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 :)