Monday, 27 October 2014

The Pleasure Comes from the Functioning of your Body, not the Food

This clever gag succinctly summarises what's in the back of my mind, whenever people insist they "use" food "like a drug" to "self soothe" or comfort themselves.
It's our instinct to manoeuvre ourselves into a position of control even if that means after the fact. We will at times cop to anything but lack of control. Sometimes cluelessness can lead to the truth. I discovered long ago that I was just about the only person I'd ever heard of that knew, I did not enjoy eating when I had a hyperphagic disorder.

Anorexic-worshipping, fat hating ED professionals will tell you the greatest problem fat people with ED's have is our purportedly tremendous shame about eating in public. That's like saying the haystacks problem is that frond of hay.

A better sign of hyperphagia is the same as anorexics the need to seem in CONTROL.

This is hard to spot, because fat people are defined as out of control and thin people with anorexia so totally in control that....they suffer from too much of a good thing.

Despite anorexics being able to say that they heart food. It seems to be taboo for a fat person to say that they have an excess of hunger yet don't enjoy eating. To be fair, the former point disappears in the casting of being fat as an ED.

The first time I let this slip to a group of people years ago, feeling embarrassed that I was doing a lot of something I didn't enjoy, one of them, a slender blonde got so hysterical-no exaggeration-I was moved to withdraw what I'd said. She literally started shouting, that I did enjoy it I did-meaning me- louder and louder.

I was alarmed. Weirder still,  No one said anything about this performance.

As is the case, fat people feel responsible for slim people's distress around weight and surrounding matters and in those days I did too. Oh the irony. Here I was being honest and I was forced to deny by someone else. Actually, now I think of it, isn't that the norm for fat people?

Given so much experience of erasure and silencing, I'm not keen to implying people are not properly perceiving their own experience. One should tread carefully. Nor am I seeking to extrapolate unthinkingly from my own experience as some kind of universal template.  But, I simply am not convinced that food can be 'used' in this way. It seems borrowed from alcohol, like the term "binge eating." We can all misinterpret our own experience, sometimes wildly so.

That's also taboo- especially if you're middle/upper class. Obviously common people don't know shit about themselves until informed by these enlightened folk.

The terms we use to express our experience are a translation from our internal flux of sensory data. We are not always best placed to find the right match, tough as that is to say. Remember, most fat people have dieted, seen the results and behaved as if that meant they hadn't dieted.

Our experience is filtered and at times distorted by our accepted beliefs.

The purpose of eating is to provide our bodies with the energy our bodily processes need to keep functioning properly. This also has the effect of raising our mood, which also requires some energy. Think of how exhaustion can tend to curtail emotional expressiveness.

Pleasure is part of the successful functioning of the eating process, often rising with satiety. It's a sign that the process is going smoothly. It's also in what surrounds that process. The reason I didn't enjoy eating was, I was in a chronic state of low mood, that lowered the amount of pleasure I felt in general, it was most pronounced in the way I felt whilst eating. It made eating feel purely mechanical, compulsive. Yet I was more drawn to eating than I am now that my ability to enjoy eating returned. Indeed, that was the sign that I was getting over it.

Food has nothing in it that intoxicates, unless there's something wrong with it or its alcohol, which is what gives people drug "highs" and can ultimately cause addiction in those susceptible to it. There is no addiction without intoxication. Food can give you energy, a desire to eat can be provoked by some kind of drain on your energy, but its at best supportive to the functioning of your body.

Compulsion is something else.

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