The feeling on my lips. The way it feels in my hand. The pleasure it brings as I put it in my mouth. Feeling it explode across my taste buds as I chew. My mouth filling more and more with a flavor experience as I continue to have more.
That’s right, I love food!!! Everything about it! Buying it, preping it, serving it, and of course eating it.
Now that affair has changed significantly over the past several years. My love now is much healthier than it was in the past. When I was heavy, that affair was reckless and un-nurturing. Eating just for the sake of eating. There were times where it would be blatantly open. Like in high school going to the all you can eat wing night and putting down 110 wings, pitcher of coke and a slice of chocolate cake. The times where I would go out to dinner and had to get the appetizer, salad, entrée, extra side, and dessert of course. Then even just sitting at home having ice cream which would include 4-5 scoops, peanut butter, fluff, chocolate sauce and any other sweet crunchy thing I could put on it. Those where the times when I was in the open about it. Then there were the secret eating moments.
Sitting home alone, watching television, and having an all out raid in the kitchen. Anything that I could eat. Making crazy combinations of food just to satisfy the cravings, fill the void, make me feel good. I would sometimes gorge to a point, where I would pass out on the couch in the proverbial food coma. I guess you could compare it to sex. Start off with a little nibble to eat, building up to a point of all out excitement and then reaching the climax and crashing (remember I was alone, so there was no need to snuggle).
Probably the one part of my secret eating that was the most over the top for me was breakfast foods. A majority of the last few years, I have had a commute to work of about 30 minutes or more. So that of course lent to plenty of time to hit the McDonald’s drive through and get 2 bacon egg and cheese biscuits (food crack for me) and an egg McMuffin with a large coke. I would pay in cash most of the time to keep it a secret that I was stopping there so often. This wasn’t the only breakfast place I would visit regularly. Cumberland Farms for my coffee and a couple of honey buns, or jumbo pastries, or the microwave breakfast sandwiches. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you about all the stops at Gerry’s Doughnuts.
I know I’m not the only one that has done this or continues to do this. When you’re obese like I was, it was just part of life. I knew that it was so unhealthy for me, but it felt good. When you struggle with low self-esteem, you do things that make you feel good. The comfort that it would bring me was undeniable. I’m pretty confident that someone reading this right now is relating to what I’m talking about. Eating like this, as I said, fills a void. The thing I’m realizing now is the void I thought I was filling was not hunger, it was an emotional void. It was the void of feeling good about myself. I know, it’s really fucked up how something that made me feel good was my downfall. Living in the shadow of my old self, I reflect back and think about this quite a bit. I think how insane my eating habits were.
That has all changed for me. It can be done but it isn’t easy. There are still times where I struggle with it, but it has gotten easier to say no. Making that transition led to some very lonely emotional moments. As I was losing the weight, I would slip back and have binge eating bouts. This time the ending was nowhere as pleasurable. I would be more aware of what I was doing. Why? Because I would actually log the food I was eating. That’s where logging was extremely effective for me. I would truly hold my self accountable for what I was eating. I now had concrete evidence of my poor eating habits. I had something I could look at and ask myself “what was I thinking?” Once I had that accountability, things started to really change. I was holding myself responsible for my actions. Anytime I would get the urge to eat like that, I would remember the impact it had on my daily calories, and how it was completely counter productive to what I was trying to achieve. Making the choice to hold yourself accountable is one of the biggest things you can do to help yourself lose weight and control your eating habits. It’s a hard choice to make, but I can tell you, it is an amazing and empowering feeling when you see the results of your effort.
What makes them empowering is when you realize that the effort you are putting into your weight loss and exercise becomes priority. It’s no longer about stuffing your face to feel good. It now is about helping yourself feel better by doing things that are better for you! You see the scale going down, the clothes getting baggy, and blood work results getting better. You realize what eating like that will do to your body and mind. Even more important, what it will do to your self-esteem. All of a sudden, what use to bring you pleasure now has a negative effect on you. You realize it’s time to take charge of what you’re doing. It motivates you not to go back. It’s ending one affair and starting another.
My affair with food now is much more healthier. It’s a much more passionate affair. It’s about actually tasting the food, developing flavors, making things healthier, and making better food choices. It’s about embracing whats around me and creating something fantastic. It’s about coming out from the shadow of what it was in the past.