HOW MUCH CONTROL DO THEY HAVE OVER YOU?
Who is it that is in control at 3am in the morning when you are at the fridge or food cupboards, stuffing back inappropriate foods that you would normally avoid like the plague.
Or perhaps you have been out with your friends and remained under control by eating only a meager portion of salad and then on your arrival home….. Wham! Something just seems to take over, you lose all reason and you find yourself tucking into last nights left-over steak pie, which you had denied yourself and watched all the rest of the family tuck into while you ate your diet ready meal.
You may even consider yourself to be someone who is “Doing it Sensibly” and eating a recommended diet from the slimming club and who feels that there is no excuse to be hungry. Yet, every now and then something just snaps and off you go again, you’re out of control and something else has taken over. People attending slimming clubs will often weigh-in and find that they have had a good week; then go home and binge. “Why did I do that?” they wonder.
Bingeing can be explained in so many ways, but I sometimes wonder whether it is as simple as the idea that there is a part of us who is just fighting to stay fat!
This could be for many reasons, such as habits, or limiting beliefs. But nevertheless this inner something is there and every now and again takes control. Even if you are managing your weight successfully and your friends all wonder why you think you have a weight problem and are impressed with the way that you have it under control… still, there is this something that just takes over.
In the days of the feminist movement as long ago as 1978, Susie Orbach wrote a book called “Fat is a Feminist Issue”. She is still writing and speaking on this theme 35 years later, and is proving to be even more correct in her ideas. Her original theory was that compulsive eating and bingeing was a woman’s way of fighting back against the idea that “food is a woman’s issue, because of the fact that she was the centre pin of providing nourishment for her family and needs to protect herself from the sexual advances of men”.
Things have changed a little nowadays, but basically women are going along more with society’s pressure to be thin, although these days men are increasingly finding pressure to match up to excessive expectations to be slim and fit. So they too are probably experiencing the fat man inside screaming to be let out.
Perhaps the issue here is around how much we allow this fat person inside to influence us? Is this just a matter of listening to our gut instinct? When we are putting ourselves under pressure to be thin with restrictive eating and starving, perhaps we do need to heed this inner voice or instinct a little more. Not allowing it to take over, but at least taking heed of it.
Or is it just a matter of learning to recognize that we are only human?
There is the school of thought that says that staying fat means people can stay in their comfort zone. They are comfortable with the weight they are, simply because it is easier that way.
But I am wondering about this from a different perspective. Take the person who struggles every day of their life with food issues and avoids foods that they know will make them put on weight. Every meal is planned meticulously. Alcohol is limited. Meals out are usually something with salad. They may eat like a bird, starve, diet, and work out at the gym, in fact everything they do is around keeping their weight down. This person does indeed keep the weight off and they may even have people making stupid remarks like “You don’t have a weight problem!” – and the person doing all the hard work thinks “if only you knew!”
Yet deep down inside there is this fat person screaming to be released! “Let me out, Let me out!” This is manifested by the occasional binge, or suddenly going out of control. They are wondering who or what is taking over their body. They ask themselves why they are finding themselves at the fridge or the food cupboard eating everything in sight and as quickly as possible. They feel like a ship without a rudder in a storm and have lost the signal. They have lost control. What the hell is going on?
Is it the inner fat person rearing their ugly head? They have had enough of being tied down and ignored! They want their way for a change and are screaming to be heard. They are tired of the salads on a freezing cold day or perhaps the consumme soup, and are crying “Give me a really thick stew with lots of meat and vegetables!”
“No! I do not want to go to the gym today, I do not want to go for a run, let me stay in bed. Let me cuddle up and have a lie in and leave that soda water alone; gimme a glass of wine for heavens sake, and maybe some crisps to go with it.”
Do you recognize this?
Have you felt like this and yet you are afraid to let go? So a fight ensues between the thin and the fat.
Whoever wins leaves the other one feeling that they have been treated really badly. If the fat person wins the thin one is feeling guilty, weak, trodden down, sick and bloated and feeling a failure.
If the thin one wins, they will probably be feeling victorious until the next time! Then it is nose to the diet grindstone and off we go again. The fat one has been put to bed and hidden away and it’s back to the salads and soda water and consumme soup.
The fat one is the hero and they will forever be the winner in this everlasting, repeated battle of the bulge if we do not ever stop to consider that if we were to accept a slightly heavier weight and not constantly want to be stick thin, and were to eat only real unprocessed unrefined foods, and had good substantial meals with controlled carbohydrate amounts, we might just be able to allow the fat one to have a little more freedom. Then maybe the war would cease and there would peace in the manor.
Fat and Thin would go gently hand in hand and live happily ever after!