Thursday, January 7, 2010

Roger Ebert made me tear up a bit

Before you read further, please read Roger Ebert's wonderful piece about his inability to eat, drink or speak. He has made up for his lack of speech by becoming a prolific blogger and twitterer. He's also come up with a pretty clever way of replacing eating and drinking: memories.

I had a conversation with my friend John a while ago, about how quitting smoking was so much easier than learning to eat better and losing weight. With smoking, you can just stop. Yes its hard to do, but there are harder things in life (I've experienced plenty). But I did it, I quit smoking, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about just having one more satisfying puff of nicotine smoke every once in a while.

Eating is harder to quit because you have to eat. It's not something you can just stop doing, its more about controlling your behavior and learning new ones. It take discipline and sacrifice. You have to be vigilant and isn't easy.

For people like me, food is tied to closely to emotion and feelings, separating the necessity of food and the feelings of something delicious is something that has to be done if you want to eat, live and feel better. There are always opportunities to enjoy yourself, but you have to control those opportunities.

Roger Ebert does not pity himself, if anything he seems to have become a new man after his many surgeries, so it would be wrong for anyone to pity him. Even Roger has his own vivid memories and the emotional baggage that comes with them and he doesn't have the need to practice self control, his diet is structured for him through his g-tube.

For all the, pardon the term, weight we ascribe to food in our subconscious, we have to realize that eating that calorie filled delight that reminds us of our mothers, our grandmothers or the responsibility free days of child-hood isn't healthy. What is healthy is thinking about those times and realizing that our thoughts and memories are more important than the taste of a certain type of bread, a particular soda or your grandma's favorite place to eat.

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