Showing posts with the label Extreme dieting

The (Rigged) Bingo Game

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire. --Aristotle Last night, I dreamt that I was playing a high-stakes Bingo game. The prize: $1,000,000 But some of the numbers on the Bingo card were wrong; for example, "1" was placed under "I." To win, I needed just one number; unfortunately, that was the "I-1" number. I tried to tell the Bingo caller that my card was faulty. He couldn't (or wouldn't) hear me, so the game played on. In the face of impossibility, I kept rooting for "I-1" to be called. But in my heart, I realized that my winning number would never be called; the game, fixed in favor of someone else, had been stacked against me. I awakened angry and lamenting the unfairness of life. However, I have come to realize that we often play games that offer no chance of winning. Extreme dieting, defined as an eating plan that no normal-weight

Extreme Dieting: The Worst Diet in the World

Jennifer, the webmaster, age 8 (First Communion, May 1959) Photo by Harley D. Semple ___________________________________ I was eight when The Worst Diet in the World was first foisted upon me. My grandmother and doctor decided that I was getting a bit too chunky, so I left the doctor's office with a very low calorie diet and two prescriptions: one for diet pills (amphetamines) and the other for thyroid pills (later, I discovered that, having a perfectly normal thyroid, I never needed the thyroid pills). Off and on, for the next 10 years, I would go on this roller coaster diet of pills and draconian dieting: losing, gaining, losing, and gaining... I suppose it never occurred to anyone that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result was not really working out. As the diet pills lost their effectiveness, my hunger increased and grew into a voracious monster. The body is funny that way; it wants what it needs, despite any artificial appetite suppressants, and

Who is an "Extreme Dieter," and What is an "Extreme Diet"?

The subtitle for this blog is "Food for Thought for Recovering Extreme Dieters." So just what is an "extreme dieter"? Answer: a dieter who will take extreme measures to lose weight, such as embracing fad diets, some of which are downright dangerous: sustained fasting, intentional vomiting, eating only certain foods, drinking only liquids (such as fruit juice or milkshakes), popping diet pills, etc. One of the most creative extreme diets: getting one's jaw wired shut so that one can't eat solid food. Yes, this practice was popular in the late 1970's. No, I never tried this one. Even back then, this one sounded too way out there. These extreme diets have one major characteristic in common: they are all temporary fixes, and, therefore, do little or nothing to help the dieter change his or her eating habits permanently. Any diet program that asks its participants to exclude (for extended periods of time) entire categories of food for the sole purpose of losi

Memoir Madness: Driven to Involuntary Commitment