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The Pleasure Principle

Friday, March 22, 2013

Yesterday I made a large tactical error. I was in the grocery store and I came home with two things that had no business in my shopping cart: 1) animal crackers. 2) a pint of frozen yogurt. Granted neither thing was a horrific "sin" - but neither one was necessary and both of them added up to temptation that I was not strong enough to handle. Consequence? I ate half the pint in the afternoon and the other half at 3:30 AM. And not only that but I also had a bowl of cereal and some blackberries and some animal crackers in the overnight. When will I ever get this monster defeated? I keep making errors like having tempting food in the house.

Because of my night time splurge...I've been awake since 3:30. Partly because I've been feeling so badly about what I ate. These are the same feelings I had as an anorexic when I would get up in the night and eat a few bites of ice cream and maybe have a cookie. I would feel horrible about myself and out of control....just like I feel now. Yesterday I was brimming with motivation. I felt strong. And now??

Now, just like my guilt over a couple bites of ice cream....maybe I'm over reacting Maybe I'm giving food too much power. I'm giving it the power to make me feel miserable and to rob me of badly needed sleep.

All I really need to do is to do an extra fifteen minutes on the bike and that will eradicate my guilt. But is this beginning a bad response to poor choices? It's the binge purge sequence of behaviors that are so dangerous for me. I was never one to vomit...but I would "purge" by working out. Now I don't think that this one instance of doing this is going to set me up for a relapse into an eating disorder but it is good to be aware of it.....and to not make it a habit.

Food is such an incredible force. So complicated in the emotions it brings up in us....the behaviors it elicits. The complex web of responses it sets up. I mean, what is it? It's something we have to do to survive. But because it is pleasurable, it gets complicated. When we put the pleasure in front of the survival, we get into trouble. It's the same as sex and procreation....It's something we do as a race to survive....but because it also feels good, it begins to influence many many behaviors. It effects what clothes we buy and how we make up our hair and faces....all these peripheral behaviors. Why can't it just be cut and dried and simple?

There used to be a diet popular in Christian circles called "Weigh Down" and it's principle was simple....there are no good or bad foods. You can eat what you want...provided your stomach is growling and you are feeling physical hunger. Then you could eat what you want...but only until you were no longer hungry. NO more. And then you had to wait until the next time you were hungry to eat more. It sounds good in principle. And it's the way it should be. IT puts food in its proper place....something we do to survive. Why is it so hard to do? The pleasure problem. it feels good so we want MORE of it.

I don't know what the solution is. But I know that food has way too much power in my life ...Anytime something can make you do what you really don't want to do and then cause you to feel an agony of regret--well it simply has too much power.

For me, today: I'm working on regaining my mojo. And I probably will get it back once I work out and start feeling good again. But I'm going to be thinking about this...this quandary with food that we face. The push-me-pull-you of food. And what on earth are we supposed to do about it?
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  • no profile photo CD10895053
    You can let that be a less to you or you can say, "Stuff it!" and not take any heed to this lesson at all. My husband praised me today with saying that I sure have changed my way of eating! I was like, really?!!!! But when I think about it, I really have been changing little by little and that's what it takes, little by little. We're not going to conquer our problems overnight and even in a year. It's little by little probably for the rest of our lives! We're here on SP where there's tons of help from every direction and if we didn't want to learn any of our lessons and from other people's lessons, we would never be on SP to begin with! So girl, you're winning because I know you, you're feeling guilty and that's the first step to changing little by little!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2866 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5645667
    I also feel like that sometimes . It is part and parcel of feeling not loved.
    We substitute food for love. I suffered this many years ago in my teens .
    emoticon Perhaps your doctor could help.
    Much love Susie
    2866 days ago
  • _LINDA
    That is the problem, some stuff just tastes so good and its designed to be that way. Things get sweetened and the more we have the more we want, its an addiction, plain and simple. The only real way to stop is go cold turkey. Smokers who quit and then have just one cigarette here and there end up getting right back into. Its a powerful drug, the pleasure principle and the actual chemical make up of what you are eating. MSG was put into food to make it more pleasureable tasting so you want more. The problem is it takes 20 minutes before you get the signal your stomach is full and most people have already gulped up far too much by that time. Because, lets face it, if it tastes good we are quick to gobble it up!! I am so bad for speed eating, in a rush, rush lifestyle that is how I grew up. Got to walk 3 miles to work at 7 am, got to finish breakfast quick and hit the road. Lunch is half an hour, get it done and back to your machine fast. The confectionery job had no breaks, you worked your full eight hours and snatched food where you could.
    The best is not to bring into the house things that you really don't need -you know you will consume them in short order not being able to resist. Its just the nature of the human beast. Pleasure first, thought second.
    By the way 15 min on the cycle will not undo the calories of a whole pint of yogurt. So much is wrong with how people track. They actually don't seem to notice what kind of calories there are in what they eat in a whole day, never mind the snacks, compared to what you actually can burn.
    Good luck with conquering this problem, its always rearing its ugly head for most of us, I dare say!
    One day at a time, you can do it!!
    emoticon emoticon
    2866 days ago
    My problem is recognizing I am no longer hungry!
    2866 days ago
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