Survivors (1)


“On a day to day basis, it’s fine. I deal quite well with my cravings, I don’t feel distressed by food, I indulge and stop almost all the time when I’ve had enough. But now, for example, I’m going for a week-end away with friends, I know that we’ll party, that there will be no set time for meals, that there will be temptations all the time and that I won’t be able to do like I do at home, namely leaving the table when I’m done, to avoid temptations. Thus, I’m getting distressed”, so I explained last week to doctor Zermati.

To which he answered: “You need to really trust yourself now. To trust regulation first and foremost.”

“Yes, you will most probably eat more than usual, in exceptional circumstances, exceptional food behavior. If you think it is possible to always eat according to your sensations, eating exactly what your body need, you’re totally wrong. People who never take a break, who have linear diet have a problem, precisely with food. They are the unbalanced ones. For that matter, honestly, I don’t know any”, he added.

What a relief, once again, to hear such things. Life is not a long quiet river and neither is food. As result, would you believe, I was chilled out during those two days, not denying myself anything and, above all, not thinking about what was too much or too little. And at the end, no mess on the scale.

And even if there had been a mess, I think it would be sorted, because when I came back, chock-a-block with toasts, pastries, champagne and beer, I craved furiously…

Braised chicories.

I know, it’s crazy.

In short, what I’m trying to understand and integrate, it’s that fearing extra kilos will make me put on weight. What I understand too, it’s that yes, it’s nicer to spend your evening dancing with a light feeling, yes, compliments from friends I haven’t seen since my figure was at its biggest last year are flattering. But no, it doesn’t change much the pleasure they’ve had – or haven’t had- to see me again and even less the one I felt.

I also understand, since doctor Z’s scientific explanations, that in order to put on weight like I can do, you must suffer from two pathologies. The first one is being unable to handle emotion without eating. We’ve spoken about it already, it’s independent from willpower, it’s a Pavlov classical conditioning, some will cry when they are sad or worried, others will need a drink, others a piece of Milka. Sometimes, you are even lucky enough to need all three at the same time. The other disorder, genetic this one, causes fat cells to multiply, an irreversible multiplication that make your set point evolve towards higher numbers inexorably. This, either you have it or you don’t. People who don’t have this genetic mutation will put on weight if they eat a lot but their cells will only increase in volume and this volume will be lost as soon as their diet reduces. People like me produce plenty friends for their adipocytes. And it’s only a combination of both disorders that causes weight gain.

I add that according to Doctor Z, if more and more people are obese it’s also and very simply because over the course of wars and famines, beings who were not able to multiply their fat cells have disappeared for lack of surviving abilities. Basically, us fatties, we are a bit like winners, survivors1. How about that huh? I would have loved to throw this in the face of the moron who wanted to start a ‘carothon’ to make me lose weight in secondary school…

In short, only one solution to stop the process, act on emotions. Not on the cravings they trigger, once again, you can’t help it, it’s a reflex you’ve had for too long. But when these emotions are coming, understand in which situation you are vulnerable, find the origin of the ill-being. I am currently working on this, a process which is much less simple than behaviorism from the beginning or knowing my sensations. It’s a quest which brings me back in my childhood, my teenage hood and I don’t know exactly what it will enable me to find out. But it’s fascinating and, oddly, I have very little compulsions currently. I have too, and it’s even better, more confidence in front of the ones who usually have me go to pieces (and there are many, I’m a corridor big mouth, may I remind you).

In short, no magic in all this, no evidences, lot of introspection and sometimes a few brain-waves which help me understand the reason of some snack times that, long ago, lasted until dinner…


[1] TN: In English in the original text


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