Sunday, July 15, 2012

I’m On My Weigh Vol II: The Journey Continues

For a large portion of my adult life (no pun intended), I have struggled with obesity. Actually, let me be honest. It really involved little struggle on my part arriving to such a morbidly obese state. The struggle has been in maintaining the discipline to get the weight off. I had wondered for years WHY this was such a great struggle. I had overcome other obstacles in my life that required a tremendous amount of tenacity and a daunting level of discipline. (Note: While I am ashamed that I have not previously proclaimed. Consider this an announcement of the arrival of ongoing alliterations. we shall now continue with the essay already in progress.) I began pursuing my first college degree in 1998 at the age of 32 with 4 mouths to feed. That was quite a challenge for someone who was a lazy student and had been out of high school for 14 years at that point. As another example, I have been smoke free for 5 years. I go most days now and never miss having a cigarette. Having said that, those first 60 days were HARD! To be honest, I remain smoke free because I know I will be back at day one again if I slip.
So the question remains, having overcome the aforementioned obstacles, why is it such a struggle to get my weight down to a heavy level and keep it off? To best answer that question. Smoking was something I was did well. I had gotten especially good at smoking during that last year before quitting as it was also the same year my mother passed away. I would even go outside in sub-zero New York temperature because I refused to allow anyone to smoke inside my house. It was sometimes merely a dramatic prop and at other times a tool (pronounced \ˈkrəch\) for stress relief.
As it turns out, eating is also something I do well. American men have even been known to engage in eating competitions. I have never done sure but I am sure I’d have some post Olympic endorsement deals if I ever ventured into such “sport”. The point is, while I AM a fussy eater to some point, what I do eat I tend to do in unhealthy amounts. This is where part of the problem lies. As much as I enjoyed smoking and found great solace in the habit, I knew I was never at risk for dying prematurely if I quit (it’s NOT quitting that tends to have that terminal side effect). Food is a different story. I enjoy eating and find solace in it as well. However, while overeating can lead to a premature passing, NOT eating can also leading to inopportune exit. So the trick is finding a healthy level eating. I believe it was Kesuke Miyagi that balance makes one’s whole life better. I am paraphrasing a bit but I haven’t seen the movie in a while.
Part of achieving this balance is in making different food choices. Now, I should be clear on this issue. This doesn’t mean that I will join the society of herbivores. I have quite a few friends and loved ones that are either vegetarians or vegans. I love them dearly and respect their choices. I have even been known to occasionally borrow a recipe. Still, a full time membership is just not in the cards for Shane. It’s just a stone cold fact that if my doctor tells me that I must abstain from fried chicken and cheesecake forever or die, I will immediately update my will. I can go for long stretches without having certain foods. I don’t need fried chicken and cheesecake daily. Other food choices HAVE been eliminated.This is because they have shown themselves to be trigger foods. If I have one, I must consume them until they are all gone.  Back last November, I announced my divorce from chocolate malted milk balls. I am sure the Whoppers company was shocked by the sudden and devastating news. I just felt that I could no longer go on with such a presence in my life. It was a tearful departure. My torrid relationship with Pringles potato chips has been on hiatus for some time now. We have not been together in some time. I hear that Pringles is doing okay since our time apart. I still get the occasional anonymous note and hang-up phone call saying “Take Me Back!” I am not certain who is responsible for such anonymous communications. I suspect it may be a Wendy’s triple cheeseburger. We have also not spent time together in months now. Yes, I admit it. I am a food polygamist.
Please understand that I am writing this not only as a means of sharing my catharsis with you all. I also do it for some accountability with my weight control. In a future essay, I will share how I have made some recent investments and set up a chain of accountability.

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