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Poetry and snark blogger who also has a creative side (who knew?)

Friday, January 3, 2014

There Is Something Wrong With My Brain

I am starting to suspect that there may be something fundamentally wrong with the way I think. I don't think the thoughts of normal people. Somewhere in my brain, there is an underdeveloped section where normal thoughts should reside and an overdeveloped section where my thoughts are generated. This became unavoidably apparent as the New Year approached.

My husband, as many normal people are wont to do, resolved that this year, he would lose some weight. I thought to myself, "This is a good idea. I've picked up a few extra 20 50 pounds, so maybe I should lose some weight too." So far, so good for my brain in the normal thoughts department. My husband then started eating less and eating healthier foods. I thought, "I can do that," so I started skipping breakfast to eat less and eating more salads for lunch. Perhaps you can see where my brain is just beginning to veer into "wrong thoughts" territory. But, let's continue.

My husband started doing exercise videos after dinner and even running around our neighborhood. What my brain should have thought was, "How dedicated he is! I should join my husband in a quest for fitness!" What my brain actually thought was, "I hate exercising. It makes me sweaty, and I hate being sweaty. And it's winter. It's COLD outside. I hate the cold." So, even though I wanted to do something healthy, I didn't want to feel uncomfortable even more. This lead to my brain deciding that if I stopped snacking after dinner, I could skip the exercise stuff, lay on the couch, and watch SVU instead.

Then my brain went into overdrive with its "wrongness." As I lay on the couch feeling hungry and deprived of my usual salty/sweet snacks, my brain formulated this thought, "If no one actually sees you eat something, it's the same as not eating it!" The underdeveloped, normal part of my brain tried to reason with this thought. "That's ridiculous!" it shouted. "The food is still entering your body even if no one sees it! This is a wrong thought. Stop it! Stop it now!" But the wrong part of my brain bullied its way to victory, and I started pretending that all of the chips and candy and cookies I ate after everyone else had gone to bed weren't really counting as food. If I ate them quickly enough and went right to bed, I would forget that I'd even consumed them.

Not surprisingly, instead of losing weight, I gained even more weight. My brain acted surprised. "How did this ever happen?!!" it thought. "Maybe the scale is wrong. Let's check it." I checked the scale. It was not wrong. I had to buy new pants because I could no longer squeeze into the ones I had purchased just last year. My brain thought, "Maybe they're getting shrunk in the wash. If you try on the same size at the store, it will fit for sure!" It did not fit. I needed bigger pants.

Now at this point, a normal brain would think, "Enough denial! You're fat. You need to lose weight. Eat less and exercise!" Not my brain, though. My brain had another plan. "Enough denial! You're fat. You need to lose weight. Maybe you can start throwing up when you overeat!" My brain astounded itself with the wrongness of this thought, but my brain wasn't done being wrong yet! "Or smoking! You could probably drop a few pounds if you started smoking!"

Now my brain was at war with itself. The normal part was screaming, "Don't listen! This is so wrong!" and the wrong part was screaming, "You're fat and lazy! This will work!"

IDEA                                PROS                                     CONS

eat less                            healthy                                   I'm hungry
exercise                           healthy                                   sweat, hate it
bulimia                             may lose weight                     bad teeth and breath, may die
smoking                           may lose weight                     $$$, bad lungs, may die

Luckily, the normal part of my brain has enough cells to prevent me from implementing the plan presented by the wrong part of my brain. The wrong thoughts are still there, but they are so wrong that even the underdeveloped normal part of my brain can keep me from acting on them. The problem is that I'm still eating too much, eating junk food, and not exercising. And I'm waiting for my brain to come up with the next plan.