Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogosphere Personals

I am feeling kind of icky today. I woke up feeling bloated (mid cycle stuff... I am super sensitive to hormonal changes), with a headache. I'm tired, and three of my kids are sick. Well... only one is sick enough to miss school (he has missed 3 days so far) but the other has an ear infection and is going to the doctor today and the little one is getting over a head cold. I can feel my body fighting all this crap off and it has dulled my enthusiasm a little bit today, but I am still just fine on the eating front. In fact, I was thinking...

A friend of mine told me that the year she fell in love, she dropped 130 pounds with hardly any effort. I've seen it happen to other people: they are falling in love and the weight just drops off. Why is that? What's going on? Is there something we can learn from this?

I remember when I was working and going to college and taking my kids to sports practices every day, 6 or 7 years ago. I was exhausted and had NO energy for "fixing myself." One evening, I had to go to some stupid meeting called by a new soccer coach. I did NOT want to go. I wanted to sit home and watch TV with a bag of chips. But the meeting promised free pizza, so I dragged myself down there to sit and roll my eyes at the usual yada yada about team colors and sportsmanship and whether they should be called the Red Fireballs or the Glowing Dragons. But this meeting was different. The guy was interesting. He was cute. And he was single.

I was energized enough ("perked up" as they say) by him that I volunteered to be the Team Mom. Ah yes, I'd get to work with him more closely. Over the next weeks we became friends, and then we dated. I was totally going head over heels for this guy. And you know what? ALL the binge eating stopped. Food became secondary. It was not a concerted effort to "diet," I just did not CARE about a bag of chips anymore. I had Guy on the Brain. I was happy, I was giddy. It was exciting. My weight plummeted.

When we eventually broke up, the weight came back. But what happened? Why are we *so* desperate for cheesecake until some guy comes along and steals our heart? If there really is such thing as food addiction... and I think there is... how is it abated by love? How can an eating disorder just *disappear* when you're in love?

I think it's because the "love" feelings, which are in fact chemical surges in the brain, are very similar to the "comfort" feelings one gets when they eat junk or binge. One of these chemicals, dopamine, "stimulates ‘desire and reward’ by triggering an intense rush of pleasure. It has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine." Or eating a ton of cookies. I also think binge eaters and overeaters are often trying to fill a hole in themselves that they don't quite understand, and when someone else comes along and fills that hole, they no longer need to try and stuff it with donuts. Think about it. Before a binge or even just a "junk food session," don't you feel kinda empty? But when you are falling in love, emptiness is far, far from your mind. Endorphins abound. You feel great! You don't need food for that anymore.

If we can find a way to trigger those feelings without eating junk, maybe we can mimic being in love. Maybe it's like a "runner's high" or something and we can find what takes us to our happy place without a binge. Or we can fall in love. Maybe that's the best diet plan out there.

Somebody wanna put together a Blogger's Dating Service? No? Well I guess everyone could just leave their own personals ad in the comments section here, but I think it would be 90 women to one man. However, I suppose it might be your lucky day and that one man could be *the one.* Or he could be *the one* for a few months, just long enough to get you started on your weight loss journey :)

Last night I made turkey soup and beer bread for dinner and it was fabulous. After a day of being out in the fall chill, that supper really hit the spot. If you haven't tried it, do! I will be having that for lunch today as well.

Have a great weekend! (And feel free to leave your personals ad in the comments. Seriously!)

22 comments:

ctina said...

I run a LOT more when I am single. Maybe this is why? Runner's High? Marathon training has def taken away cravings to eat too much.

I'm fascinated by this blog-dating idea. Have you seen the program that analyzes your personality from your blog? Now imagine if it made matches too... ?

My ad: I'm single, female, adorable, and a mere 30 yrs old - looking for someone equally silly or more ridiculous than myself in NYC area, who appreciates the pop-up books I produce and Also serious conversation now and again.

And I have a blog www.cafeaulaits.blogspot.com

Diana said...

That's very well thought. I think you hit the spot when you wrote that the eating becomes secondary. Part of the problem is the fact that food has such a huge importance in our lives.

Have a great weekend too!

happyfunpants said...

I think you're on to something here.

I struggle with food addiction, but since I've been dating my boyfriend (for the past 4 months...so it's still new - and fantastic! :) ), I've noticed that my temptation to overeat compulsively has dwindled considerably.

Interesting thought - and one I'll definitely ponder more.

Sharon said...

