Tales From The Syndrome X Files, Episode 3: The Twilight Zone Diet
Posted Sep 28 2008 7:02pm
“Listen to me, LISTEN to me! I’M NOT CRAZY!”
I woke from a dream just a few hours ago and, after contemplating for a while, a concept struck me that is so bizarre that it might just be possible. I was so excited about getting it down on paper (well, this white stuff on the monitor, anyway) that I was restless the rest of the night and couldn’t wait to get out of bed and onto the computer.
The tail end of this dream had me working in some sort of factory with production lines. I don’t remember what was being manufactured, but it reminded me of the book printing and binding factory I used to work at as a teenager. Mister Spock (that’s right, the Vulcan) was my line manager, and at some point I was being asked to try a piece of one of his pies, as he was quite the baker. (Apparently the Vulcan credo, IDIC, had changed to mean ‘Infinite Destruction from Infinite Carbohydrates.’) Although I balked at first, my coworkers wore me down. I gazed longingly at the open pie oozing the alien’s specialty, Cherry-Apple-Orange filling. I ate a piece, and then had seconds. It was wonderful. And then I woke and felt guilty and had this epiphany.
I weigh myself every morning. A lot of people say not to. David Brown, a regular LCC reader and erudite responder, advised me a short time ago in a reply to one of my week-long daily analyses that so many things are going on in the human body on a daily basis that it’s impossible to anticipate what one’s weight will be at a moment in time based solely on the previous day’s nourishment. I believe him, but I still perform this daily ritual anyway because it helps to keep me from becoming complacent about what I’m eating and drinking and how it will or won’t affect my weight.
That being said, if you’re a daily weigher like me, you must have at some point wondered why, after a not so particularly “foody” (for lack of a better term) day, you gained an unlikely amount of weight, and after days where you’d been less than conscientious about what you were ingesting, you wound up losing weight. What could the reasons possibly be?
Here’s where it starts to get a little weird, but stay with me. We’ve lately been bandying about this concept of insulin secretion as a result of seeing food, smelling food, thinking about food, even eating things that don’t have carbohydrates but that perhaps fool the body into thinking they do based simply on how they taste. So what if, just what if, during the night, while we’re dreaming, our dreams are driving our pancreas and other organs to secrete insulin and hormones based on what we’re dreaming about?
Let’s say you’re dreaming about eating, and it doesn’t matter what it is; aren’t you really just thinking about eating while in a subconscious state? Isn’t it possible that your body will react physiologically in the same way as it would if you were awake? So, instead of burning calories from fat depots for fuel during the long night, you’re conserving those depots and adding to them with the foodstuffs you recently took in. Conversely, how often have you dreamt about something involving great physical stress or some kind of strenuous activity and woke to find yourself hot and sweating? Your body was obviously going through some internal machinations to mimic the physiological effects of motion all the time you were just lying there in bed. (There’s a further twist to this whole concept I just thought of that I may explore some other day: that our dreams are driven by what’s going on physiologically during our sleeping hours rather than the other way around.)
If this dream state cause-and-effect concept is even possible, is there a way to control it? How do you keep from dreaming about eating? Can you somehow encourage your mind to subconsciously put you through a grueling nightly workout? Somebody out there will probably suggest some sort of hypnotic process or some other mind conditioning would work.
Before you consider me some sort of whacked-out crackpot, just think about it all for a bit. And let me add this one thought: I had a not-too-heavy day of eating yesterday, and only 20 net grams of carbs, yet I woke this morning to weigh OVER TWO POUNDS MORE THAN YESTERDAY and I KNOW for a FACT that it was because of that damned Mister Spock’s Cherry-Apple-Orange pie!