Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Normal eating

To eat normally is to eat according to your needs or as little as you want, in the proportions and amounts you feel are right. Although I cannot agree with the weight control aspect of this blog- a normal weight is not defined narrowly by BMI of 20-25, it does have some righteous words on the innateness of eating.

Built into the human body and nervous system is the automatic ability to collect information from all its parts on what is needed for the body to nourish, replenish and sustain itself. That information is collected into the conscious parts of our mind we act on it on that basis. It’s the overweening reality of our conscious minds that has fooled us into thinking that we control eating from there, rather than it being a part-an important one-of a whole process.

The conscious mind is the closest and most obvious link we have to our eating, it is right to assume that any conscious attempt to change our weight or eating has to come from here. The problem is the assumption of how, monitoring the part of the energy equation that we are aware of, because of course we do not control, in the main things such as the basal metabolic rate, that is the rate at which we make use of energy just to keep our vital functions ticking over.

It is important to state what normal eating actually is because we are losing touch with it. The great and sustained power playing of such as the slimming industry-trading on our desire to be slim, the fitness industry, trading on our desire to be physically fit and attractive to others. And the obesity field, which trades on our desire to be healthy and our fear of death.

Between them, with a special mention for the food industries and nutritionists, they have unbalanced and compromised the links we have to our needs. They’ve introduced factors other than that and prioritized them, whether it’s entertaining ourselves with some silly new snacks or comforting ourselves with some high energy product, then there is the veneration of things that are low in calories which we are advised by nutritionists especially to eat regardless of whether we desire them or not, ironically making use of our capacity for greed.

Those in the field of obesity add a tremendous amount of anxiety to and around our eating process by confirming the link between conscious eating and weight control, itself a cause of much eating disorders and disordered eating.

Then there’s the slimming industry that trade on the ideal of controlling our weight through controlling our eating. This has had in some cases devastating effect on our ability to meet our needs properly. The body is designed to fight off calorie restriction, whether lowering intake or increasing output, these responses and the anxiety and stress of them, cause both forms of eating disorder.

Its influence has gone deeper shaping our attitudes to eating as a whole, we think that normal eating itself a disorder rather like compulsive eating. We are convinced that this is the cause of fatness or will inevitably cause fatness. This is convenience, something to make the diet industry look as if it is the expert and can add some of that to your life to make you slim.

In a sense, this abnormal and actually bordering on pathological set of assumptions about and around eating have now become the norm by which we measure our eating.

Until we re-gain a sense of trust and freedom about and around our eating understanding our need for spontaneity, along with order of course. We will continue to spiral into increasingly disordered eating, as we have been doing over the decades of the gathering pace of the crisis crusade.

One of the great things about fat acceptance is the re-gaining of self trust, it is slow, but it’s important and vital if we are to rescue ourselves and apply what we have learned from assuming that normal eating was the problem.

It wasn't.

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