Monday, April 5, 2010

Chew, chew, chew

The bubble blowing experiment is helping!

A few days ago, as I was returning home from a chiropractor appointment, I realized that I would driving past a grocery store. Suddenly, there they were, the urges to eat. So I popped a piece of Bubblelicious bubble gum into my mouth and started to chew, chew, chew. Now don't get me wrong, I still planned the binge in my head; what I wanted to eat, when I was going to eat it, how I was going to hide it from my husband, but somewhere I found the strength to drive past that grocery store. The fact that my mouth was already occupied with a flavour, the texture of the gum, the sweetness and the actual chewing motion really backed up my decision to not pull into that parking lot.

It may not seem like a big success, but I will celebrate each success as they come.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's all about blowing bubbles

So, I thought that I would update you on my little control experiment. Has my eating been any better? Well, yes and no. No, because I have not stopped binge eating. Yes, because I have been able, just a few times, to rethink and stop a binge session. But now that I think about it, any amount of success is still success! Yeah for me! The experiment continues.

Now for the interesting stuff. I have run across some research that has allowed me to develop a new coping skill. The first part of the research has to do with how highly refined our food is. Modern food (and I use that term loosely) is so highly refined that we no longer need to chew our food to the same degree that we once did. Previously, we had to chew our food about 20 times per mouthful. Now we only chew our food about 5 times before we swallow. Interestingly enough, there is a small muscle that attaches the lower jaw to the upper jaw, and it is the repetitive chewing motion of that small muscle that sends signals to the brain that tells us that we are full. So, (are you following me here) the more refined our food is, the less we chew, the less our jaw muscle has opportunity to send signals to the brain, the more hungry we feel, the more we eat. Conversely, the less refined our food is, the more we chew, the more our little jaw muscle works, the more full we feel, the less we eat.

Okay, so how does that help me? Gum, baby, gum! So now when I have the urge to binge, I chew bubble gum. I blow bubbles and crack it until my jaw hurts. It is usually by that point that I forget that I want to binge.

A good plan but, boy am I every pissing off my husband and friends, as I seem to be chewing gum all the time. Oh well. Suck it up buttercups. Anybody seen my gum?

Friday, January 1, 2010

To control or not to control: that is the question

I recently had a very interesting conversation with my friend, Dave Whyte, on the issue of control and my eating.
It has given me a lot to think about. But first you need some facts.

Fact #1
Personality type of moi ~ control freak! I need to have a plan, and a contingency plan for my plan. I hate changing directions in the middle of a plan. I need information. I must look at all angles of a plan before I commit to a decision. I rarely like surprises. I like to feel that I have control. Spontaneity is not a easy friend.

Fact #2
From a philosophical perspective I recognize that I have absolutely no control over anything that I do. There is not a single "decision" or "action" that I take that is not the result of external pressure of culture (Italian & Canadian), class, sex, concepts of happiness, finances, work ethic, implied and implicate rules handed down by my parents, spiritualism, economy, current status of my relationships with friends, family and community, the need for safety etc. etc. Therefore, I am under no illusion that any "decision" that I make is merely a guided action based on external and perceived pressures. And each "decision" is made in an effort to benefit only my future self. Okay, so how does that jive with fact #1? See fact # 3

Fact #3
I must apply the illusion of fact #1 in order to believe that I make a difference in the world; that my presence makes an impact; that I exist for a reason. Or else I would go insane.

Okay, with those facts in hand, what was my conversation with Dave? Basically, after much table slapping, he asked two fundamental questions.

Question #1 What is the purpose of exercising so much control?
I have spent the last 6 weeks peeling away each answer to this question and I have come to the conclusion that I exercise so much control in all aspects of my life in order to control the one thing that I seek to control but cannot; my binge eating. Interesting enough, exercising control over my eating does not work. The more I seek to control my eating, the more radical and destructive my eating becomes. It is only when that I forget about eating that I eat "normally".

Question #2 Would I have more success controlling my eating if I did not seek to control the more mundane things in my life?
I don't know. I don't have an answer. So, what the hell! Why not try. For the next six months (or so), I am going to try to not plan to the enth degree aspects of my life. I don't know which aspects, but I will keep my intentions in the forefront of my thoughts and when it seems appropriate I will "go with the flow".

To those of you know who know me ~ DON'T LAUGH :)