Friday, May 8, 2009

Hypereating, or Food is my Hobby

Interesting article.

"If a bear walked in here right now, you would stop listening to me and you'd focus on that bear. We're all wired to focus on the most highly salient stimuli. For a lot of people, that highly salient stimulus is food. It could be alcohol, it could be drugs, it could be gambling, but for many people, it's food. It's not just people who are obese, or overweight. Even for people that are healthy weight, food activates the neural circuits of their brains, and they have this conditioned and driven behavior we call conditioned hypereating."

I recently made the decision to try to lose some weight, so this is of particular interest to me right now. I'm also trying to wrap my mind around the Orthodox concept of fasting, and how much of the goal of fasting is to pull yourself back from food as a goal in itself and get back to food as sustenance. This is a huge challenge for me; I think about food a lot. I love food - I don't necessarily love to stuff myself silly, but I love tastes, textures, flavors, the vocabulary and the sight of food - you name it.

I don't want to be driven by my desire for food, except to the extent it's a simple matter of hunger. It's psychologically and physically unhealthy, and, more importantly, a spiritually bereft pursuit.

No comments: