have been an unequivocal "Yes!" I was too wrapped up in the disordered hell of overeating, binging, anesthetizing and and self medicating that food afforded me.

    That is the depth to which I had sunk. That I don't know that I could have, would have changed my food intake to save someone whom I loved so deeply.

    Interesting and thought provoking post, Kristin.

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  4. I think any post that makes someone THINK LIKE THAT.
    is an excellent post.
    a good one.
    I would rather make people think than have people ''like' me.
    As for the other....I don't think you can get healthy for anyone other than yourself. Because not every bite of food is bad food. Some food is good food, nourishing food.
    If every bite caused my child's cancer to spread I would starve to death. Because that is what parents do. Or would do if it were possible.
    You have to be worth the effort in your own mind.
    I say this.
    Food won't cure this.
    It works.
    Hugs.

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  5. I had hoped it was assumed that when I said every bite, that I meant every excessive sugary/fatty/ non essential bite of food

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  6. I wonder how many of us would be able to hold back on the consumption of sugary/fatty/non-essential stuff and then choose to do something ELSE to self medicate? Like if I wanted to eat a box of snack cakes and an entire pizza but knew that would harm my loved one further--but I could go drink myself silly, hey, I just might. Very interesting question....and I agree the catalyst post was excellent. Anything that makes us all think, no doubt!

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  7. Just catching up on blog reading and found yours too good to pass up commenting on. I find the whole concept interesting. If it were a real situation, I would be 100% motivated to change my overeating habits. I would be able to at least eat healthier, lower-calorie choices in lieu of fat-ladden normal choices.

    However, to just give up overeating until I finda better way of coping with the stresses and problems of life... I couldn't do it for long. As much as I would want to, I wouldn't know how to do it sanely. I would need drugs, lots of drugs.

    In reality, the situation is not real and therefore, the motivation is likely not lasting to me. I will try it. I find it provoking. I find it part of my challenge for the week. I will link you in my post today as I describe my challenge for the week.

    Thanks for much for provoking me to make a positive change I think I can do it for a meal, for a day, for a week... I don't know about longer than that. We'll have to weight and see.

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  8. Happy Belated Birthday! Sorry I'm late to the party! Not much time on the computer yesterday!

    Deedah

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