Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Behind Overeating

i have never much equated overweight and health issues, because i thought that was unfair and judgmental. sure, some ailments seem aggravated by excess weight, but i certainly know thin people with heart trouble, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholestrol, etc.

but this week, james gandolfini and my very overweight brother had heart attacks. my brother is just fine and healing nicely but with the strictest of orders to change his diet immediately.

and now that i'm working at a restaurant with an all-u-can eat salad bar, i see numerous folks laboring under the burden of layers of fat.

and so, i am even more fascinated than ever (if that's possible) by people's food habits, particularly the desire to eat and eat and eat.

it's in me -- i'm, by nature, a compulsive eater. i understand the desire to drown myself (my emotions) in food.  for me, it's a huge sadness that wants to be comforted, and i find i get a little sad watching very large folks load their plates.

i'm hostessing at a family restaurant with decent food, fairly reasonable prices and that, aforementioned, all-u-can eat salad bar. lots of our patrons are older and many are overweight.
most folks who come in want to sit right near the salad bar and complain with notable bitterness when there isn't something available in its exact vicinity. this seems understandable when the customer is using a walker, in a wheelchair, in a cast, etc. but so  many an able-bodied individual gets visibly angry when seated in a farther corner. yet, it's a pretty small restaurant.

the salad bar is lavish and one serving  often seems more than a meal. but folks go back three and four times and then eat a main course and often, dessert.

what is the insatiable appetite for so much food and with no work (a tiny walk to the salad bar) involved.

is it an emptiness -- a feeling that there won't be enough food to fill me, that i won't be able to tolerate even a few short steps to get to the food i need.
does anyone have any other ideas?


  1. So glad that your brother is okay and healing nicely. You know, from the purely scientific view, I have read that some people lack a chemical that has to do with satiety. That is, their stomachs do not tell the brain that it is full and to stop eating. I dont know if an emotional state can impact this but it seems likely considering how connected the gut and brain are. I have read articles that call the stomach the second brain and such. A lot to think about....

  2. ghost girl; hi there! that's interesting. the brain and the stomach are SO connected. yet, my own gut (stomach, of course) thinks it's more mind/emotion. but that's my own experience. i'm going to read more.

    wouldn't it be nice if our bodies could all be finely tuned....? thanks for writing, my friend