Friday, June 09, 2006

Is it true-

Call it a diet, call it abstinence, call it whatever you like, but dwindling down to a decreased caloric intake has repercussions. I have always known this, but never had a scientific explananation.

When I lost 200 lbs., TWICE, I was elated to be in a smaller body. I WAS FREEZING IN THIS PIC. However, I became extremely depressed, emotional, weepy, suicidal, angry, and full of sadness. I could never figure out what the problem was... I should be happy, right? But I wasn't. I had a group of friends who also lost a significant amount of weight because they were in the same 12 step program with me, (OA and FA respectively). Some of my friends said they felt "blah" or "lifeless", others complained that they had lost all interest in sex, etc. My symptoms were depression, sadness, and anger.

My little friend who I call Mighty Moe sent me this link about a scientific experiment that was performed which measured the physical, psychological, and mental implications of starving ourselves. I'm not talking anorexia here, I'm speaking about dieting. Click here if you're interested in the study. I must warn you, its not light reading. Possibilities

Although the subjects were psychologically healthy prior to the experiment, most experienced significant emotional deterioration as a result of semistarvation. Most of the subjects experienced periods during which their emotional distress was quite severe; almost 20% experienced extreme emotional deterioration that markedly interfered with their functioning. Depression became more severe during the course of the experiment. Elation was observed occasionally, but this was inevitably followed by "low periods." Mood swings were extreme for some of the volunteers:

Irritability and frequent outbursts of anger were common, although the men had quite tolerant dispositions prior to starvation. For most subjects, anxiety became more evident. As the experiment progressed, many of the formerly even-tempered men began biting their nails or smoking because they felt nervous. Apathy also became common, and some men who had been quite fastidious neglected various aspects of personal hygiene. During semistarvation, two subjects developed disturbances of "psychotic" proportions. During the refeeding period, emotional disturbance did not vanish immediately but persisted for several weeks, with some men actually becoming more depressed, irritable, argumentative, and negativistic than they had been during semistarvation. After two weeks of refeeding, one man reported his extreme reaction in his diary:

I remember distinctly as I got to a low weight that my body felt as if it was eating itself. I was cold all the time, sad, and angry. I kept asking my sponsor to add food to my food plan but the answer was, "You just want more food because you're a food addict!". No, I want more food because I'm starving. After months of trying to adhere to this strict starvation plan, I eventually went nutto and started eating whole cakes and now we have the result of 400 lbs., lack of mobility and a self-esteem that is lower than dirt. How do ya like them apples?

I was grateful to get this article because it explained alot to me. However, now I am baffled. How do I not starve myself and still release excess weight? Any ideas??

By the way, I finally got rolling with EDD and received a check! Yay for me.

much love,

Art Source

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