Conscious Peeing

What is the line between self-acceptance/self-love and change? If I love everything about myself and accept everything, what’s my motivation to change, or put another way, what’s my motivation to do things differently? And since this is a blog about weighting, what’s my motivation to eat and move differently in order to lose weight.

No self help book that teaches self acceptance and self love has explained that adequately. Even Buddhist books just say sit with it and if they go into details, they just seem like any other seemingly compassionate, but really kind of patronizing diet book.  Even Buddhist monks can’t seem to escape the current dogma that weight is a psychological issue and not a physiological one.

In Cheri Huber’s Making a Change For Good: A Guide to Compassionate Self-Discipline, she writes  “…eating, along with every addiction we struggle with, is not about the content, it is about the process, and the process is identity maintenance” (pg 77).

The use of the word “addiction” for so many random things really annoys me. Maybe I’m wrong but I could have sworn that addiction used to mean someone had a physical dependence on something. You were addicted to heroin, just as I am addicted to coffee. Getting unaddicted caused physical pain. (Don’t smirk about the coffee addiction. I once stopped drinking coffee and I had a headache for 72 hours straight.) Now the word addiction is used to refer to behavior like an addiction to gambling.

I find the use of the word addiction to eating just bizarre. Whatever else you’re “addicted” to – cigarettes, crack, sex, bungee jumping – whether it’s physical or psychological, you don’t have to do any of them.  You do have to eat. Even if what you eat is crap you still have to eat. Eating in and of itself is not about “identity maintenance”, it’s about staying alive.

I understand the concept of conscious eating, which Cheri also talks about. Honestly I need to do it more often, because it’s a good idea to do everything with consciousness. But we don’t. And my question is why is eating so vilified?  Does anyone ever have the urge to pee, but then say to themselves “Slow down. Don’t stop to pee. I won’t pee until I can breathe and pee pee consciously.”

All babies do is eat, pee and shit. And they cry bloody murder right away if you don’t recognize. So why would you call eating an addiction? No one ever calls peeing or shitting an “addiction”.  And they’re kind of nasty. What would conscious peeing be anyway?  “Slow the stream, Grasshopper. Know that the pee is a part of you.”

Some could argue that there’s no choice in peeing or shitting, while eating involves myriad choices and it’s up to the individual to make the “right” choices. Don’t get me wrong, I get the idea of being “addicted” to certain foods, like say Cheetos. Not good. But this dogma really goes further than that. Underneath it there’s a sense that if you’re fat, you don’t really need to eat. At all. It’s the idea that eating itself is a choice, not just what or how much you eat. And hunger is an entirely psychological issue with no physiological basis. And if we continue down this road, we’re headed toward a long, long epidemic.


January 5, 2010. Tags: , , . diet.


  1. beyondtheendoftheroad replied:

    Excellent post. I think in part the peeing and shitting part aren’t necessarly done in order to change the way one feels about him/herself. That could be argued based upon what the person ate or drank. In reality, when talking about the term of addiction the common denominator in the ones you mentioned (sex, gambling, bungee jumping) are the factors of obsession and compulsion which form true addictions as found in AXIS models.
    You are correct in the choice scenario of eating. Education and information at the earliest of ages may be a deterrent.
    Good Post.

  2. Does this fit? « Self Help Addicts replied:

    […] here are a few of links from my other blog where I wrote about the constant pull to diet, how hunger is real and physiological, and after a comment, further explaining how hunger is real, and being a fat yogini.   Leave […]

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