Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cravings are biochemical

Some cravings are biochemical. Dopamine, serotonin, opioid, insulin resistance, internal starvation are all biochemical processes. It is not a oral or moral issue, but a chemical one.

The first step is to get separated from the food of issues. Sugar, wheat, grains, nuts, cheese, coffee, msg, artificial sweetners, whatever the food is, whether the food is the issue or the vector.  Replace with fresh meat, fish or vegetables. Suffer through withdrawal. Eat more animal fat if necessary. First, get through the withdrawal.

OA says, in the Invitation to You that the cause is not important. To me the cause is important. The cause is a biochemical reaction to specific foods that we eat. We can eat these again, if we are willing to go through withdrawal again, or die addicted. That is the choice.

What do you think on this subject?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review Of the Organizations

For those of us who deal with food addiction on a daily basis, there are a number of organization that offer assistance.

I personally do not believe that any of them have the complete formula for me.

Here is a sampling of the organizations and what I believe:

Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.
OA is not just about weight loss, weight gain or maintenance, or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet.
OA members differ in many ways, but we are united by our common disease and the solution we have found in the OA program. We practiceunity with diversity, and we welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. Welcome home.
OA is trying to be inclusive, but compulsive behaviors are not my primary problem, chemical addiction is. They are the first, and most widespread organization, and have the most open stance on this problem. Even though the compulsion is a minor part of my problem, I still attend, because they are here.

"Food Addicts Anonymous is an organization that believes that Food Addiction is a biochemical disorder that occurs at a cellular level and therefore cannot be cured by willpower or by therapy alone. We feel that food addiction is not a moral or character issue. This Twelve Step program believes that food addiction can be managed by abstaining from (eliminating) addictive foods, following a program of sound nutrition (a food plan), and working the Twelve Steps of the program. After we have gone through a process of withdrawal from addictive foods many of us have experienced miraculous life-style changes."
These guys have improved the message by defining it as a biochemical issue, but have not defined the biochemical processes involved. They have a specific food program, No sugar, flour, wheat, which is a good start, but short for me. But what about those of us that have dairy, cheese, nut, and omega 6 issues? Some of us have biochemical hyperinsulinemia issues, some dopamine receptors issues, some serotonin, some opoiade issues. Some have only physical food knowledge issues, others emotional/ social issues, some of us have all these issues.

ACORN is a for profit group which do a good job of getting people started down the path, but 5 days is a start only. They state along the way 

Make sure your food plan provides overall nutritional balance by consulting with a doctor, dietitian or eating disorders specialist about nutritional balance.
I personally think that we need to learn enough about nutrition, food addiction, digestive processes, physics of food digestion, to become out own food coach, if for no other reason to separate the diet industry bullshit from the reality. We also likely to need vitamins and minerals. Iodine, magnesium,  calcium, Vitamin C, D, were short in my diet.  

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
We are an international fellowship of men and women who have experienced difficulties in life as a result of the way we eat. We joined FA either because we could not control our eating or because we were obsessed with food. We find that we need the fellowship of others who share this problem and this program of recovery to stop abusing food and live a fulfilling life. Through shared experience and mutual support, we help each other to recover from the disease of food addiction.

I went to bunch of there meetings, and though they are a bunch of control freaks that allow other control freaks to control them, but it does seem to work for those who will submit to such rigger.

GreySheeters Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive overeating. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues or fees for GSA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. GSA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay abstinent and help other compulsive overeaters to achieve abstinence.

These folks are one of the early off shoots of OA, who insist that there members follow a specific Grey Sheet diet.

There are a bunch of others listed on the Acorn site for anyone interested.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ReEntry Culture Shock

Monday AM. I was on a retreat this this weekend, and am suffering reentry shock. Retreats are a great way to have time and stimulation to reflect on my life, and to reset my thinking (reboot) to go forward.

I am at one of those major turning points in my life, going from full time self employed to semi-retirement,  or retirement with a bit of work, whatever happens. All have a series of these turning points our lives, end of schooling, career training, working, upgrading, working, employer changes, self employment, marriage, children, and many other major changes. We have little choice other than to go along with these changes. This is the first time that I have not faced a deadline to make those changes.  I have the luxury of time to sit back and reflect before making the next move, what ever that is.

The decision of what that is, is the issue. Indecision is not good for this compulsive person, a CO. I could write a book, but my writing is not great, and although, for many years, my major output has been writing bloody reports, I do not enjoy more that a few minutes, perhaps an hour of it per day. I totally agree it is a good way to get to the root of the problem, but enjoy? Well that's me.

What would that book be on? Memoirs - boring, Stories - some truth but stretched, Engineering - Soils, boring and no one would read it, overeating, and recovery or just a blog. At least with a blog, my costs are low. Short bursts of time works. But what is only a hour or so per day? The story will unfold.

This weekend was a time of reflection on some of the past relationships with various people. It is apparent that I am likely a type B personality, who would like to be type A, that switches back and forth. As a type B, with farmer father who was type A, who expected everyone to be as driven into making that farm produce as he was, it was not a easy life. My mother used procrastination and her stubborn nature, - perseverance? to get her way. Looking back on it all, she was abusive toward me, likely due to frustration with a person who was more stubborn than her, me. But I survived, and left.

