It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for that, I assume you are grateful. My apologies though, as I feel particularly loquacious today.
I have spend a significant amount of the last six months changing the way I think about food, in an effort to shed a few (like, 70) pounds and perhaps live a little longer.
I suppose I should start by at my childhood, since it explains a little about my habits. I spent a large part of it, mostly unsupervised. I don’t mean neglected, my folks were always around, but my family tended to be reclusive, always retreating to our respective rooms between meals.
My memory is unusual, I’m told, in that I remember a significant amount of my very early years. Most of the memories that I recall vividly from my early youth had to be before the age of five, and even in those memories there was food… I remember my mother baking cookies only once or twice, but I remember those damn things very well. I have yet to have a cookie that tasted the same. …or then again perhaps my memory really isn’t quite so vivid after all.
Regardless, I remember they were in a thick opaque plastic, tupperware container, that had a thick plastic lid. They were on the counter in the kitchen, and I remember looking at it. I was alone in the kitchen, but knew that I frequently got in trouble for things I did when I thought I was alone, so I was apprehensive.
I remember looking at it. I didn’t move at first, I stared at the cookies. Then, all at once, I lunged, and grabed one, and ran off. I shoved it down my throat, savoring very little. I remember the feeling though, and it was incredible. This was likely the first thing I remember getting away with. I knew I wasn’t allowed, but I did it, and there was a payoff, and no consequences. What a great cookie.
This was the first of many food-related liberties I’d taken. I remember waking in the morning, and coming downstairs alone. I’d fix myself a bowl of cereal, and have a banana. I remember the day I decided to have two bananas. My mother did notice later, and asked if I’d had two. “Yep” I said. “Oh,” she replied. I guess I didn’t do anything wrong. Perhaps tomorrow, I’d have two bananas again!
I also remember being allowed to make my own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and when nobody was looking, I’d heap the jelly on in clumps.
Never was I taught about moderation, or the fact that eating too much was a health hazard. If anything, eating everything I could was reinforced, as my folks were always taught not to waste food. “I don’t buy this stuff just to throw it out!”
Fast forward (collective sigh of relief!) to my adolescents. Still we were all mutually reclusive. We dealt with one another when necessary, otherwise we were in our own rooms. I, being the youngest, got the shittiest of rooms. The two rooms in which I spent my life from age 8 to around 12 were tiny. The first in Brighton MA was little bigger than a walk in closet. I could fit my bed, and a dresser, and had JUST enough room to step off the bed. The second room (in Brookline MA) was a tad larger, though it had a second door that lead into my parents room. Apparently, it was the room where they’d stored the coal for heating.
Unfortunately, the ceiling in that room leaked when it rained, and it wasn’t large enough for me to move the bed somewhere it wouldn’t get leaked on. By and large from 8 to 13, I slept in the living-room. I didn’t mind this though, cause nobody really used the living room other than me, and that’s where my Nintendo was anyway.
In the first house during those years, we all lived on one floor, and my parent’s room was just off of the kitchen, and it had a bi-fold louvered door. I couldn’t do anything without them hearing me. living in that living room would do nothing to contribute to the point on this post. However, in the second house, though, the bedrooms were all on the second floor, and the living room on the first… with the kitchen.
I remember many a fridge raid. It got to the point where I wasn’t doing it covertly anymore. I’d walk out there, and have whatever I wanted. At one point, I remember sitting down in the living room with a spoon, and 2/3rds of a half-gallon of butterscotch ice cream. This became the norm.
When I got to high school, I’d been picked on most of my life for being chubby. I can see where kids start to hate themselves, and turn suicidal and all that, though fortunately for me, it all just kinda rolled off of my back. I had no such emotional issues. Nor did I really harbor any ill will toward the idiots I dealt with.
However, high school hit, and so did my growth spurts. I must have grown a foot and a half, and suddenly I was rather skinny. Not only was I not fat, but I was allowed to hit the weights in gym class, so by junior / senior year I was in great shape. High school ended, and I stopped hitting the weight room, but I continued to eat like it didn’t matter. I would hit the store and get a half gallon of ice cream, and a spoon from the salad bar, and show up at a friend’s house, for the comedic value of them opening the door, and seeing me eating a half gallon of ice cream.
Yes, comedic value. That shit’s funny, when you’re not fat. It quickly became not-all-that-funny…
At my largest, I was having what I thought were hunger pains, all the time. I didn’t get any professional help or anything, but I think what was going on was I was misinterpreting the sensation of NOT being full, as being hungry. I’d get awful gnawing “hunger” pains, and even while I was eating, they’d persist. They wouldn’t go away until I was stuffed. Not just full, but stuffed. They’d come back again twenty minutes later.
Over the years I’d tried a few different diets, with varying degrees of success. I did the South Beach diet, and lost a few pounds, I did a 3-day diet, which was a great way to break carb cravings, which has always been my downfall.
The problem was though, that when the “diet” was over, or when I was tired of feeling deprived I’d return to my old ways before long. Diets do not work.
Long story short (don’t laugh, I COULD make it longer!) I find myself having just turned 33 since my last post, at 241 lbs, having fought my way down from 260. Another 50 lbs or so would be nice.
It took a picture that was taken at my daughter’s thanksgiving event in kindergarten, that was published in the local news paper to make me realize how large I’d become. I could have put my tray down on my belly as I was standing in line…. ok. perhaps it wasn’t quite THAT bad, but it was bad.
At any rate, I joined Weight Watchers online. WW is a great program, it gives you a point value based on how tall you are, and your age and gender, and gives you a goal to reach with the food you eat, based on where you want to be, etc… I lost 20lbs in about three months with WW. Then I realized there’s an app called My Fitness Pal, which does basically the exact same thing, for free…
My biggest challenge was the “hunger” pains. Once I realized what they were (or what I believe they were) I was able to deal with them. It took about three weeks of ignoring them to get them to finally stop. By the end, I kind of thought of them the way weight lifters talk about “the burn!”.
Having spent the majority of my life, thinking that I’d just be fat, and believing that genetics were causing it, and being told “You’re not fat, you’re husky”, I really believed that it’s how things would be. Now I have a plan, it’s working, and realizing that if I stray a bit, it’s not the end of the world is huge.
Having read back through this post, there sure is a lot of yapping. I guess if you walk away from this post with nothing, then that’s fine. I make no promises of amusement. Although, I feel I owe you something. If you’re one of those “I eat what I want and stay thin anyway” jackasses and glean no inspiration from this post, then read on, maybe you’ll get a chuckle or a “hmm…” .
Alright, that’s all I got. I’m tired, have a cold… And hey, it’s more than I promised, so…
What about you, got any weight loss stories? Weight gain stories? Bad puns you go through more trouble to deliver than their worth? Do you know where Polly went??