Friday, August 1, 2008


Habit is a bitch. Really. We don't even think about the collection of stuff that populates our head, all the billion things that make up who we are, all the habits that make up the way we perceive the world.

Ok, not all those things are habits exactly, but this is my profound thought for the day, so I get to put it that way. And when you try to make lifestyle changes, all those little habit gremlins pop out from under the bed and scream, NO, this is WRONG, I am not supposed to do this that way.

Michael has not been eating very much lately, particularly of the sort of things that he used to really love... proteins, mostly. Which is fine. I mean, I figure that if this were a Bad Thing, he'd be hungry, right? He's not hungry, he is losing weight, and he feels ok (well, actually, he doesn't, but I don't think that these things are connected; this is mostly structural stuff). And just about every day, he asks me... "am I eating enough? I don't think I'm getting enough protein but I just don't want any more ." I think that this is just all about expectations and perceptions and the loss of something that used to give him pleasure, however "wrong" that might have been. Ill-judged, maybe, more than wrong. Anyway, he expects that food will give him the kind of pleasure that it once did... which I really think means, "food will allow me to turn off my head for a while and comfort myself." Something that we both used to be fabulous at doing.

But things change. The role of food changes. Tastes change. The thing that doesn't change is all those habit gremlins, the things that make me think that there should be twice as much food on the plate, the things that make him think that he should be eating more even though he's not hungry and he doesn't actually want anything else.

I don't have any solution to this, of course, except maybe awareness... the more you think about the patterns, the easier it is to let them change. Which means, still unbelievably hard but maybe just one notch or two less.

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