Weight Loss and Weight Control
Prior to doing deeper research in the true natural history of temptation, I had previously joked to Ken Fuqua, my spiritual dive buddy, that if I could come up with a Symbiotic Weight Control Diet that worked as effectively as the Spirit squashed my compulsive thoughts, then the masssive PR problems that bedevil Symbiotic Christianity would miraculously disappear.
Imagine my surprise when, after noting from lists of neurotransmitter capabilites that they affect the gastrointestinal system, I broke 200 pounds while indifferently following the Weight Watchers diet. This was despite trying since December of 2007 to do so with such effort, and little success, that I had kind of slacked off. And, as what normally happens, I ballooned during my vacation and was having problems bringing the weight down. Even while I fasted for the election, I would bounce above 200 pounds three days after ending the fast. Now, I'm consistently staying below 200 pounds easily. What happened?
Well, it seems that I overeat by indulging in excessive snacks because I am either hungry or nervous, so any progress in my diet had to spring from handling those aspects of my life.
The "being nervous" part was indirectly handled when I finally figured out and implemented the operating strategy mentioned above to consistenly live in a state of peace: whenever I became nervous I didn't say "don't eat!" but "stay in peace!" Cutting out snacking due to nervousness was not the goal, but a beneficial side effect of pursuing the promise of living in the peace given by Jesus Christ to his disciples.
And what about feeling hungry? Well, if neurotransmitters affect the gastrointestinal system, why not affect that system to not feel hunger until the next scheduled meal, and to feel satisfied afterwards? I was having trouble lasting to lunch time (11:00 AM) after the time change to Standard Time this year, so after being made aware of this capability, I usually call on the Spirit at about 9:30 AM to start taking care of my hunger until then. Most of the time, He does just that. At other times, He reminds me to make up a healthy "snack" to bring along, as well as reminding me to eat it.
This methodology certainly helps when maintaining one's weight and maybe dropping a few pounds after the holidays, but what about the phenomoenon of "plateauing"? This is when, after losing some weight easily, the rate of weight loss slows down and often stops. There can be long periods of time where no progress is made, discouraging many dieters, among whom I count myself.
Although I am not a nutritionist nor a biologist, my experience leads me to believe that "plateauing" is due to differences between "old fat" and "new fat". "New fat" is fat that has been added within the last two months, and includes blood borne fat, such as triglicerides. In contrast, "old fat" is fat that has been in the body longer than two months. My conjecture is that the fat in the cells has changed chemical structure so that it is more resistant to being released by the fat cells into the blood stream for elimination. I have noted that, if I move quickly to reduce weight gained after holidays and vacations, I can return to my previous weight level, but if I let the weight "sit" for longer than a couple of months, the weight loss becomes harder to achieve.
Many people resort to liposuction to remove what has become "old fat". However, I propose a less drastic and more controlled method for eliminating "old fat": selective intiation by the Holy Spirit Symbiote of lipolysis, the process by which the body converts fat to compounds burnable by the body (such as glycerol and fatty acids). This is initiated by hormones released in the blood stream. The hormones of interest to us are epinephrine, norepinephrin, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). The first two are known neurotransmitters, so getting the Symbiote to intiate secretion of them is already a solved problem. The third is secreted by the pituitary gland. While it may appear that the pituitary gland is outside the span of control of the nervious system, this is actually not the case. It is part of what is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The hypothalmic part of the system is the brain/hormone system interface, and the neurons are called neurosecretory neurons. These are specialized neurons that produce hormone-like neurotransmitters that exert control over the hormone/immune/digestive system by the brain, including that part of the digestive process that governs whether we feel hungry or not.
It is my speculation, not yet supported by personal experience, that plateauing can be overcome by cooperating with the Holy Spirit to initiate secretion of the aforementioned hormones involved with lipolysis.
The key word, of course, is cooperation, which implies the implementation on a pre-agreed strategy or plan of action that governs the active and reactive behavior of both Symbiote and Host. While permission of the Host is required, it is not sufficent to ensure success, mainly because of the "logistics" of burning fat. What I mean is that it is not enough for the Holy Spirit to order some fat cells to convert their fat to burnable compounds if those compounds will not be eventually burned! If the host does not exercise, the stuff will just circulate within the body, then get re-converted back into fat. The goal is to get rid of fat, not rearrange where it is in the body.
Thus, I conjecture that the following protocol can be be used to handle weight plateauing. First, the host adopts a reasonable diet that already limits fat and carbohydrate intake, as well as enagages in a viable and doable exercise program. When a weight plateau is reached, the Host requests that the Symbiote initiate lipolysis while continuing the diet and exercising. The continued dieting and exercise is the necessary cooperative actions that the Symbiote requires as "real permission" to initiate lipolysis. I do not believe that there will be no plateaus. Rather, I conjecture that the plateaus will be short and brief, punctuating periods of weight loss. The plateauing serves as a gentle (but needed) reminder that follow-on weight loss is due to the Holy Spirit's work and not entirely of our own doing. The Symbiote will always be a source of gratitude, but never for pride.
Now, this is not to say that I have come up with an actual Symbiotic Weight Control Diet, for I am not a nutritionist! Rather, I am now experiencing the isopistic ability of the Spirit Symbiote within me to help me make progress with and stay on a diet that I already know works for me. I would not have recommended the old version of the Weight Watcher's diet that my mom followed decades ago, but I enthusiastically recommend the latest version as being much more realistic, easier to follow, factors in the fat-absorbing properties of fiber, is nutritionally sound, and throws in some practical incentives to exercise. Given that suppression of the temptations to overeat are isopistic to that of suppressing mortal tempations and compulsions, combined with the lipolysis capabilities of the Holy Spirit, I would say that there is no longer any excuse to not lose weight.
Well, *I* certainly have no excuse!
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