Sunday, March 16, 2014

You totally don't get it!

The other day I was wearing my Bondi Band that says "I Run So I Can Eat!" and I came back into work and one of the security guys looks at me and points at it and laughs.  I said something like "That is totally true!"

His smile kind of falters and he says "What do you mean?  You don't like to eat a lot now that you are skinny!"  And I was like "Are you kidding me?  I still love to eat - that's why I exercise so much."  He continues to frown and says "I can't believe that!  Your stomach has shrunk - I wouldn't think you care about eating that much at all!" I said to him "When I go to an all you can eat buffet - which I almost never do - my goal is for the place to LOSE money on me!  You would be amazed at how much food I can still eat!!"  The guy just went "Huh!" and then walked away and I'm sure he didn't believe me.

He totally doesn't get it.  But how could he, I guess.  He looks like a guy that has always been thin.  So he doesn't see what I see when I look at food.

And then that made me think about Larry.  Larry was a heroin addict that I worked with when I worked at an outpatient clinic.  And he was doing really well in his program and ended up completing outpatient and had a great recovery program going.  And then I heard that Larry had relapsed and was in the hospital after a bunch of drug dealers beat the crap out of him.  Larry returned to the outpatient clinic where I worked and I asked him what had happened.

Turns out he had gone to the doctor's office for some rotator cuff problem.  And the doc wanted to put him on opiate pills.  Larry said that he told the doctor he was a drug addict and the doc asked him how long he had been clean and he told him 14 months.  The doc apparently said "Oh geez!  You'll be fine!" Larry told me that he hesitated because of how I drill into their heads that there are good drugs that are bad for addicts.  But, he said, a doctor told him that he would be okay, so he began taking the hydrocodone.  Sure enough, that led to abusing the hydrocodone and then back to heroin within a short time.

You see that doctor didn't get it either.  A drug addict will NEVER be able to take an opiate pill without it triggering something.  And I will never be able to see a brownie as just a brownie.

That doesn't mean that it's horrible terrible insurmountable.  I mean, everyone's life experience leads them to see the world differently.  If you were bitten badly by a child by a Doberman Pincher, you're never going to see that breed of dog the same as someone who has never been bitten.  That doesn't mean you will always fear a Dobie or that you couldn't have one as a pet.  But you won't look at Doberman's through the same eyes as someone who hasn't had that life experience.

For me, I've come to accept that my relationship with food will never be the same as a person who has not been obese.  That doesn't mean I don't get to indulge at times or that I have to constantly obsess about food (which sometimes I think I do, and I live in hope that the longer I spend in maintenance this will fade).  But it means that for me, I accept that this is a major issue that I have.

I have not had the experience of having lost a significant amount of weight and then put it back on.  I wonder if the many people that have forgot that they can't ever let their guard down so to speak when it comes to food.  In AA they talk about "Keeping it green" - meaning you can never ever forget where you came from and how bad the addiction was.  I will forever need to "keep it green" when it comes to food, I think.


  1. I totally understand where you're coming from!! I have been overweight or obese my entire life and, although I've lost 63 lbs in the last 18 months and am at a healthy weight, I know I will always have to be vigilant about food and calories. I am married to one of those people who has been thin his entire life and never has to worry about calories (either in or out!!). He's very fit and athletic. So, while he tries to understand how difficult it is to manage my weight, he cannot truly grasp the magnitude of my food issues because he's never experienced it firsthand. Don't get me wrong, he is extremely supportive of my efforts to achieve a healthy weight and to get fit...heck, he's my biggest cheerleader!! But it's hard to walk in someone's "Fat Shoes" unless you've worn a pair yourself.

  2. A former neighbor of mine said the same thing - she ran so she could eat - only difference was she was diabetic. No one would question that, would they. I have learned that people really don't understand addictions (food or anything else) unless they have suffered through it.