Married white BBW, 36, loves long walks on the beach, thunderstorms, and sugar daddies who pay for gym memberships. LOL :)

Camille said...

I've never tried this love-diet idea before. Who knows, maybe it would work.
Single- female, 25, currently in school and working part-time, I love to laugh. There's a lot more to me- if interested go to my blog and take a look: www.camilleewell.blogspot.com

Jen in MN said...

This definitely happened to me when my hubby & I were first dating & falling in love! I wasn't weighing at the time, but I bet a good 15-20 lbs fell right off with NO effort. I was too excited to eat! I had butterflies in my stomach all the time! Ah, love. We're still in love, but unfortunately the eating issues did return after awhile (though currently being successfully worked on). Good post!

Honib1 said...

I would certainly agree to this.. I know right before my wedding I lost about 10 pounds no effort.. but I was busy and excited.. shame we can not bottle that feeling.. and take a dose as needed..

Twix said...

Interesting to note, I've never lost weight falling in love though. I guess there could be a first. I wander if an NSA online, never meeting, relationship would trigger a reaction... hah.

BBW, white, fit, married, 33. Tickle my funny bone (my brain).
;-) Like long walks, stimulating conversation, and it'd be nice if you were supportive of me staying a fit BBW, just a smaller version. Would you pay for a gym membership for exchange of my progress photos? You must be a male no more than 4 years younger or 15 years older and can meet the above requests; looks unimportant. email me - licktwix@gmail.com

Lol, Lyn I was reading what you put about the 90 to 1 ratio, that poor guy would have his work cut out following us. HAH!

Vickie said...

you are too funny

and I wonder if it is being distracted from the food (by the guy) or wanting to appear more attractive to the guy?

I have seen a lot of bloggers drop weight in order to start dating again. And it always sounds like they were really losing the weight for someone else and not for themselves. . .

MissyM said...

I've noticed the 'living on love' phenomenon, too. You are so excited about being with the new lover that food means nothing.

moonduster said...

The turkey dsoup and beer bread sounds delicious!

I developed my bad eating habits while in an unhappy marriage where I felt completely unloved and unloveable. Of course, when I met and fell in love with my foirever-husband, the bad eating habits were already in place and much harder to battle with, despite feeling loved and happy.

I am, however, finally get a handle on this weight-thing. :)
(117 pounds down! When I lose 3 more, I'll do some new "after" photos.")

screwdestiny said...

Interesting that you posted this shortly after the post about fat people having issues. That's the problem: so many people either aren't attracted to overweight people, or they think they have issues, or whatever, that they won't bother getting to know them, and then it becomes a lot harder to find love.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

If you're starting a classified section here, I need to try and sell my freezer. There's nothing wrong with it except that it leaks water and the door won't close all the way. Make me an offer...

Larkspur said...

Who will offer progress photos for Jack's freezer.

Greta said...

I am not going to leave a personal..else my husband might wonder...

But, I wanted to pose a question. Does anyone binge on meat or vegetables?

Binging is typically on high carb items, I think. Sugar, cakes, ice cream, bread, chips, etc. High carb stuff spikes insulin and then has a whole (not so good) chain of events that happen.

Yes...it would be great to find something to "fill the hole" that isn't carbs or "newfound love". Some people are involved in "oldfound love" and it might be, ahem, difficult to experience "newfound love" simultaneously..LOL.

Exercise seems to help me...quite a lot. And, since that is good for me....that is a win-win.

Heather said...

wow I WISH that had been the case with me. I gained weight when I fell in love because I would eat when he ate and ate the same amount. Within a year of us dating, I gained like 30 pounds! over the course of 4-5 yrs I was up to 80 pounds gained. And now that Im getting married, im struggling to lose a single pound. Those people are definitely lucky.

Lyn said...

screwdestiny~

true, but being fat is a good way to weed out the jerks :)

(not that ALL men who are not attracted to fat women are jerks, but some certainly are!)

Autumnforest said...

