Let’s Talk About Food

Before I begin, I should note that I’m writing this while eating an entire box of Chips Ahoy! cookies and a glass of milk. This will be important for later.

I’m going to write about food and body image for a bit, so if that bothers you, this is your warning to leave.

In short, I hate my weight. I absolutely despise it. For those unaware, I’m 24, male, and roughly 5 foot, 9 inches. I also weigh 210 pounds. The average for my height is around 170-175, so that’s quite a difference.

I’ve also been trying to get down to that weight for longer than I can remember. I think that I started around 2009? I honestly cannot remember. Either way, it’s been a long time. I’ve tried several different methods, from calorie counting, to “dieting” in the sense of portion control, to constant exercise, and some combination of those.

Nothing has worked. I lose a few pounds, then go back up and few pounds. One step forward, two steps back. Story of my life.

Reading this, you no doubt have a few questions. The first is why? Why is it so hard? There are multiple answers to this.

Food is a very important part of my family. My mother and I joke that the family motto is “We don’t eat to live, we live to eat.” This of course means we enjoy food for its taste much more than it’s ability to sustain life. We enjoy lots of different foods, but primarily sweet, savory, and salty.

In other words, we eat a lot of junk. Not as much as some people, but enough in my opinion.

There are also some mental factors. I suffer from major depression and anxiety. I take medication for these things and it works wonders. It keeps my moods mostly regular and pretty much destroys my anxiety.

It also makes it incredibly difficult to lose weight. Most anti-depressants you’ll see out there have “weight gain” or “difficulty losing weight” as side effects. And boy, they are not kidding. I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to lose any of the pounds I have. I’m talking cutting my calories down to 1200 a day, while also walking several miles on the treadmill.

But in the end it’s all for nothing because I have awful impulse control. That’s the nasty secret. I literally cannot control myself around food. If it’s there, and it tastes good to me, I’ll eat it. Even if I’ve already eaten my meals for the day, I’ll eat it. Even if I’m full, I’ll eat it. It’s just really a fact at this point. It doesn’t really help that I work at a restaurant where free food is always a possibility.

I have no clear idea why I do this. It’s probably a coping mechanism of some kind. But I haven’t been to therapy for it yet. Haven’t really had the ability to afford it.

And then there are nights like this, where I do really well for most of the day, and then slip up drastically. I hit rock bottom and just keep on digging. So even after stuff my face with pizza, I sit before you with a glass of milk and box of cookies. This happens more often than you think and I tend to eat until I get sick.

I’ve never vomited, because the one thing I hate more than everything is the feeling of vomiting. I avoid it whenever possible. But I’ve gotten to the point where I actually can’t move because my stomach is so upset, in case you were wondering.

The second question you have is – probably – why? Why do you want to lose all that weight?

I’ll be honest, I don’t have to. I could probably roll on through life like this and be perfectly fine. I don’t necessarily look my weight and most people don’t really care. I’ve had romantic partners that have theoretically found me attractive, so, you know, whatever.

But it isn’t about them, or “society”, or whatever. It’s simply what I want. It’s always been about what I want. Which is probably why it’s been so frustrating to constantly fail, over and over again.

So I’ve decided to just give up. All this is has done is create a circle of exhaustion and misery over never making any progress. The whole one step forward, two steps back thing feels like some kind of sick joke and frankly, I’m tired of it.

Maybe when (if) I finish college, I can afford a dietician and personal trainer so I’m more responsible to someone other than myself. Then maybe I can get myself onto a cleaner diet and a job where I’m not surrounded by food all the time.

~~~

 

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One thought on “Let’s Talk About Food

  1. Great post! This is subject that should be written about far more than it currently is. Having a good diet is definitely an uphill struggle. Especially when you suffer with mental health problems. I struggled with being healthy whilst at university. The drinking culture definitely didn’t help. It’s only really in the last few months that I’ve managed to get my lifestyle to the way I wanted it years ago.

    I think the way I managed it was simply by reminding myself that I’d just feel more depressed/guilty if I chose to drink a pint as opposed to having a glass of water or juice. Yet I feel like the circumstances of your life have to coincide with your aims . For instance there would have been little point giving up alcohol during university as I would have caved in eventually. I consider myself strong willed, but I have my limits!

    It sounds like that’s the case with you. Perhaps it simply isn’t the right time. Sometimes this realisation can be quite cathartic. Coming to terms with your limits and thus being more forgiving towards yourself etc. Either way, thanks for writing about this!

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