Monday, April 29, 2013


What is the difference between thinking and believing in something, some concept, but perhaps our passion of commitment?

What difference is there if that belief or principal is from a philosophical source or a spiritual source?

Today's Principal
Compulsive overeating is not a moral issue.

Also compulsive overeating is a willpower issue.

It can be an expectations or desire issue, a chemical addiction, or compulsion, a behavioural addiction, a social pressure, and environmental reaction to temptation.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Temptation. What is it in us that is appealed to that causes the desire to eat when we are not hungry, but food is offered or available? Does it mater it the food is real or virtual, as in the case of advertising?

Something raises an urgent want, a desire for, in this case food, so how can we kill the temptation?
1. Think of it as a evil, a poison, an undesirable, a fate worse than death.
2. Think or picture it (the offending food) with a salamander or a garden slug, leaving a trail of slime on top of it, or  of swallowing a live toad or something equally disgusting.
3. It is our involuntary memory that is causing the problem, and we can replace that involuntary memory with a voluntary ugly thought. Pig mature, there is nothing much more disgusting, as I was raised on a hog farm.
4. It is desire that is the problem, as the Buddha, and the Stoics noted. Or does that give rise to the problem? Or is it the memory of the last time that gives rise to desire, or is it just desire that is the problem. Or passion for emotion of desire, of a longing for something, a habitual grasping for something, to satisfy one more time, a yearning, a longing for... I do not know.

Any ideas folks?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

12x12, ix p1 a way to recover

Introduction to the steps states : a way to recover from the disease of compulsive overeating. So what is compulsive overeating? In general the program never gets around to defining "compulsive overeating" beyond a general concept of , in some form, a drive to eat more than we need. To me this drive seems mainly physiological, but may have an unconscious psychological component. It is in the form of a compulsion, a desire for food, a craving for food that food does not satiate. Therein is the problem.

Through much reading, studying, and debate, the chemical portion seems to be driven by the consumption of sugar, processed carbohydrates, grains, omega 6 oils, and a bunch of other chemicals. When I keep these out of my food supply, the obesity reduces to the overweight/obese line. That is the solution to a portion of the problem. Just do not eat those poisons. But the craving to eat is still there. It is a desire, that cannot be satisfied, and must somehow be dealt with.

The next line says "After years of guilt...", but I no longer have guilt. This culture imposes a view that we should be able to control our eating, but there is a subset of the population that is unable, and looking back in history, there have always been a few that are obese, even among the poor. Why, well nobody has a good answer. It is not us that are wrong, it is the culture that is out to lunch. It is physiological, not a moral failing, as the culture would like to point to. It may be what ever causes an overcharged appetite. So, we need to overcome our culture and our nature. That is a bitch of a problem.

Obesity is a fat storage over burning problem. We get hungry, aka, our body calls for energy, rather than taking the energy from storage, it demands that we eat.   As some science type said "High blood glucose elicits the release of insulin which speeds the uptake of glucose by tissues and favors the storage of fuels as glycogen and triaglycerols while inhibiting fatty acid mobilisation in adipose tissue.", all of which suggests hyperinsulinema as a cause. We need to deal with the physical causes before we can address the psychological causes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Behaviour dictates our beleifs

Our behaviour dictates our beliefs. But the dictates must mean to transcribe our actual beliefs, to lay out our beliefs, not control. We can determine our actual beliefs by watching our behaviour, which may be different that what we profess to believe. That realization was an eye opener for me, a teachable moment.

The book psychology says beliefs and thinking, feeling, and  then behaviours, but that does not say anything about our automatic responses, that most of us live within. Our behaviour describes our automatic responses.  

What am I on about? For years I have desired to eat only three moderate meal per day, but when I get hungry, it is difficult. Therefore, I must really believe, or at least have an automatic response .. that I should eat when hungry. Either concept might work for a person on a diet, but not both. I can have it one way or the other. Not both. That realization the behaviour describes beliefs, or behaviour describes my automatic responses... visceral animal responses not reasoned responses... along with the knowledge that beliefs drive behaviour, one can only conclude that I actually believe that I should eat when hungry and three meals each day, not just the three meals a day that I verbally ascribe too, with difficulty. A mental disconnect, cognitive dissonance, or what?  A teachable moment?

Now how do I convince myself, only three moderate meals a day? First, they must be moderate, not skimpy. A skimpy meal may work, but several in a row is sure a setup for a slip... heavy meal... snack... something.

Teachable, uniform meals, must be part of the solution, I think. Back to counting calories for a bit, but also a minimum for each meal might help. But what do I know.

