Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Conscious mind is part of the whole

Interesting post by Meowser in response to a query raised in Fillyjonk's wonderful recent post about why you can trust yourself to eat what you want. She answers the query that comes from people with eating disorders especially who don't know what to do about the fact that their body demands an excess of the same things, regardless of whether they eat them or not.

I do not agree that eating is intuitive-which suggests that eating is some kind of guessing game, it is the result of information your body collates about it's needs. Your body is thinking about it's requirements we can see this in times when nutrition is hugely important like suitability of breast milk to the needs of the infant also other times when certain requirements become really important; the endless eating of many adolescents during ( and after )puberty or cravings during pregnancy.

The preciseness this ability can achieve knowing it's own requirements is the basis of why wl diets fail, they upset what is already there because we assume nothing is there.

This is why it's important to accept that they fail and to understand exactly why it teaches us about how eating actually works, by doing this, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering( as well as tedious power plays raving nincompoops).

This is why I've never warmed to the term 'intuitive eating' the 'intuitive' part panders to the that underlying assumption of (total) conscious control of eating. Having said that the idea itself isn't totally redundant, if your mind has been so hopelessly unbalanced by wl diet dogma (and the results of dieting) that you can only start to re-gain a normal state by switching off or bypassing conscious input, that may be the best you can do until you restore some balance.

It's like the conscious mind, having been burdened with duties it wasn't supposed to have-being in charge of eating- rather than being in charge of facilitating eating. If its overly excitable and getting in the way with a hang over of fear and hysteria from the pressure of dieting then it's influence has to be minimized to just carrying out orders with minimal interaction. Just until things can calm down and you get a better idea of what you need.

When it's true place in the order of things can be re-gained, it can again play it's useful and positive role in your eating.

When someone has misbehaved, overstepped their authority, they are sometimes punished by being put on menial duties, until they can cool their heels.  In other words it's a recovery technique, not something to live by unless you cannot re-gain normalcy.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with allowing the part of your brain that contains your memories and experiences of eating  to have an overall say over what goes in your mouth, to keep a balance if that's what is needed. After an especially long time dieting, you can find your body is still acting because of that, rather than any set point.

Indeed, the conscious mind is a part of eating and should be part of the whole under normal conditions what dieting does wrong is to make that the whole of the process.

There are different rules for those who either have chronic disease-such as diabetes etc as they have to meet their health needs. Then there are those who are eating disordered or have eating disorders, they need recovery before they can eat normally.

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