In my ongoing struggle to lose weight while taking prednisone, I found myself reading "Fat is a Feminist Issue" by Suzie Orbach. (The Kindle version I bought has both the first and second books.)
Orbach is a psychotherapist, and her books look into the psycho-social development of women and our relationships with our bodies, and how this leads us to the constant dieting/bingeing cycle that so many women (and increasingly men as well) are so incredibly familiar with.
The book reminded me very much of Dr Dorrie McCubbrey's "How Much Does Your Soul Weigh?" that I read a number of years ago.
Both authors say the solution to the problem isn't yet another diet. It's about understanding our relationship with food, with our bodies, with how we see ourselves.
For those of us who have repeatedly gained and lost weight, the cycle can seem like it has no end. Each time, it gets harder to keep control, to stay disciplined enough.
Both Orbach and McCubbrey say stop being so disciplined. Stop fighting for control. Stop seeing food as the enemy. Start understanding why you eat the way you do.
Years ago, when I first read McCubbrey's book, I did a lot of work on my emotional relationships with food, the memories food brought up, the fear of scarcity, of not having enough or not having my share.
Revisiting this again, I think there is now just one main reason I do still binge.
On what I call a "normal" day, I will eat far less food than Calorie King would allow me. That's not because I'm super-good or super-self-controlled. It's because I've eaten enough and I'm not hungry any more.
But once or twice a week, I will break out and have a binge. I will eat until I feel sick an keep eating. I won't care what I'm eating. Reading Orbach's book has helped me pull myself up mid-binge and work out just what was going on.
Are you ready for this?
It was fatigue.
I was so exhausted I was trying to give myself an energy boost by eating.
Do you know what? It doesn't actually work.
Sometimes I can overcome fatigue for a short while by drinking lots of coffee, but most of the time, really all I can do is sleep.
Instead of kidding myself I'm fine and can just keep going and going, I actually need to stop when I'm tired and have the rest my lupie body is demanding.
Bingeing won't fix it.
From now on, when I'm tempted to binge, I'll go and lie down first if the option is at all available.
Will that make me lose weight? I don't really know. I'm taking prednisone, after all. I don't know how it works, but I do know that prednisone has done all kinds of weird things to my body - such as make me retain stupid amounts of fluid and give me a problem with high blood pressure (when my blood pressure was always just a tad lower than it should have been before.)
I do know I feel much better when I'm not shovelling in food I don't want in an attempt to achieve the impossible.