Monday, September 22, 2014
The Cause Important or not?
Are the causes of overeating important or not? OA states in Our Invitation to You that they are not. I struggle with that. They are not important in that the solution to any weight loss must be to follow a diet for the remainder of our lives. They are important in that if we remove the causes of overeating, the problem dries up and blows away. Well, at least reduces. We may still need to overcome an entrenched habit and/or addiction. The cause is therefore critical from the members view, not from the program survival point of view. Recovery, the member view is most critical. I have learned that I have control over my beliefs, and am responsible for my beliefs. It is the necessity for rigorous honesty that drives this question.
There is value in the program; it puts me in contact with many people who have eating issues, some of which have solutions to some of the problems, few have a good long lasting solution to all the problems. But back to the causes. In the Big Book, Doctor's opinion, the "causes of alcoholism" are listed: maladjustment to life, seeking oblivion, mental defective, overcome craving. With food issues the list must be longer. It must start with lack of food knowledge or amount, at least for some of us, for that will be required for recovery.
Willful overeating is the first cause that must be removed. It may have been the cause of us starting down this path of destructive eating, but it likely is not a big issue, although it could be if we get into a free wonderful food situation or and entrance price that covers all the food we can eat and I, being a cheap bastard, want my money's worth. I need to just stay clear of those environments.
Next, many of us were trained intentionally or unintentionally to overeat. Clean your plate or your do not get desert, the sugar rich addictive part of the meals. It was always there, always present. Any disturbance and I got a cookie shoved in my mouth. Silencer plug. It becomes habit, unconscious, and then addiction.
Next we need to understand that, having become addicted, we physically need and crave those foods. Insulin raises just thinking about food, and we develop appetite, and desire. This is made worse by lack of impulse control and availability of food 24/7. Environment and temptation is everywhere.
Then there is all the maladaptive behaviors, where I never adapted to life's situations. I did not know how. Never learned that skill, those useful beliefs. Instead we had god concepts pushed on us, pure rubbish, I now know. Nature is an system, not a thinking system; it cannot have purpose, it is all random generation, and selection by survival. It is empty and meaningless unless the human defines and believes in a purpose. Stress, anxiety, emotional upset all have belief solutions; all we need do is learn these and practice these. We are responsible for our beliefs, and these are within our control and we can change them.
The last is food addiction, when our mind and behavior becomes chemically dependent on high insulin, low leptin, high blood glucose, perhaps a few other chemicals, and we crave to return to what we are comfortable with.
Enough. My purpose is to keep the message out there that we can change. Epictetus is the place to start, or perhaps Jules Evans, I do not know. Start where you are, recovery is possible.