Monday, April 27, 2009

From the book YOU, On A Diet!!!!

I read parts of the book…YOU, On A Diet....appropriately enough…at the gym, while pedaling on the stationary bike…and treading away on the treadmill.  There were several snippets throughout the book that I took note of….and thought worthy of a blog post. 

In one of the chapters that dealt with brain chemicals and their effect on eating and the pleasure centers it said:

To see how this picture works, think of these chemicals as part of a scale.  When chemicals associated with positive feelings (like serotonin and dopamine) are in the up (or activated) position, you’re chemically high.  But when they’re down, you experience a big chemical downfall.  And this puts you in a state of anxiety that sends you searching for foods, especially those simple carbohydrate, that get you back to the chemical high.  That’s how illegal drugs work too; users keep seeking the high not always for its own sake but to avoid the lows.   

Actually this book talks a lot about the effects of different chemicals, neurotransmitters, etc. and their effect on weight loss and it’s ugly cousin….weight gain.  None of them are a miracle cure, mind you, but there is some insight into how these different chemicals work to control appetite, satiety etc.  But the idea that made the impact on me was not only about weight loss…but rather the relationship these chemicals have to drug and alcohol use.  People with substance abuse problems are not necessarily looking for the “let’s party” high…but perhaps more so they are avoiding the “I feel so sad” low.  One seems hedonistic, self gratifying…the other….well, more self medicating. Drug and alcohol use has touched my life in more ways than one…past and present…and this was sort of a light bulb moment. 

The other thought…which more directly deals with overeating was the simple question…concerning binging….would you stuff a family member with the crap you stuff yourself with?  Really…would you cram handfuls of potato chips down the gullet of your teenage daughter knowing full well that it would show up as rolls of fat around her middle?  No.  The revelation is simple, yet profound.  Have the same love and respect and concern for your own wellbeing and health. Easier said than done.....

Another thing I gleaned from the book...that makes a good motto....whether dieting, or at work, in a relationship or...driving in the car. The motto? One I've heard many times on trips, while Keith attempts to follow the sometimes out of the way directions from the GPS...

”Recalcuating Route


“Take the next authorized U turn”

I think Keith's GPS might say something a bit different....but the gist is the same. You're headed the wrong direction. Turn around, Bud. Not bad advice for in the car...or in life. When you find yourself going the wrong direction, don't get pissed off, discouraged, don't give up. Just take the next available U-turn. There is the old saying, “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”....well this just takes it one step farther. Once you stop, you can do the GPS equivalent of ”recalculating route.” Sounds a little bit like repentance. Doesn't repentance mean to change your mind? And then to change your actions (and direction) to go along with the new outlook. So make the the U-turn. Did you blow it at dinner? Well no need to order the thousand calorie brownie delight at Friday's and keep heading in the wrong direction. And if you fight with your husband/child/coworker....don't drag let it drag on and on. Stop and make the next available U-turn. Pretty good advice for a diet book, don't you think? And some of it applies to more than just dieting!!!

I found an amusing blog post about GPSing at a site called Shamelessly Sassy....

I can relate to the adventures and misadventures of a road trip with the GPS serving as tour guide. GPS Virgins comes pretty close to some of the experiences Keith and I have had. Beware, the article uses the F-word a few other expletives.

No comments: