A friend and I were recently recounting our “fat days” — when neither of us paid much attention to what we ate, got enough (or any!) exercise, and frankly didn’t care to hear anything about health and fitness. Perhaps that makes this post ironic.
During the course of our conversation, however, my friend brought up the idea that he was similar to a drug addict… only the ‘fix’ he constantly craved was junk food. The idea is an interesting one to consider.
Junk Food Junkie
The fact is, if I had abused drugs the way I used to abuse food, my family and friends would have staged an intervention years before I hit ‘rock bottom.’ But I had to confront myself as if I did have a drug or alcohol problem before I finally started to lose the weight and make a commitment toward long-term health.
I had to ask myself “What if I die from the effects of obesity?” That’s no joke, but a very serious reality that has affected many families around the globe. I imagined myself succumbing to a heart attack, and the unnecessary pain that would cause my loved ones… solely because I liked to overeat.
It’s Alright to Cheat
Now here’s where I have to reiterate that I’m no health nut. I already tilted the scales so far toward one extreme, I have no interest in becoming a ‘fitness preacher.’
True confessions: I’m going out with friends tonight, and have already checked out the restaurant’s menu online, and ‘pre-selected’ a flatbread pepperoni pizza. I’ll have it and enjoy it, without any guilt.
Last weekend was my best friend’s wedding. You’d better believe I had a generous slice of cake, and thoroughly enjoyed the next day’s brunch of sausage, corned beef hash, and other stuff I used to (and still do!) love.
But aside from a brief return to the foods I enjoyed in my ‘glory days,’ what both situations have in common is planning and portion control. For me, that has to also be followed up with the determination to ‘get back on the horse’ immediately.
Screw the Whole Thing
There were many days when I’d pig out one night and then decide to make it a weekend affair, because, hey, I’d already broken my diet, right? Then that ‘weekend fun’ would soon turn into a month-long celebration, and before you know it I was 90 pounds overweight!
I’m not looking for a medal here, and I’m not trying to get you to sign up for a marathon or fitness boot camp. I relay these thoughts solely because I have realized to learn my own ‘triggers,’ am learning to be more careful about the foods I choose and enjoy, and I know these are things you can do, too… and with only a bit of effort!
During a weight loss support group session, the instructor suggested that as we lost weight, we should occasionally head to the supermarket and grab as many bags of flour equal to the weight we lost. I’ve actually seen other people do this in the store, and given them a familiar and encouraging smile.
The bottom line is that when I finally decided to become a better friend to myself (physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, and otherwise), many other things that had previously been only wishes or hopes finally began to become part of my new-found reality.
Be your own best friend. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
by Raul Lisneski
Health & Fitness
Residential Life Magazine