I never had a real conversation with my mother, until the last one. By that time much of her memory was gone. She was always very personable to others, but belittled me every time we every spoke. I accept that she was trying to mold me, but I did not need to hang around and be abused. She did mold me, but not the way she wanted. Others never saw that side of her. Oh well. We still need to have her name adder to our parental headstone. All the resentment is gone.

What we try to teach others without telling them, may not be what they learn.

Enough reflection for today. Any comments?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

World service is at it again

The abstinence definition has been amended by OA as follows:

"Abstinence in Overeaters Anonymous is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is the result of living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program."

but what is their definition of Compulsive? 

Starting Food Program, Step 0

I was asked how to start a food program. This is my opinion only, I am just an opinion. It does not matter.

We are powerless over food, it will do what it will do. Many of us are/were addicted (or addiction like behavior) to specific food. Sugar, wheat, breads, bagals, cereals, corn, other starches, junk food, usually containing omega 6 oils, dairy products, cheese, nuts, chocolate, alcohol, and others. First we must identify, give up totally these foods. Make a list, get them out of your house. You need to get separated from your drug of choice. There is a non OA book on this subject if you like:

There is an OA pamphlet, The Dignity of Choice, that outlines numerous choices for a starting food programs. It has a reasonable outline for a low carb plan. These are simple measure systems without any knowledge or logic required.  How complex do you want to get? It also must work in your life.

I needed to know which was right and why, and being obsessive, study the shit out of it.

I personally started with Kay Sheppard. and migrated from there to the Maffetone Two week test, (a copy at then through various forms of low carb, to where I am today. I personally think that low carb, real unprocessed food, in some form is the way to go. Maffetone is helpful for figuring out how much carbohydrate we need. Personally I require about 50 to 100 gm/day. On my personal food site, all those links deal with various food issues.

Along the way I learned a bit about the human body, our needs, food science, and the science and mathematics behind it. That is useful for separating out the fiction that is so common in the "diet industry". There is a lot of fiction, and political directed recommendations, misdirection, which are contributing to the obesity epidermic.

Our needs are different and our likes are different. Start with something you can do, and go from there. A food log is necessary, to record what you eat, how much and when, your hunger status, and for what. You may need somewhere to figure out calories and carbs at.

The first steps (remove the poisons)  should be to get all the sugars, sugar substitutions, ground grains, specially wheat, and an other troubling food out of your diet. All added Omega 6 oils should go. All transfats, partly hydrogenated oils, oxygenated fats,  (deep fryer foods), branched chained amino acids, (soy protein, corn fed beef), and fructose rich fruits (grapes, raisins, dates, figs).

Here are some other sights with similar concepts. The details vary.’s+the+Healthiest+Way+to+Eat+“Safe+Starches

Overwhelmed?. Relax. You have the remainder of your life to perfect the plan. Perseverance and one day at a time thinking may help. I personally planed to eat about three times a day for the remainder of my life anway. What, how much and when are just details that do not need to be decided until just before. All we can do is continue doing what we are doing now until we have time to study the problem and make a decision. Make small changes as you can fit them into your life. Try, real, unprocessed food to start with.

Any comments or concerns, please respond in the comments section.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Non OA Literature

David Kessler, is his book The End of Overeating,  makes the observation the 50% of obese, 30% of overweight and 15% of thin people share 3 characteristics,  in a condition which he calls conditioned hypereating. These characteristics are loss of control of appetite (eat until it is gone) in face of highly palatable foods, lack of satiation during eating (no full indicator), and preoccupation with thinking about food, eating, getting, and the like (looking for more). Sound familiar?

He offers little as a solution, other than to follow an eating plan rigidly. I do not know about you, but if I could do that, I would not have the problem.

He has a bunch of statements in his presentation that I do not agree with that  represent common beliefs of the public which others have debunked. 

A video summarizing his book can be found at 

Take what you like and ignore the rest. Any or comments or questions?

Random Topic

From a comment on a site that I stumbled across

"I often believe heavy karmic loads are what make nice people. That being said, I don't believe in karma anymore. I think that bad things happen to people because bad things happen. We can learn and grow from them or not, but "God", in whatever form we conceptualize it is indifferent to or unaware of the consequences. "

I realized how much I have changed. At one time I felt that way. Now I realize that each have very different views, and it does not mater. Today, my view is:

Karma is a concept that was more true before communications were so easy and uniform; much has been brought about by travel, newspapers, and modern communication methods. Karma is the idea that in a stable community, our actions and personality affect how other treat us. Now we can change communities. We do not hang around people we do not like, and hang with people we relate to and like. Simple. But in modern society we are not stable, live in one "community", work in a different one, shop in a third. We through transportation and communications have lost "community" to some extent. Some live without much community at all via the internet.  Some of us have no community to speak of. Karma occurs in "community", hence karma does not have a impact on our lives.

Random accidents we have no control. But becoming targets is another matter. Some of the time, we attract the attention of the predator. Some of the time, we do something that attracts them, and they notice, and some of the time, something  happens. Violate traffic laws, and we get tickets. Flaunt wealth and get robbed. Nice cars get stolen. Leave a car unlocked with the keys, and it will be gone. Eat carbohydrates, we get fat. Dress like a hooker and stuff happens.  It takes all three, the action, the predator, and noticing. And then, some of the time the predator just does random strikes.

To me, god is a concept, an idea, a belief system, a value system, a meme system. It has no knowledge, no return communications. All we can do is learn, avoid, embrace, or other method of surviving, or adjust to the new reality, what ever that may be.

That's it for now. Cross talk is allowed here.