I have seen this show on Foxtel and it always staggers me.
This show follows each week a person who has reached the 600 pound mark and is opting to lose weight through bariatric surgery. Sure… I’m now 41 and FAR closer to being eligible for this show than I would ever want to admit, but until about three days ago, I couldn’t define one thing that made me the way I was. Yes, I do eat crap at times, and yes I do eat large meals (or whatever is put in front of me)… but I would never blame anyone else for my mistakes.
They did a series of blood, psych and hormone tests to see what was happening with each person, and came up with these three core groups.
The Feasters – These people lacked gut hormones that most people have that trigger the brain to say, stop! I’m full. These people don’t know when to stop eating.
The Emotional Eaters – People who have an underlying psychological reason to eat with common triggers being stress, sadness, bombarded emotions.
The Constant Cravers – These people can’t stop thinking about or grazing on food. These people have a ineffective gene that tricks the body into thinking that it stores less fat than it actually does causing them to constantly be grazing or craving foods.
For the first time these are quantifiable conditions that have been identified. They know what the hormone and genes specifically do and what they cause if they aren’t in the right balance.
Listening to the show I had a fairly good idea where I was going to come when I went to their page to do the test… Yup… I’m a 55/45 girl 55% Constant Craver and 45% Feaster.
I had often talked myself out of Bariatric surgery for one reason… I like the act of eating… the idea of food, the smell of food, the sensation of eating is something I enjoy, even if at the end of the meal I didn’t actually like it. The idea that I would have surgery that would limit me to effectively a cup of food a meal made every cell in my body scream.
Having said that the constant nag of hunger even when I know logically I don’t need food is staggering. One of my most mortifying events happened in our local Coles. I was standing, staring at food in the ‘naughty aisle’ having a verbal argument with my inner craver. I’m not kidding… It must have looked like I was channeling Steve Martin in All of Me as I went through something like this…
“You don’t need it”
But you know you want it
“It’s not good for you”
But it looks sooooo goooood
“You’ll only hate yourself if you do”
<<salivate>> But think of how much you will enjoy it
I was all but holding my hand down at my side having this discussion with my brain when a woman came up and asked if I were okay. She had seen me and wondered if I was in trouble (or at least needing to be on medication). I laughed sheepishly… explained the argument (to which she nodded that sagely/pitying half smile nod) and moved away quickly. The only good upshot is the fact I was so mortified I left quickly too.
My other big fault is the fact that I do get fixated on a particular type of food at times and normally the urge doesn’t go away until I have satisfied it… for example. I can go weeks without touching milk, but then get such an over-powering urge that I will consume three litres in a day (if not an hour).
So what does this mean for me… well… at least now I have a place to start. At least now I can identify ways of helping me break the mold… plus I now have names of people who are researching something I know instinctively known for years and who are trying to do something to help others like me.
Are there medico’s in Australia doing the same sort of research? I don’t know… but I’m looking to find out… because one day they might need a lab rat to test a new gene therapy or hormone replacement drug… and as long as I am still waddling I’m your girl!