Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Faulty Wiring

The Closet is part of a mixed-use development. There are all sorts of retailers and restaurants going in on the ground levels around here. The "lofts" don't start until the second floor. I think the false alarms are as a result of all the work going on getting the retailer spaces ready for occupancy. It's like a beehive around here almost 24 hours a day as this area is turning into a destination spot within the city. I think this work is causing the false alarms. They may be happening all day, every day, but I'm not here in the daytime to know.

I've actually been thinking a lot about wiring lately. Not the spaghetti wiring like we saw in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, I didn't get a really good picture of it. Drove Bick, the electrical guy, nuts just looking at it. What I've been thinking about is the connection between the brain and binge/compulsive eating. I know that I've probably read about this somewhere along the way, but it's only recently became apparent to me that in my case, I've wired my brain to consider food as the appropriate response to anxiety. I've created these responses, starting years ago as a child. As they say, when all you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Well, all I had to comfort, soothe, whatever was ailing me was food. And so I used it. When I was sad, I ate. When I was anxious, I ate. When I was angry, I ate. And just like Pavlov's dogs, I created this as a response in me. Over time, I created these "faux" hungers to which I want to respond to by eating. Which is really great news, I think. Because if I created it, if I programmed my brain to behave this way, then I can reprogram it. I can create new responses to certain stimuli. Now I'm no brain surgeon, nor do I play one on tv, but I have spent a large part of my life in the "woe is me, I have this disorder", which I do, but I can go a long way in relieving myself of some of the symptoms. I don't know that I'll ever really be completely over it, but I can surely mitigate some of it.

I've actually been thinking about this for several days and serendipitously, I caught Dr. Amen's show on beg week last night on PBS while at the gym. His basic theory is that the brain shows five different patterns that lead to overweight. I don't know that I believe all he had to say, but there is certainly some personal truth in it for me.

Now on to the frustrating things. Speaking of my brain, my big old head is too big for my sleep mask. It helped keep me awake last night, as it was too tight. I'll have to re-engineer it before sleepy time tonight. And in further scale frustrations, while I am not actively trying to lose weight, I am looking for tweak my food into a more optimal health combination. So yesterday, I consumed 1300 calories and got in 600 plus exercise calorie burn throughout the day and I gained ANOTHER half a pound. Evidently, I have a very delicate flower of a personal ecosystem and I don't take to change very well, no matter how gradual. I know this isn't permanent, it can't be, but it sure is interesting to watch. Obviously, I've programmed my digestive system to behave in a certain way, as well. Sigh.

Treadmilling at lunch, I think.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Retrain your brain.



  1. YES! Having a daughter with a nuerological disorder makes me acutely aware of our nuerological connections.

    It is possible to create new dominant pathways. We just have to repeat them often enough until they overpower the others with consistency.

  2. I really like the thought that it's a wiring issue. Wiring issues can be fixed, rewired. Never thought of it that way before.

  3. Oh you can definately train your brain. I haven't figured out how to get mine to go in the right direction yet but I do know it is possible.

  4. Dear Roxie,

    Sorry your head is too big for the sleep mask.

    Yours in Insomnia,

  5. Retraining the brain is what it's all about. Honest. Implementing some rules where we actually have to think about what we're doing before we do it is a useful tool. So, I've found.

  6. takes a while to retrain your brain...till then it's on a tight leash.

  7. Dr. Kessler talked about this a little in 'the end of overeating.' He talked about how the neurons in our brain changed when we eat salt/sugar/fat combos.

    I liked what Chris said too--takes a while to retrain the brain, til then its on a short leash.

  8. This re-training the brain isn't easy stuff. Today old habits die hard, but I'm going win this battle today. The jury is still out on the war I'm fighting.

    Great post Roxie. Thanks for the reminder!


We'll try this for a while.