I see this all the time. When my hubby was winning me over, I was skinny. When he hit middle age and started ignoring me, I gained weight rapidly. Then, hubby told me I wasn't as attractive since I "let myself go." No, actually, he let me go by ignoring me. My best friend was in the same situation and when hubby ignored her, she had an affair. She lost weight so fast I was shell-shocked. She said that there was something in getting and capturing a guy's attention that made her feel like the best her she could be. No self pity, lots of confidence, and tons of happy bunny rabbit sex. Women going through divorces do it all the time--once hubby's been neglecting them, they're out on the market and they suddenly do girl things again, like take long baths and do manicures and fuss over what to buy to wear at the mall. When you're in middle years and ignored long enough, you forget you're a woman at all. I watch my single friends yo-yo all the time. When they're falling in love they don't need chocolate, when they're out of love they need it. We're not good at generating a wellspring of happiness and contentment within ourselves, we need others to give us assurance we're awesome. If we don't get it, we ask chocolate to fix it chemically. It really comes down to finding other ways to give yourself the feeling you're falling in love with yourself. Lots of personal attention, appreciation after a long hard day, flexing a muscle, noticing our bodies in the shower. It promotes the desire to see just what we can do with the flesh we have--how taut can our tummies be? How slender can our necks be? Falling in love with yourself...the best most reliable high out there.

Sarah said...

I don't know why we perform specific actions when we're single, married, etc. and I think part of the answer lies in the chemical surges created by food, infatuation, etc. As I have written before, I am an addict, currently in recovering and using A.A. to stay sober.

A.A. basically works to reprogram my brain so that instead of thinking about getting high or drinking, my thoughts turn to my higher power, fellowship, service work, whatever. My drug addiction is no different than my food addiction. A.A. is giving me tools to get outside of my head, so to speak.

I, unfortunately, never learned the proper tools growing up for dealing with stress, sadness, anger, happiness, or joy. I lived in an abusive household. I learned to read by the age of 4, and by the time I was 6, I was walking around with a twinkie in one hand and a book in the other. This was my first experience where I realized there were outside objects that helped make all those horrible feelings on the inside go away or more tolerable to deal with.

When I was 11, a friend and I tried a bunch of mini-thins, you know those little white caffeine pills with the crosses on them. After a certain amount, your head beings to tingle and it feels like your hair is growing. I loved that feeing. By this point, I had repressed so much, anything that made me feel something physically was something to be craved. It's no wonder than we when tried alcohol the next year, I took to it immediately. By the age of 15, I was going to school high and drunk almost everyday.

I quit my drug of choice in July 2008. I thought pot was my problem. Well, it made the pain pills, downers, and alcohol even more of a problem. Wednesday I reached 3 months sober. This is the longest amount of sobriety I have had since I was 15. And since July 2008, I have lost 75 pounds.

I don't believe in the god of an organized religion but I know there is something out there that is bigger than myself. I don't have the body of a sea sponge for a reason. My body was formed in such a way to move, hop, skip, jump, and run. Bags of doritos don't grow out in a field somewhere. I make every effort possible to eat foods as close to whole as possible. Along with praying, eating right and exercising has become the basis of my spiritual foundation. I spent years stoned, where I didn't leave the couch, except to get something else to eat. It now feels like a disgrace to my god to not use myself in the way I was intended. I was also made to feel a wide range of emotions, none of which will kill me, but they will make me stronger, if I don't let them rule me.

I feel alive for the first time in my life. To me, it's all the same. Food, sex, computer, drugs. I have the ability to use all of these things as a way not to live. Now, I'm trying to use things that make me feel filled up in every part of my being, that are positive and give me a sense of accomplishment. I wish us all the best on our journey. I know this is something I have to stay on top of for the rest of my life, not just until I feel better. And when I do feel better, that's when it's even more important to be aware, and use and share the tools and gifts I have been given. Because when I'm feeling good, a slice of cake or a drink sounds like something I can handle, when I don't need it, or even WANT it.

Amy H. said...

I lost a lot of weight after I got divorced. I think the strain of my bad marriage just sort of lifted. I wish I could bottle that feeling - just pure relief.

Lynna said...

There is a big temptation, tho, to swap food addiction for love addiction... which can be even more disastrous. The real solution, I believe, is to fall in love with oneself. Fill the hole up with self-esteem and love from God.

flyingwoman said...

I think you're bang on and that a good part of it has to do with endorphin rushes...

I also think it combines with a powerful psychological effect that happens not just when you are in love but when you are feeling beloved.

I often feel at war with my body, like "I" am my mind, a rational, emotionally secure, valuable woman, and "it" is my body with its whiny, needy, temper tantrum throwing ways that fights every positive effort I make.

I don't think that divide is a healthy one, and have been trying to find ways to bridge it. However, when I have felt beloved, through the new eyes of a new lover, I have felt that gap close. New confidence blooms as I have a glimpse of myself through his eyes.

It's partially that cease fire, I think, that fills the empty instead of food.