Friday, September 28, 2007

The Comfortable Road

I've been listening to Hal Holbrook's "The Best of Mark Twain Tonight" and he talks about smoking. Among the things he says is that the first time he gave it up, when he was 10 or 11, because he had heard that smoking could take ten years off of his life. He got scared and gave it up one day -- for two or three hours. But he realized that the decade would not be worth living without smoking in it, and that was the end of that.

I understand that. The last diet I actually went on, I was hungry all the time. Since I wasn't eating much, even at meals, I left the table still hungry. If I was concentrating on something I might not be thinking of food, but too often I was. Every minute that I wasn't actually eating, I was resisting eating. Even when I was eating, I was resisting eating other things and more. It was ok during the day, when I was at work, because I was pretty busy and food was only available at lunch. But the evenings were hell. I discovered that if I chewed on ice it wasn't so bad. I was going through three trays of ice cubes a night, and weekends I couldn't get it to freeze fast enough.

And I remember thinking, very clearly, that if this was what it took to be and stay thin I honestly didn't think it was worth it. So I might live 20 years longer -- who wants to live 20 years of obsessing about all the food you can't eat and chewing ice?

And the most amazing thing is that when I gave up dieting, I no longer obsess about food. If I think I'd like to eat, I do. And food just isn't on my mind so much. Later on the same CD, Holbrook quotes Twain as saying, "If you can't get to 70 by a comfortable road, don't go."


J at said...

That reminds me of my post yesterday, with the people who practice calorie restriction...and all they think about is food, and I would shoot myself rather than lenghten my life that way. Not worth living.

Rain said...

I think that with the movie stars. They miss so much of life by having to be bone thin. I don't want to live that way either.

Anvilcloud said...

I think you can eat plenty on good, scientific, modern diets. It's what you eat and when. Dr Oz was recently on Oprah showing people eating 17 lbs of food per day and losing weight. Mind you, it was raw and not terribly attractive to some. Nevertheless, there was an awful low of it.

Maya's Granny said...

Which would be wonderful, except that losing weight causes your metabolism to change and you end up gaining back more than you lost. Each time you do it, you start gaining at a lower calorie level. My last diet, I started regaining while I was still eating only 800 calories a day.