Thursday, July 12, 2007


Thank you for your thoughts yesterday on food's addictive properties. In addition to everyone who weighed in here [pardon the pun], I also had an e-mail conversation with a very dear friend, during which I sent her this link, a wrap-up of the conference. Here's part of it:

"Dr. Mark Gold, chief of addiction medicine at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute, said one possible bit of evidence is the dramatic decline in the risk of substance abuse as the pounds increase. The obese, in general, do not smoke, drink to excess, or do drugs, he said.

Conversely, those with eating disorders such as anorexia have remarkably high rates of addiction, and people who give up drugs, cigarettes and alcohol invariably gain weight, he said.

'It turns out that food and drugs compete for the same reward system in the brain,' Gold said."

At the end of the story, it says maybe we should feed kids boring meals.

Sounds like YOAD to me!

At any rate, during our e-mail conversation, my friend reminded me of the KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid [although I'm sure she meant Sweetie] – theory. We've known each other for nearly 10 years; we met on-line in an Atkins forum so she knows well my struggles with my weight.

Since sugar seems to trigger binge eating in me, it makes sense to abstain from sugar. That would truly be KISSing it.
My friend wrote: "When you're off sugar you're happier and seem to feel better about yourself and happier about your nutrition." Well, duh.

I've been able to abstain from alcohol for more than 16 years. The consequences of continuing to drink were dire; the consequences of continuing to eat just don't seem to be so life-or-death. But they are!

And even if they weren't [but they are!] the rewards of abstaining from sugar are many: running comfortably, playing with my grandchildren, wearing smaller sized clothes, less moodiness [Mr. Shrinking Knitter would welcome that!], more energy, normal blood levels.

I've gained 14 pounds, as of Tuesday, since last fall when I squeezed into a size 12 dress for our wedding reception. I'm sure I couldn't get that dress zipped this morning, and I'm certainly not going to try. I don't need to use myself as a whipping post.

I do need to feed myself healthy, fresh food in reasonable portions. I need to move my body, slowly at first and then with confidence and vigor. I need to get back on track, and I know I'm not the only one out here in fat-blog land who's thinking the same thing.

I need to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Er, Sweetie.


Laura N said...

Simple, yes. Easy, no.

You can do it. You have done it, you will do it again.

That is awesome, about no alcohol for 16 years. My husband has been completely sober for 2 and 1/2 years, and it's a new lease on our lives. He's taken up yoga the past 6 months, and it has made a huge impact on his mental and physical health. Now if I can just get him to stop wtih the chewing tobacco--yuck! But, it's his only vice, after kicking alcohol, Rx drugs, nicotine gum, and Diet Mt Dew. So, I gotta give him some slack. =)

ws said...

I can't tell you how many times I've had people say, I might be overweight, but I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, etc, so cut me some slack. It is a slower, more round-about way to shorten your lifespan, but probably less satisfying in terms of quality of life (at least in my opinion).

Giving up sugar is far easier said than done...

Annie said...

I know that for myself when I focus on healhty foods then I don't have room or want so much for the sugar/crap foods. And I sure feel much better for it.

natala said...

I know for me, I can't have any of it, I've tried to lie to myself and say I can have like one of something - but that's really not true. As I told a friend the other day, it would be like telling a crack addict, they can just have like one hit a day - no biggie.
It's that serious for me.
You totally got it right with the KISS stuff, it seems so easy, but sometimes I think the comfort of food is so hard to break from (at least what we've told ourselves the comfort is)
I got diabetes young (I'm only 29 now) and after years of putting bad stuff into my body, finally I realized what I was doing to it, and yet it's still hard on some days.
You can do it though.. you are totally worth it.

mehitabel said...

There's a "newspaper doctor" who has a very simple diet: no sugar, no flour. Someone else I know won't eat any "white food." Sugar I know I can live without and I think that might be a good way to go. I do like the KISS approach--Sweetie!

M@rla said...

'It turns out that food and drugs compete for the same reward system in the brain,'

Truer words were never spoken. And congrats on 16 years!