Friday, 25 June 2010

Like a Moth to a Flame.....

Written last night : I'll have you know I am writing this at home in the darkness. Dedication huh? Hope you appreciate it ;-) I had to switch off the light over my PC because a lovely, delicate-looking grey moth - with quite a big wing span - was fluttering around above me, drawn to the overhead light. Poor thing, it looked disorientated, and if it kept flying to the light-bulb it would surely scorch it's body and perish up there. I cupped him in my hands a couple of times to take him to an outside door, but of course the minute I let him go he flew right back in, drawn to the light. I don't know why moths do that...but it's destructive behaviour really isn't it? I am no moth expert - what do they call people who study moth-behaviour? (Geeks? Nerds?) No....I joke. Anyway...I am typing this in the gloom, and my little moth friend has settled down, after first alighting on my keyboard briefly, bless him, (to thank me for being so compassionate, I am sure ;) 

Disney people. How about a new film? I hear the trailer now. "The heart-warming story of a girl and her moth."  Makes a change from 'A boy and his dawg." I'll edit this and send it out in the morning. I might cut that last bit.

Anyway...the dark and the light. That moth, stupid thing, no brain obviously, kept fluttering towards a hot light bulb....getting it's wings and body scorched. It did it time and time and time again. Does it have a death wish??? Do we? We do things to harm ourselves too, don't we? We eat bad stuff KNOWING it will eventually clog up our arteries and if by some stoke (ha..stroke!) of luck our hearts don't suffer, our bodies are likely to break down in some other way. Yet we carry on..

THINKS: There's probably no comparison, but why are fat people drawn to the fridge? Such destructive behaviour. Is it the light inside which beckons us?  That's it!! Eureka! We aren't related to apes...we have so much in common with moths! (I shall claim that theory and write a paper on it.) I digress. Sorry.

I know people who are deeply religious and recognise a dark side...and although I no longer attend church or have much time for organised religion, I have a faith that we are intrinsically 'good'...and that we are drawn to the dark, or the light - like that moth. I remember my children singing "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.' Such a great song...and I do believe we have to shine our light while we are here...and we have to look for the light in every given situation too. That's sometimes hard to do. We also have the ability to do the right thing, to make choices, to choose between the right way and the wrong way..or even the middle way...a way of our own, which pleases us. Losing weight is a choice we make every single time we put food stuffs into our mouths, every time we remind ourselves to get off the chair and move our bodies. The dark side is the urge to sit and sit and eat without caring....and we know we have to fight that, but it's always there, isn't it? Lurking. There is always the temptation to succumb to all that's bad for us....Even now, after months of blogging, I am fighting the urge to idle my time away and let food fill the gaps in my day..any old food, and probably food which is just 'there'. Junk-type food which doesn't have to be prepared. I am fighting it, but so aware that it is a daily fight. It's hard.

Perhaps I shouldn't get too deep but when I write (and think) about losing weight I see the struggle. Losing weight isn't easy. Every single day I have to talk myself out of running amok in the bakery section of my local supermarket. I don't go there now...not often anyway, and then I'll head straight for the wholemeal bread aisle, pick up a loaf and then hot foot it like a woman with a mission to the biological washing powders or toilet roll section for some distraction. I don't dawdle, because that fresh cream cake cabinet is my own personal light bulb. If I am going to be drawn to something destructive, that's it. Forget cocaine, booze, gang warfare and strutting my (fat) stuff on street corners. Nope, if I am going to damage myself big time it will be with dairy produce. Fresh whipped cream - as seen in cakes - should be a class A drug I reckon. Bakers are my pimps.

Some people can eventually leave all their food temptations behind them. I want to get to that place.

Hmmm. Thinking...I wonder - when slim people open their fridges, does the light blind them, because after all, salad leaves, bottles of water and yogurts don't take up much room in that space?  ;-)  Now, stop being silly Grump. I am learning that my fridge light should illuminate all the good stuff I keep in there now...and it does. My fridge is a shrine to healthy eating - BUT there is a shop and a McDonald's only ten minutes down the road. I could flutter off to that big yellow M any time...We all know the insanity of deliberately going out to buy junk food because we just NEED it.

Anyway..that's it really. A post inspired by a moth. (Sorry.)

We should be having LOTS of light bulb moments on this road to a healthier body - and we get those and we learn more about ourselves as we go. Our light bulb moments don't damage us..they help us see the sense in losing weight. That poor moth. His light bulb moments aren't healthy....ours are. Look to the light...and a lighter body eh?

Now, at some point today I want you to be conscious of that light that comes on when you open your fridge door :)

Have a good day.


  1. I've been exploring our inability to avoid eating now for a year, and I've come up with a lot of answers. One reason is that our bodies are accustomed to the nutrients we put in them, both in type and quantity, and they are reluctant to change. Our organs compel us to continue as we were, particularly when we are consuming excess energy - an act that does not cause any sort of alarm biologically. Not having food though, does cause alarm.

    Another part of it is simply habitual. We enjoy and derive comfort from doing what we have always done. We feel at a loss when we don't do the same things, particular when those acts are rewarding like enjoying food. It creates stress and anxiety to change any habit, and food is a much more important part of our lives.

    And, of course, there is also emotion and how it plays into food. Animals eat when stressed, whether that be positive or negative and the very human tendency to value what is rewarding now (the pleasure of food) rather than what is rewarding later (better health, looks). Overeating is actually very logical and reasonable behavior on many levels. It's why it's so hard to stop.

    The good news is that we can wean ourselves off of many of these things and break habits. I slowly altered my eating patterns (it was still tough, but it worked in the long run) and I slowly changed my habits. Having an awareness of all of those things really helped, but it's very personal understanding yourself and how you regard food. But, of course, it's all very hard to do!

  2. The "salad leaves, bottles of water and yogurts don't take up much room" so we'll be blinded by the fridge light. Say what? Try telling lovely hubby - he cannot believe one female can stuff so much yoghurt, fruit and veg into a fridge that there's no room left for the basics like chocolate! ;-)

    Seriously though, it does take a while before new healthier habits become ingrained but the more you persevere the stronger that new habit becomes. Eventually the big yellow M may make you think 'bleh!' not 'let me at it!'.

    Look to the light, me dear. You are doing a great job.

  3. Pretty good analogy, at least I think so. It's how I feel, compelled towards the kitchen and poor choices just like that moth.

    I read the books and sites that say if I could just stick to eating lots of fruit and veg and eliminate the bad stuff, simple carbs, low fiber, high fat foods, ... for a couple of weeks then those cravings for white bread, muffins and cakes would just vanish.

    Perhaps they would, I guess I'm going to have to try it.

    Maybe I can learn to fly with my eyes closed so the light no longer beckons. I'd be like Jason's men, the argonauts, blocking their ears with beeswax so the siren's song could not be heard and therefore not draw them onto the rocks to founder and die.

    Hey, if's it's a good enough strategy for Greek heroes...