The Hunger Fix
Saturday, May 18, 2019
It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since I last blogged. All in all, it hasn't been a great year. I reached my all-time high weight and am working my way back. I fractured the bones above and below the knee in multiple places, but because I'm fat, several doctors told me my pain was in my head and advised bariatric surgery, leaving me to limp around for nine months before being correctly diagnosed.
On the bright side, I've been doing some reading, and I recently came across a book called The Hunger Fix by Dr. Pam Peeke. I feel like she is talking to me. She writes about epigenetics, how environment affects gene expression.
She writes: … If you skip breakfast and drive your 30-mile commute and have a psycho boss waiting for you at the office, and you're not equipped with the right stress management strategies, your fight-or-flight genes will go into overdrive and hit total burnout. Your levels of acetylcholine and cortisol, stress hormones that trigger fat storage and cravings, go though the roof. To anesthetize the pains of your daily existence, you may dope up with continual False Fixes - often those conveniently available at the office vending machine or drive thrus on your way home. The constant dependence on False Fixes not only thickens your waistline and changes your brain structure but also takes its toll on your genes, changing their expression to one supporting addiction - further reinforcing the cycle. (p.12)
She goes on, describing me to a T. I'm also reading a book about how habits are formed and changed. I hope that, in combination, I learn how to control the mental aspects leading to healthy choices, because it's clear to me that the medical establishment will continue to write me off until I lose enough weight that they feel like doing their jobs.
(Before you pooh-pooh me, consider a recent doctor appointment, where I described how I walked half marathons just a couple years ago. He pretended to believe me, but then his assistant interrupted and said, "Wow You really DID race. I googled you, and there are pictures!" And the doctor suddenly took me a lot more seriously. Sad.)
As I approach my birthday next month, I want to be in a stronger place mentally and physically, and I'm finding the energy to take those steps. Surgery is scheduled for next week. Wish me luck!