Bumpy Road

Something old, something new, something personal.   As promised I will attempt to ask why on a subject I am very familiar with, myself.  I will also attempt to make this entry more creative by not outline it like the one I did on Mr. Trump.  Let’s see what we come up with, here goes.

Those of you who struggle with your weight can hopefully relate to this post (and if you don’t struggle I hate you!  Just kidding.)  I have been trying to get down to the weight I was in my twenties.  This struggle started in my late thirties and has progress to where I am today.  According to the charts, I am not just obese, I am morbidly obese.  This weight has taken its toll on my health.  I have type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and recently I have been feeling pain in my knees.  I need to do something about this before I am a cripple or worse, have a heart attack or a stroke. No offense to you handicapped people out there, but I am doing this to myself, or so it would seem.

The only way I am going to be able to break this death spiral is to find the source of my problem, why do I over eat?  Sure I can lie to myself and say I have a big frame.  I inherited the fat gene.  I am not as fat as my sister.  I have lost some weight recently, but it is a long road to normal or should I say health?  I will probably never be normal, nor to I want to be. But that’s off topic, why is Jeff fat?

The simple answer that society gives us is that Jeff eats more calories than he burns.  This translates to Jeff eats too much and is a big old couch potato.  It is true, but how did I get this way?  Anybody who has a weight problem can tell you that controlling your food intake is a vicious cycle.  It is not that we don’t know what portion control means, or that we don’t have will power (I wrote about that nasty fellow last year).  It is because the larger you get the harder it is to see a difference when you lose weight.   I can eat right.  In fact, that is what keeps me from getting bigger.  The trouble is that it takes less for me to gain weight then it does a standard sized person.

You have heard the yoyo dieting stories.  Lose ten and gain back twenty.  It is all so very true.  But I need to lose quickly or I lose interest in it all together.  I get frustrated.   Maybe we are on to the real issue here.  Why does Jeff eat too much?  Because he is frustrated.

When I get frustrated at work, I get up and look for something to snack on, or I go out and woof down a lunch without thinking about portion controls.  Food become a drug.  If makes be happy while I am eating it and depressed when I look in the mirror.   Confession here, when I go to a restaurant I have to ask for a table because the booths are almost always too small.  Damn those tables that are mounted to the wall.  So I sit at a table and then I look over at people sitting in little booths.  They don’t seem too small.  There is lots of room.  Good Gawd, am I that big?  I order a bacon burger with fries and a large coke and forget about it.  Yes I am that big.

So, we have established the I eat because it makes me happy.  My nick name, given to my by my granddaughter, is Grumpy.  So how happy am I really?  There is more to this eating disorder that just a quick high from a chocolate Sunday or a fudge brownie. ( I am getting hungry just thinking about these items.)  Maybe we need to look at why Jeff is grumpy.

This is the personal part that is harder to deal with, let alone write about.  If I am honest with myself, my weight problem started with my first long-term relationship.  So what is different about a relationship?   For one thing, you stop trying so hard.  Then it becomes a slippery slop.  My first relationship was emotionally abusive and to some degree physically abusive from a threatening perspective.  I was afraid of him.  My defense was to eat and get bigger.  Being large makes me feel less vulnerable, less afraid.  It also made him more emotionally abusive.  Picking on me about my size and telling that no one else would want me, things I knew weren’t true but when you hear something often you start to believe it.

Okay, so that is how it started.  But here we are in a great relationship with a  non-abusive, loving, caring, wonderful man in my life, so what is wrong?  Why am I still struggling to lose weight.  At this point is is learned behavior. Unlearning or learning new behavior to take its place is the solution.  I need to find new things that make me happy.  I need to get moving.  I need to get involved in my life instead of sitting back and letting it happen.   Time seems to go by so fast now that I am older and I think it is because I am in a rut.  Everything is predictable and repeated.    Remember the first time you ever drove to a new destination and how long it seemed to take.  Everything along the way was unfamilar and new.  It demanded more of your attention.   On a return visit it seemed quicker, you recognized things along the way and drew comfort from them.  Both trips took the same amount of time.  So maybe the key to my happiness is to find a new approach to life, to start looking at things and hearing things, acutally listening, as if it were the first time and maybe the last.

I think I have answered the why question several times here.  I didn’t count how many.  I don’t think I am going to find the answer in this simple exercise, but I am thinking about it and that is a start.   I am also thinking about what is for lunch!  Maybe this time I should think of lunch as an opportunity.  It is time with Rick.  It is time away from work.  It is fun time in the middle of the day.  It isn’t just about the food.  Food is just the side dish. (Do you want fries with that shake?)  I can do this.  I am not that emotionally scared.  I am still the same person I was 30 years ago, and just maybe I have learned something about myself today.

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