The Desperation Illusion
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Some years ago I typed a handout for an ObGyn that really got my attention. He was telling women with urinary incontinence that the desperation to empty their bladder was often in their heads. If you don’t believe it, the next time you are rushing for the toilet after a long car drive, take notice how the closer you get, the stronger your urge. By the time you’re dropping your drawers, you can barely hold it back. Pause and look that desperation in the eye, and you will see that it evaporates.
Likewise many of us face the desperation to eat when we’re not hungry. We’ve learned the triggers – stress, boredom, excitement, happiness, depression, night time, daytime, pretty much anything. That desperation plagued me again last night, leading me to eat a sandwich, crackers, peanut butter, shaved ice, on and on. The closer to bedtime, the more desperate I became, and I could never find satisfaction.
We fight that desperation. We tie ourselves up in knots and berate ourselves; we feel deprived and angry and self-destructive. But last night I did something I’ve never done before. I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and looked at the desperation itself. And ya’ know what? It dissolved like a mirage. Such a relief! I felt calm and relaxed for the first time that day.
I’ve not been doing so well with my eating lately. After losing 112 lbs, I’ve regained 14. There’s no mystery about why. I’ve been eating way too much of the wrong things. I’ve blown the last months of my gastric bypass “honeymoon period” as I hit the 18 month mark on March 15. But I’ve got some new help using SparkPeople to log my food and exercise and find support. And I have a new outlook – facing down that demon desperation who is no more real than the monster under my bed.