Posted by: mikedishman | May 10, 2009

Don’t judge another person until you have walked a mile in their shoes

I think we have all heard the expression “don’t judge another person until you have walked a mile in their shoes”. I used to look at folks with eating disorders and just could not imagine what they were thinking and why they would do that to themselves, but I understand now.

It will be hard for most of you to understand that for me, eating is no longer something to look forward to. I tell folks that God has a sense of humor. I am married to the most wonderful cook and I no longer look forward to eating. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with my taste buds. Things that taste good not only taste good, but they taste great — mostly because I can eat so little. Due to some unknown reason (at least to me) many foods either don’t go down well, or they upset what is left of my system.

Everything requires I chew a lot and I mean a lot. It takes me a very long time to eat. I can’t eat and drink because there is not enough room for both. If I eat something that doesn’t agree with my new plumbing, I get rid of it almost instantly (to put it nicely). So now the most primal desire is just no longer there. I simply don’t care to eat.

A lot of folks say they wish they had that problem. I understand the statement. After all, I used to be pretty big myself and now I am painfully thin. Believe me, you don’t want to wish this on yourself. Most folks should eat the way I am forced to, but not because they have to.

Now I really do understand those that have eating disorders. I guess I am walking in their shoes. At some point your body, not you mind takes over. Once your body takes over your mind is no longer in control and it’s no longer a choice.

Unfortunately now among everything else, my caregiver, the love of my life, must shoulder that responsibility along with everything else. Even though I can write about it; even though I understand it; if left up to me I would probably just simply not eat enough. My body is not asking for nourishment. Don’t get me wrong, I want to live and I want to thrive; I have just have lost almost all interest in eating.

This is the point in my writing where I try to have a positive spin on whatever I just wrote about. I am thinking, I am thinking………………, I just can’t find it this time.

If this subject sparked some interest in you, then you should have been on our last support call. We would love for you to call in and help us and/or yourself work through these kinds of dilemmas. Wed evenings, 7 pm.


  1. Hey Mike

    As someone who used to live to eat and now eats to live I can fully understand what you are saying.

    You have to remember one thing – if you do not put fuel in your car it will not run. The same is true for your body. Food is fuel and you NEED it for your body to work properly.

    Four and a half years out, I still have to remind myself of that. Today I ate breakfast and then skipped eating for the rest of the day. By dinner I was exhausted and didn’t feel like doing anything let alone getting dinner ready. It was a constant struggle to remain standing in the kitchen. However, once I had something in my belly I felt alot better.

    I think the key is to find something that you like and go with it until it doesn’t work anymore. I know that you might end up hating whatever it is but at the same time you will at least have some nourishment. I too get tired with the chewing so I have all but given up on meat but I make sure that I get some protein from eggs, cheese and milk products. Peanut butter has also become a staple in my diet.

    Losing interest in anything could also be a sign of depression. Do not hesitate to see your doctor and to tell him/her what is going on. Face it, you were diagnosed with one of the most deadly cancer’s out there and thus far you have survived. Survival comes with it’s own issues – and anyone who thinks that life becomes a happy place simply because we have survived is wrong. We are not “normal” anymore and never will be again. I see survivors of other cancers return to their former lives as though nothing has happened and I am envious, yes even jealous. Just for one day I would love to be “normal” again.

    It took me a year to figure out that I was depressed. My doctor upon hearing me say it said “Hell, you have been there and back. I am surprised it took this long for you to be depressed”. Granted I had an awesome GP, but there is no shame in being depressed after what you have gone through. No one knows better than yourself what you need to make you feel better. It may not seem like it now, but you will know…

    You know you HAVE to eat even though you don’t want to. But you also know that not eating is detrimental to your health so you WILL eat.

    Your insides have been rearranged so much that they too are having a hard time trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. Don’t be too hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack. I don’t know what you are trying to eat but I am more than happy to discuss some techniques I have “perfected” over the last couple of years.

    I really wish I could participate in your support group. It would seem as though you could really use the help right about now. Please contact me by email either thru my blog or directly) if you would like to chat.

    Take Care and remember – it does get better with time, I promise.
    serendopeity at gmail dot com

  2. I stumbled across your blog in one of my numerous lost in translation late night searches on the internet. As I was feeling sorry for myself, mostly due to economic hardship, here I am.

    I found your blog. My heart goes out to you and I just wanted to simply say “You matter”. May your body be blessed, especially with nourishment and may you feel revived with new and may your heart and soul be filled with love and peace. May you have patience and be filled with joy.

    Sending many blessings of peace!

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