Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Limited Horizons

Didn't expect to bother with the other two episodes of this. I completed the trio, in spite of myself and felt certain things were worth noting (my hand accidentally typed that as "nothing").
The premise, to apply a scientific approach to calorie restriction dieting (CRD) was laughable. That would obliterate the practice. It turned out really to be another desperate chapter of-operation save calorie restriction dieting. The prime motive as ever isn't to slim fat people but to keep us dieting.

At the start of each part the presenter asserted: "We know 'obesity' is caused by overeating." Tell that to the surgeons cutting stomachs out-along with added mal absoption! They clearly see the "cause" as an absence of starvation.

The programme's USP was "tailoring" diets to a person's eating [faults]. WW arrived at the same place for the same reasons with their points system. Both are an instinctive drift- realized or not- toward aping normal eating, a tacit admission of failure.

And if "overeating" i.e. an excess of hunger is the problem, why not apply a scientific approach to reversing that? Temperature too high, reduce it. Too many hunger signals? Reduce their extent and/or range, simple. Yet not a dicky bird was said about such.

Just to clarify, this would be more or less the same whether a person had normal hunger or not. Its just reducing normal hunger might lead to pathology and be rather unethical-given you'd be imposing loss of function rather than healing. [Sound familiar?]

What made me truly sit up though (and sit through to the end) was beneath the-anyone can change their weight demeanour-lay a boneheaded genetic fatalism I'd not imagined. Even I gave them way more credit than this. They literally said, whatever problems you do (or don't have) as a fat person are created by your genes and you're stuck with them.

The paucity of this vision staggered me.

I know it's become the thing to turn to genes as the explanation for and answer to everything including stigma-not so. But post neuro-plasticity and given all the insistence that fat people facing reality were "giving up", well, I hardly imagined this would be applied to weight.

This weird genetic fatalism has advanced in the mainstream without touching fat people much. Seeing it applied to aspects of this area showed it up afresh. Though I've not been backward in declaring dieting pretty much worthless, I've never doubted for a second that there are ways to properly and gently re-direct metabolic function and weight-don't conflate weight loss with calorie restriction dieting. There is just not enough real drive to find alternatives.

To recap, they'd split pre-chosen candidates into three groups of eaters; feasters- whom they said couldn't stop eating once they'd started. iow, their eating travelled from 0-100 mph but had faulty brakes. Emotional eaters-appetite was stimulated by stress etc., and constant cravers-who felt like picking at food most of the time. 

I had all of these problems and more, I had to rid myself of this.

They explained that feasters had a surfeit of a gut hormone (it was GLP-1) which was supposed to tell their brain they'd had enough. Okay, but, their attitude was this was some kind of unbending trait, that you were just supposed to live with!

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

It was at times achingly poignant to see these people dealing with these issues, whilst on a calorie restriction diet. I too spent years fighting myself and unwittingly stoking my problems further. That direct relationship wasn't mentioned either as I recall.

More than this though not even the remotest possibility of relief was alluded to, can you believe that? Imagine being told your bladder is hyperactive, its genetic, bye. Even if they've got nothing, you'd expect them to mention that was something to investigate, but no. They got no further than a fixation on fatalistic interpretations of biochemistry.

The cruelty of total blame is often mentioned, but this hollowing out of having anything to go on is overlooked. Wanting to help people deal with their people problems is key to progress. Solving problems or merely trying to leads somewhere, even if its just-that's not the way. In the absence of any need for that, there is just this kind of emptiness.

The longer this void goes on, the more self perpetuating it becomes.

This unresponsiveness reminded me how removed so many of those involved with 'obesity' are from having a true understanding of vocation.  Serving the people concerned is what ultimately propels a subject forward, without that it can't really go anywhere.

I was touched by the gratitude of the participants. Though obviously prompted they spoke in terms of the "this knowledge that has been given me." How it (finally) gave them something to go on which promised resolution, which is all people want. To be able to solve any problems they do have. It is the crusade that leaves people in this weird state of passivity, underneath the flurry of futile disordered recommendations.

People spend aeons stuck in this cycle of repeating failure. It is responsible for a lot of decline in people's attitude towards themselves. Not things like the so called "tyranny of thin."

This stymieing of people's intelligence also contributes to the sense that fat people are somewhat lacking in intelligence. Fat people are left exposed by this lack of information. Usually, people can tell you more about their state of being than others know. Not fat people as we're imprisoned in the level of disinterest others anchor us to.

There was talk of "hungry genes" being "obesity genes" and I just felt this kind of assertion has not aided progress in so many areas. And even those using it to hide behind-despise it as a cop-out. Fatz are routinely taunted with accusations that we blame genes. Now we're to be taught to parrot this trope to little useful end.

They did give an arresting coping mechanism for dealing with hunger or cravings-they're the same thing in fat people don'tchaknow-blame the food companies. For putting temptation all around you.  Hereby recruiting fat people into fat phobes phoney war against industrial food. 

It was said openly this was a way of taking some of the burden of blame off yourself. I suddenly understood more about this kind of psychological outlook. I'm not meaning to sound like a goody-two shoes, but this really feels rather clunky in the area of fatness. The idea is fat people do this anyway. But the reactions of those advised to do this- spoke to the novelty of its application.

Industrial food's hold over our environment has advanced off the back of the individuation and blame default of 'obesity'. I have my issues with IF, but ultimately the problem lies in the CR approach, which stupidly targets hunger. Treating it as an "addiction" to be erased. It's a bad target as it is designed to fight back. If enough of these defenses fall short or fail, anorexia beckons.

The "emotional eaters" were supposed to be subject to a psychological approach. This consisted of abseiling off an abandoned lighthouse-to make them see they could channel strong feelings into motivation for action. I could not see the connection. Added to that was group support in the form of a slimming club. They mentioned CBT, but didn't deign to tell us what this consisted of.

Training the nervous system to remain calmer overall, stopping activity triggering hunger/appetite would have achieved a more direct and controllable result. That along with, if necessary, dealing with traumatic events-which helps to stop further stress impacting on your energy (which can also trigger appetite in the susceptible).

It's as if the decades of dieting failure has hollowed out potential layers of expertise and the whole has regressed. Complete dependence on CRD has inflicted the same intellectual damage as occurs in others dependent on a compulsive, repetitive habit that has dominated their life. After withdrawal they go back to it because life no longer makes sense without it.

That's why these people cling to ci/co. 

It was hard not to laugh at another demonstration of how the body compensates for artificially bolted on activity-i.e. exercise. Between sessions its well known the body instinctively compensates by curtailing output-or you "slob out" as the programme put it. 

As usual its up to you to police yourself into undesired, taxing, artificial behaviour because its so logical that anyone will sustain that for the rest of their lives.

There was a ludicrous bit where a make-up artist was put through his paces on an exercise bike and told getting off the bus a couple of stops early, standing up whilst talking on his mobile and going to the shops and carrying cans in a basket (not a trolley) would waste as much energy as 30 mins hard peddling.

Yeah, perhaps after four hours! It was farcical. Later we were informed metabolic expenditure falls as you lose weight, so you'll have to reduce your calories as you lose weight. How quickly would this exceed your allotted intake, if you could sustain this long enough?

The participants were followed through the first month of the usual, initial biggest weight loss, euphoria-why has this been all my life, to the disappointment and disillusion of week 4, I'm doing all this, feeling like crap and not losing/gaining weight, through to the final weigh-in after 3 months. Collectively, they'd lost 8% of their weight, the target was 5%.

Now people are seeing through dieting (again) fat people are still trapped in and dragged back to the low expectations of those demanding of them, things they don't even know they don't ask of themselves.

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