Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fasting Day 149 - 112.4

Today, the San Diego Tribune ran an article on childhood obesity and surgeries to correct it. The article said that weight loss surgeries can cost more than $15,000 and often do not qualify for insurance coverage. Some families are taking their children across the border to Mexico where the surgery is cheaper. Another part of the report said,

"Science is helping doctors better understand why many youngsters and adults can't seem to shed pounds through diet and exercise once they've packed on an excessive amount of weight.

It turns out that once you're about 100 pounds over your ideal body weight, your body has reset its thermostat ...."

It breaks my heart to watch this condition spreading across the planet, especially knowing all the anguish and suffering that tend to accompany it. Sure, some fortunate few are comfortable being heavier and that is wonderful for them. However, for most people being overweight or obese means being teased, ridiculed, humiliated. It means having a difficult time finding clothes that fit. It means watching from the sidelines rather than participating for fear of calling more attention to oneself. It means feeling self conscious eating in public. It means countless diets struggling desperately to lose a few pounds, only to gain them back again plus more. There is the self loathing at being unable to lose weight and the panic at feeling out of control of one's own body. The beautiful people on television with their perfect bodies and perfect teeth and perfect lives reminding us of just how much OUR lives lack ... how much we lack ... how imperfect we are. Only to be bombarded with commercials of unhealthy foods designed to exploit the pleasure and comfort that eating can provide us. Disguised as a nurturing friend who will help us bury our imperfect feelings and imperfect bodies -- only to find ourselves abandoned in a place where we begin this cycle of self loathing all over again.

What if...just what really isn't our fault? The article states that our thermostats get reset when we reach a certain weight and it becomes extraordinarily difficult to lose weight. But, what if this 'mechanism' is actually getting triggered first? What if something (again in our environment, or food or water supply or whatever) is actually triggering the mechanism FIRST and the result is weight gain and obesity -- not the other way around. Wouldn't that make more sense? Wouldn't that be a more likely explanation as to why obesity has become so rampant? Then, wouldn't it be shameful ... all this cruelty and shame that we have bombarded overweight people with? How long ago was it when we locked epileptics up inside mental institutions? Will future generations look back in disdain at the inhumane treatment of our own barbaric and ignorant civilization?

I know that I go on and on about this topic far too often. But I really do believe that the true cause of this epidemic is something other than humanity suddenly turning into a bunch of lazy, gluttonous pigs. This 'trigger agent' is becoming so tangible in my mind that I can almost reach out and touch it. I think when we finally identify what is really causing this problem, it will be an 'AHA' moment and everything will suddenly make sense. We will all take a step back and wonder how we could have ever believed the way we did. How we could have been so insensitive to the suffering of others.

I understand the pain and the desperation that would drive people to take so drastic a step as weight loss surgery. I understand the feeling that the surgery is worth risking your life, especially when life isn't worth living if you have to stay as miserable as you are right now. I'd like to suggest trying one last diet plan before undergoing surgery... try alternate day fasting. Try it for 3 weeks and see if it works for you. I know that it isn't for everyone, maybe it isn't even for most people. But it worked for me -- it has changed my life. Talk to your doctor, maybe he could prescribe something to help you get through the fasting days easier or perhaps you could start with using a meal replacement shake on your fasting day. If it worked for me than I know that there are other people out there who it will also work for. Maybe you are one of those people, maybe you could feel better than you ever dreamed possible. Instead of surgery, you might be able to use that +15K to treat yourself to a new bathing suit and a fantastic vacation. Talk to me, I'm here. I offer you my friendship and support. You can do this -- I know you can.


Jim said...

Alternate day fasting? Okay, maybe. But for me, a low-carb diet seems to work well. I guess it doesn't matter which diet we try, as long as it works for us. Best wishes with your diet.

Muse said...


Thanks! You have a great attitude. I totally agree with you, we should do whatever works best for us. We need to listen to our bodies and trust ourselves. So many people seem to be trying to force others into the same diet mold -- as if there is only one 'right' way and everything else is wrong.

Best of luck to you!