Zermati and me, third episode


Friday was my third visit to Dr. Z.

Zermati for close friends.

For a start, I arrived without my notebook in which I was supposed to write down my impressions after my four days of half fasting.

You can say I accidently did it on purpose, except that, pardon me, but I had done my home work.

Luckily, this good doctor Z., not only doesn’t weight you every two weeks but also is not the kind who moans at you if you’ve forgotten his notebook. New gold star.

Anyway, I thus voiced my observations. They were the following

On the first day, I heroically held for two hours without my daily breakfast. Not without being very very scared to die. Then I had two croissants, aware that the second one was too much. However, I then waiting until 16h, until I was hungry again, to eat a tiny little gougère and a Madeleine. In the evening, a soup and straight to bed, around 22h.

Ok, I’m being told in my earpiece that I’ve lost about a hundred readers, my food diary being interesting only for me.

In short, without going into details, on the following days I postponed a bit more the time of my first meal and I settled for smaller snacks. I had confirmation that indeed when you are hungry, you don’t put on weight, as I didn’t deny myself what I wanted. I’ve also understood that you might as well not start your food day with a glass of wine, even less with people you barely know, it sucks.

I’ve also noticed that you stuff yourself less when you eat with the munchies, I couldn’t explain it, maybe simply because you physically feel satiety effects, because you were aware of being hungry.

Another teaching: I can live with half the calories intake I usually have.

Most of all, and it seems doctor Z considers it’s the most important, I enjoyed eating. I mean a pleasure not spoiled by culpability.

Conclusion, when you are hungry, you don’t blame yourself for eating. Thus you don’t put on weight.

After this short assessment, I still asked the doctor Z. “Tell me”, so I said looking like I’m no fool. “It’s all fun and games but I know myself. Right now, I manage to contain myself. No urges and when I get some I control myself. What will happen in one month? Or two? When all this will not be new anymore? Because I’m champion at stopping diaries after 10 days, keeping resolutions for one month only and sorting documents until I buy an archive box. In short isn’t your method too behavior based? (Meaning, when do we talk about my mother and how all this is her fault?)*”

Then, the doctor looked at me, not really duped, suspecting I barely know what behavior based methods are and someone must have prompted me this question.

And he replied, that indeed it’s only the beginning of the trip. To understand the urges, you must first identify them. To identify them, you must know when they come. And to know when they come, you must be able to differentiate from moment when you are really hungry. And thus, working on the concept of hunger is a start. But don’t panic, we’ll work on my emotions. I will not avoid it, even so.

When the word “emotion” is spoken, bam, it stings my eyes again.

It sounds promising.

Then, we went on to a new exercise, slightly new age. We will learn how to breathe, so he told me. And there he is, putting on my ear a sort of plier connected to a wire plugged to a computer.

Believe me or no, I and my big mouth – mainly in the corridor, the big mouth – I didn’t ask what it was for, I supposed I was enabling him to read my thoughts or something.

He asked me to close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing. To make it simple, I would say it looked terribly like a relaxation exercise, the ones who have gone through child birth preparation or practiced yoga will know what I mean.  As usual during this kind of ritual, he asked me to choose an enjoyable image while concentration of my breathing.

Then, huge panic, just like every time in such a case. Impossible to stick to only one enjoyable image. A bit like when you see a shooting start and you have some many wishes to make you end up not choosing and thus, phew, the star is already dead since thirty millions years and you are still hesitating  between winning the lottery, finding the love of your life or finding a vaccine against AIDS.

In short, finding my enjoyable image kept me busy. Initially I was in a calm sea in Corsica, then on a ski lift above immaculate slopes, then in my lover’s arms. And finally, I settled for Helmut’s face when she came out of my belly.

And bam, stingy eyes.

Right when the exercise is over.

“Are you OK ?” he asked with the voice of an health professional who can see you’re not so good.

“Perfect, it’s just the light burning my eyes”. Liar.

Hard work is needed around emotions, definitely.

Right, I’m going to cut it short because I’m beating records with this article, basically, this exercise of “full awareness”, is used to see how interferences pollute your attention which is supposed to focus on one single object. In that case breathing, but it could have been a pen.

Or maybe a dish with sausages and lentils.

Basically – but it’s not yet very clear for me, I’ll ask for an explanation next time, thank you staircase wit – , I think the idea is to manage to focus on your body and its sensations. Anyway, the instruction is to grant myself with three minutes of “relaxation – breathing” before meals. Let’s see if I manage. He added I could use it during anxiety moments.

Anxiety, anxiety, do I look like anxiety?

That’s it, he then gave me more home work, namely during the next two weeks experimenting a small hunger, a medium hunger and a big hunger. Take note of the impressions, annoyances and sensations during the meal. The goal being to find the “right” hunger, the one that combines small annoyances and satisfactions when you end it.

Because, thus, the goal, Doctor Z repeated, is not to get sick. He also added that a big hunger is often not easy to satisfy. When the moment has passed, it has passed and the body makes up for it.

That’s all folks for today

Edit: At the end of the consultation, I took my courage in my hands and explained I have a blog in which I sometimes talk about him. I added that if he has a problem with it, I would remove his name. He answered he is fine with it, given the time and energy he dedicates to defend his point of view, he isn’t going to deny himself the pleasure. I gave him the address, telling him it’s up to him, as I don’t mind him reading what I write about him, after all it’s the least I can do. He had that qualm to fear it would hold back my spontaneity. I pleaded that I’m talking here about things I would have never considered making the world wide web aware of. Even less my mother. In short, do as you please doctor.

Edit2: I’ve created a “Zermati and me” section so that you can find the articles easily, I don’t know if you were missing it, but in doubt…

Edit3: The enjoyable image I’ve put here is a picture taken clumsily by my kids on the day of our wedding, just before the party started. I like the end of day heat mist and its serenity. I like seeing my parents’ garden decorated for the occasion as best as we could. I like the memory of those perfect flowers, pampered by my mother for weeks so that they bloom exactly on the D day. Here is my enjoyable image, next I will not hesitate.

* Mum, I know it’s not all your fault, it just that a therapy during which you don’t criticize your mother is not really a therapy isn’t it?

Your comment

  • (will not be published)

Allowed HTML tags.: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>