Once Upon a Fat Girl

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fed Up!

I'm reading a book by Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt called Fed Up! The author is a psychiatrist specializing in eating disorders, and a recovered bulimic.

As I'm reading this amazing book, tears are literally spilling down my cheeks. Because this...this!...is what I've been talking about. When I say that all the fad diets leave me with an icky feeling, when I talk about wanting to step out of my fat suit. This book is what I'm talking about.

Dr. Oliver-Pyatt talks in her book about how diets do not work, and in fact are detrimental to health and make you fat. As a 316-pound life-long dieter, I have to agree. Diets have not made me thin. Surprised? I bet not. Have they made you thin? I don't mean for five minutes, until you eat your first carb or chocolate bar, and start the climb back up.

She says that the only way to break the cycle and have a healthy body is to stop dieting. Not just stop Atkins or Sonoma or South Beach or The Zone. Stop restricting at all. No lists of 'good' and 'bad' foods. No eating low-fat Fudge Brownie frozen yogurt when what you really want is Cherry Garcia. No leaving off the whipped cream from your Venti frappucino, if you really want it on. No eating a Lean Cuisine while your family eats Dominos.

No dieting. Period.

What a fucking terrifying concept. She says the only way to achieve health is to ... are you ready for this?...eat when you're hungry and stop eating when you're full.


She advocates going to the grocery store and buying WHATEVER YOU ARE HUNGRY FOR. Dorritos. 7-up. Cherry Garcia. Whatever. And eating it. When you are hungry. That binging is a reaction to hunger.

Eat when you're hungry until you're full, to avoid binging.

So simple it hurts.

Counting calories is out. And I'm afraid to stop. I have instinctively already done what she said, and I'm not depriving myself. I'm not cutting out food groups or making myself eat rice cakes for dinner. But I am counting my calories. I'm keeping to a highish number though...1800 to 2000. I'm keeping track because I have no real concept of how much I'm eating. I'm working on that, but I'm not there yet.

She talks about the feeling of anxiety that feels like hunger when a chronic dieter eats. That's that feeling...that almost full, but not quite there feeling...that I was talking about. The one that scares me and makes me want to eat all the Oreos. All of them. Just the fact that she named that feeling makes me feel better. It's legitimate, this panic. It's okay to feel it.

And...just like she says in her book...it's passing. And...also just like she says would happen...as I'm giving myself permission to eat without guilt, I'm finding that I'm wanting to eat healthy foods because I want to, not because I have to.

Anyway, this book has ten steps and I'm going to work through them here. If anyone else has read the book, I'm really interested in hearing from you.

I've said it before. I don't want to diet. I just want to be normal. I'm not going for perfection. I'm just aiming for something in the neighborhood of health and well-being. And I want it to stick. No one can eat in Waves or levels, or cut out the freaking bottom of the food pyramid, forever. No one. Who would even want to.

But I can spend the rest of my life eating when I'm hungry, and doing something else when I'm not.


Blogger digitalGoobie said...

Maybe I will have to go and read this book you're talking about at Chapters, it sounds interesting.

For myself, I'm "following" weight watchers on my own. I've never been to a meeting, but my sister has and she has all the books. As you said, dieting does not work. When I eat, I don't feel like I'm dieting - I only use the point system as something to guide me - because I am someone who feels that urge to keep eating (as you mentioned) that not really completely fully yet - but that's prolly because I swallowed my food in a hurry and didn't give it time to settle - so maybe I should eat all the rest just to be safe. Heh. It's my worst habit I've noticed. Anyway, thanks for the post.. you've made me think.

5:37 PM  

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