Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weight and psychology

When I was a lightie, I had a hellish time at school.  I was (am) Asperger-ish/mildly autistic and I was also effeminate.  In the brutal hell of a boy's school that was enough to make me an outsider and enough to provoke continuous bullying.  In one incident, I was partially blinded in one eye.  To this day, fifty years on, I have to dig deep into my reserves of courage to go into a room of male strangers.

I coped by retreating into my own world, and by eating.  Once a week, on Thursday, we drove into town to do the shopping, and we went to the library.  How magical that was!  I was allowed to take out two books.  I would read and re-read them over the next week, and my favourite way to do this was to lie on my bed sipping a cup of cocoa or eating a sandwich or a bowl of peanuts.  It didn't help that I was part of  family that loved food, and my mother would always push us to "clean our plates", so I would dutifully eat more, even though I was full.

I slimmed down in late adolescence and my early twenties, because I was so busy: surfing, mountaineering, walking, riding.  In those days, young people didn't have cars.  We walked everywhere.  For example, I used to take the train to uni, then walk a couple of miles uphill (U.C.T. is on the slopes of Table Mountain).  I used to ride my sister's horse up our street, which was a dirt road, into the nature reserve on the slopes of the mountain.  I would walk to my friend's house, which was a good five miles each way.  In summer, I would swim a mile 3 or 4 times a week.  My waist was a remarkable 28, my chest 38.

But then I got a desk job, and depression, which, to quote Georges Moustaki:

Ell' ne me quitte pas d'un pas Fidèle comme une ombre Elle m'a suivi ça et là Aux quatre coins du monde

                "ne me quittait pas d'un pas".  When I get depressed I eat.  And drink.

So my weight started to rise,  Every so often, I would go on a strict diet, and my weight would fall, but, my psychological need for comfort would eventually have me going back to what I was doing before.  I tried Weight Watchers, and I lost weight, but I was always hungry.  I tried this diet and that, and they all worked.  Temporarily.  I even tried hypnotherapy.

For a while, running and cycling kept my weight under control,  But then all the running I did damaged my knees and ankles,  Today I can't run at all, and can only walk short distances.  On the other hand, I'm not depressed any more.  Often, actually, I am piercingly happy. Despite my joints!

But now I have an incentive to lose weight.  In a year or so, we will be retiring, to a small coastal town in country Victoria.  I'll tell you more about that in another post.  And if I want to walk along the beach every day, then I will have to lose some weight.  The orthopaedic surgeon said that often in cases like mine, losing a lot of weight helps.  And I really do want to be able to walk on the beach every day.  To wear a speedo without looking like a blimp.   So that's what I'm going to try and do.  I have a real goal now.  Retirement, and my happiness when I am retired.

Road sign at Cabbage Tree Creek
Distances in kilometres


Anonymous said...

Are you retiring to Cann River? Oh no, that's not on the coast is it.
Good blogpost. Yes, perhaps something not dealt with enough, the psychological motivation for over-eating.

Nikolaos said...

To Orbost. Which is just 15 k's from the coast.

And thanks!