Monday, April 15, 2013

the purpose of life

What is the purpose of life?

The often asked rhetorical question, which has no clear, consistent answer, but one we can answer, based on opinion. But this will change over time. So what.

Initially, the human species has the main purpose of reproduction and growth. To that end, human purpose is to do all we can to improve our situation toward our genes surviving, failing that, our family line, race line, national line, and humans in general. If we make the world a better place, for the human genome, we are contributing to our natural purpose.

To create, produce, support other in creation, production...

There are religions that cause perturbation of this concept to their own ends. Cognitive changes are required for growth along humanitarian lines, if we, as a population, are expected to survive. Dump religion is one way to improve life, drift from emotional toward rational behaviour.

Each new generation must learn the same old lessons, plus a few new ones, less a few unused concepts. Therein lies the value of philosophy, and the presenting of ideas as individual idea level, to be accepted or rejected, one at a time. We can choose what we believe, one idea at a time. We can concentrate our concepts down to the basics, without all the pomp and bullshit that flowers up and pads our language.

Somebody said, the prudent man strives for freedom from pain, not pleasure. Epicurus suggested we should avoid situations where pain could, home, business, service, citizenry, etc. But pleasure and pain come together often. Stoics learned to expect and reduce the pains, with no fear or hope in the future. Life in the Now.

I digress, but what do I know?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Understanding the real problem


I was watching The Mindy Project the other night. There was a scene of a sharing circle at a rehab. Sitting in the circle are addicts of various addictions. One guy is dominating the conversation, lamenting how people are claiming an addiction to things that he thinks are bogus. Argues that drug and alcohol addiction are real but women thinking they are addicted to needing validation from men is bogus, guy addicted to body-building - bogus, guy addicted to sex -bogus, woman addicted to relationships - bogus, etc. He tells each person they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pass through life with bogus addictions. . . then he comes to a very overweight woman in the circle and says to her "except for you ma'am. Overeating is a legitimate addiction. Food is a drug." The woman looks up from her knitting and says "I'm addicted to buying little figurines."

The example above shows much of the real problem, we do not know what it is, and we do no what is normal. There should be a method of looking at individual characteristics of ourselves, and evaluating these, one at a time to see which one of our characteristics is out of kilter with the "norm", and I use that as a statistical norm, no to be confused with "common".

Avoidance is a characteristic that is often confused with procrastination, reluctance to do something, or the like of non performance. But is that the root characteristic? Avoiding people, places and things may be a survival strategy. As an obese child and person, I avoided unnecessary contact with people, to avoid harassment, and abuse. That carried over into adulthood. It may have been a learned skill, being alone, but it was also useful, for I worked as a individual. It was easier to be alone that to associate with ignorant abusive people. It still is, but it is habit, and possibly, my abrasive personality.

Oh well, shit happens. What do I know.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Alain De Botton


The 10 commandments for atheists are:

1. Resilience. Keeping going even when things are looking dark.

2. Empathy. The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.

3. Patience. We should grow calmer and more forgiving by getting more realistic about how things actually tend to go.

4. Sacrifice. We won't ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don't keep up with the art of sacrifice.

5. Politeness. Politeness is very linked to tolerance, the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, can't avoid.

6. Humour. Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it's disappointment optimally channelled.

7. Self-Awareness. To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one's troubles and moods; to have a sense of what's going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.

8. Forgiveness. It's recognising that living with others isn't possible without excusing errors.

9. Hope. Pessimism isn't necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.

10. Confidence. Confidence isn't arrogance, it's based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

So what is god?

So what is the god that I believe in?

First the word 'god' is a handle that is attached to a concept. Existence may not be a valid property of any concept, as it has non-corporal existence at best. So it is the concept that is in question. The simple logic, if there were a god, it does not act, for how could something good allow the atrocities that we can see. This to me is overwhelming evidence that god is powerless to do physical action, and is a largely religious concept that has been sold to the people as a substitute for knowledge and philosophy to deal with reality.

Death, the great end of all, is the ultimate reality, and it is the end of the life force. It is like a light, where does the light go when the light is off? When we are, death does not exist; when we die, we are not, so death does not matter. Things are either worse than death or better, and we can sort them. We should try to avoid those things worse than death, ok.

To me, god is the concept of all, all life, all material, all beliefs; so I am part of god. The human animal better part is reason, and nothing should be done without good, known reason. The stoic sage is the ideal, I think. All else sort of follows from this start. The emotions fall off, life becomes simple. God's will becomes human survival and reproduction, sorting and transmitting of true knowledge, and squashing false beliefs.

But what do I know?