Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Bit on Overeating

I said on the last post that the next one would be about overeating.  Well, the reason I'm going through all of these different topics is because they're all kind of close to home when it comes to personal problems that I have.  So... they say "write what you know" and that's exactly what I'm doing.

We start this discussion on overeating with a word of advice.  Don't.  Don't start.  Keep yourself from going to buffets because all you're going to do is convince yourself you need to eat enough to pay for the cost.  Don't go out to eat. Don't go out to fast food joints.  Do learn to cook at home.  Do grow your own vegetables and herbs.  Do eat small portions and do so 4-6 times a day, every few hours an apple here, a protein shake there, or a small salad here.  Do eat dessert when you're in the mood for it, but get one of those 100 calorie things and don't eat more than that.  Wait for a few hours before you eat anything more.  Wait until you feel a bit empty or your tummy starts to rumble.  Keep your metabolism high, whatever you do, you need to go number 2 at least once a day if not more.  If you start to get to the point where you don't, then there's something wrong with your body and you need to re-adjust something.

Okay... I'll climb off my soapbox for a moment and tell you what I've learned over the years.  It's EASY to be fat.  Especially when you have no idea that you're getting there until people start making fun of you and your friends feel sorry for you because you're the chubby one.  Maybe, like me, you don't even realize you're getting fat, or maybe you already are, because it seems like a completely acceptable way to be, because the people around you are fat as well.  Maybe you have a lot of skinny friends and you feel bad for them because they're mighty skinny, and don't they get enough to eat?

The reason I'm mentioning all of this, is because that is how I grew up.  My Dad loved to eat.  His days off consisted of going to restaurants.  I kid you not, that was his hobby, or at least the only other one besides the Bible study that he held at work.  I don't remember much else about my Dad but that he loved to eat, loved to travel to new places and see new things, and he loved to spoil his kids.  My brother wasn't really affected by this tendency to overeat until he got past his teenage growth spurt.  I'm not entirely sure what he looks like now (haven't seen him in a year) but he had to do a drastic eating change to be skinny and get fit before he moved to California.

Anyway, (sorry, I do tend to ramble, I think I've mentioned that before) I grew up thinking it was perfectly acceptable to be big.  My Mom was big (bless her heart she's working on losing weight now too) and my Dad had a large belly (and I'm sorry to say, died of a heart attack in '99, 50 years of age) and so when I started going up in adult sizes, I thought I was growing.  Why didn't anyone tell me that being a size 14 at 14 years old was a bad thing?  My Mom wore a 20 at the time (she's down to a 14 now) and so I just thought I was growing to be like her.  It's funny how easy it is for a fat kid to be picked on.  But I always thought it was just because they didn't like me, not because I was fat.  Later I thought it was just because I wore glasses (that was short lived, I got contacts soon after) and here I was, always thinking that these skinny people just didn't know what it was like to eat really good food, and that's why they were so skinny.

I think by the time I got to high school, the weight thing finally started to kick in.  Of course, by that time I was also wearing a size 20, and if it weren't for a late growth spurt putting me at about 5'6" (rather than the 5' 3" I'd been through most of Junior and High School) I would have looked rather like a watermelon.  And it showed on my face in photographs and my clothing options (which were surprisingly few, this was before the obesity thing really hit the USA, just before "Supersize me" became popular), and I vowed that I'd lose weight in college.

You have to understand that I was a kid that was dragged to every kind of buffet known to man.  We were a "eat meat and then vegetables" kind of family.  Pick your protein, maybe fried chicken for example, or what about a slab of roast beef?  Throw on two or three rolls (I love bread) and add to it some mashed potatoes, oh and that slice of cake, and oh, I guess I feel bad, maybe I should have a small salad to top it off?  Side that with Coke, two or three glasses at least, keep those refills coming!  Go back for one last dessert, because, I was good enough to eat a salad and that will cover the bad of the sugar, right?  Each meal was similar to this, go to a "Standard American Buffet" and then maybe a Chinese buffet later, or maybe we'll find somewhere that's having an all-you-can-eat deal (like Olive Garden, which is the one that I still do, but feel miserable afterwards) and in between all of those buffets there were plenty of fast food joints to have a 'small' meal.  Little did I know many of those were probably even more calorie packed than the buffet I'd just eaten at.

So, when in college my Dad died and I lost about 10 pounds (I was over 200lbs at my weightiest), I thought I was doing pretty good climbing all the stairs at college, and look at me, I was only eating a couple times a day, and that's gotta be pretty good, right?  But eating so rarely and such large portions basically kept me at the same weight for years to come, and it would be another 10 years before I'd fall even below 180lbs.  All of those diet fads, reading about things that I should and should not eat, and yet none of it really sank in.  Overeating is just a habit, just like smoking or drinking or anything that you do in excess.  If at any point just don't see yourself doing wrong, it just becomes a part of you, a bad part of you, but a part, nonetheless.

Maybe I should have titled these blogs the Seven Deadly Sins or something.... Today's topic was brought to you by the letter "G" for Gluttony.  Next time... *shrugs*  I'll come up with something interesting, I hope, and perhaps add pictures.  See you then!

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