Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hungry like the rat

Recently, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article about a junk food addiction study. The study was completely fascinating. Here's an excerpt:
The theory stems from a study in rats. When researchers gave the rats unlimited access to a calorie-laden diet of bacon, pound cake, candy bars and other junk food, the rats quickly gained lots of weight. As they plumped up, eating became such a compulsion that they kept chowing down even when they knew they would receive an unpleasant electric shock to their foot if they did so.
So these poor, fat rats keep going back to the junk food, even though they'd be physically hurt because of it. Boy, can I relate to those rats. I have spent a great majority of my life ignoring the physical (and emotional) pain my food addiction caused. I was like a robot (or a rat)--just going to the food, letting myself get shocked along the way. I didn't care. It was what I needed to get through the hard times, the happy times, the sad times.

The article goes on to say that when the rats were fed healthy foods, they just weren't havin' it.
Even more startling, the researchers report, is that when they took away the junk food from the obese rats and replaced it with healthier chow, the obese rats went on something of a hunger strike. For two weeks, they refused to eat hardly anything at all.
The rats sound like I once was--stubborn and bitter. But now I'm realizing how good life can be when you're not going through pain to get to more pain. Now that I'm not just going through the motions, I'm feeling more alive and present than I ever was before. Feelings are good things.

I may no longer be a rat in a rut. But you'll still have to kill me to get me to give up cheese.


Anonymous said...

Erika, you are hilarious!...and motivational too.

Leanne said...

Do you think the junk food gives a numbing effect, too? I see what you are saying that feeling alive and enjoying truly pleasant feelings is much better than "going through pain to get more pain". And, your writings are making me think a lot about how I deal with my good and bad feelings. Thanks, Erika!

A little wine & cheese never killed a rat. ;-) So, here's a toast.... To life and to living it! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Interesting article - sounds like you are doing all the right things - and heck no, don't give up the cheese! Moderation is key, right?