I’m watching these 2016 Olympics and I’m in awe of the awesome physical shape that these athletes are in. I started thinking to myself, what have I done that I could have competed in…and the first thought that popped into my head was eating!! LMAO!
Just think about it…I would marathon my way through snacks and meals, I sprinted my way to McDonald’s or Taco Bell, or do a round off back handspring full twist layout anytime someone says, “Where are we going to eat?” Believe me, I jumped through hoops to make sure that my eating habits were kept from others around me…I was quite the contender!
Here’s a question: have you ever sat in front of the TV eating something (Pizza, chips, ice cream) and without even realizing it, you’re like a robot eating your food, while your eyes are memorized by the TV? It’s like you’re hypnotized, or in a trance. When you’re bored, your mind starts to drift off. When I’m bored, I LIKE TO EAT! People who are active will go for a walk, some go for a drive, but me, boredom leads me right to the fridge. I used to have to stop myself from eating a family size bag of Doritos in one sitting. That’s when the light bulb came on.that I was just eating to eat. I was just going through the motions to put food in my body and not thinking of ‘WHAT’ I was putting in my body. This became a part of my routine for the last 7 years.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, “I use to live to eat, now I eat to LIVE” I said that I went from eating over 8,000 calories per day down to 1,500 calories per day. To me, this was great accomplishment. Why? Well, if I’m going to be completely honest, I’m a food addict! YES, this is a very real addiction! Whether you want to admit it or not, we all are addicted to something, in some form. Mine is food! Even when I’m not thinking about food, I’m thinking about food! LOL!
Somedays I didn’t know how I was going to survive. I knew that I wanted to get the weight off, but the only thing that was the cheapest and available to me was fast food. My weight had gotten so bad that when I drove up to the drive thru, the cashier on the other end would know my voice and say, “Hey! Papa Joe! Welcome back!” Or, “would you like the usual?”
For me, breaking up from food was hard. I had to break my fast food cycle too, giving up the interactions with the cashiers, not that they cared about my well-being, but it was comfortable to go to place that know you and didn’t judge you for your eating habits. I was just a friendly customer in their eyes.
For starters, people who have never been overweight or heavy don’t really know what it’s like. Being 5 or 10 lbs. overweight is annoying, but manageable. However, when you’re 100 to 200 lbs. overweight or more, it can be very traumatizing. For me, it was painful every time I went to the Big and Tall store and I realized that I had to get the next size up. I was disgusted with myself. It’s a whole new feeling of emotions that come over you from being heavy, not to mention the lack of energy, you’re tired all time, and getting up to do anything feels like a chore.
Honestly, when it comes to food, I have no self-control. The sky’s the limit. I love the taste and textures from all different types of cultures. When I was jet setting around the globe for business, I got to sample a variety of signature dishes from each country. My mouth is watering right now, just thinking about it. After I arrived to my destination, I would drop off my bags at the hotel, freshen up and then hit the town in search of the hot spots for new foods to try. Food has always been a comfort for me. Whenever I have experienced stress in my life, it’s been my go-to drug. As a child, I can remember going to Bob’s Big Boy restaurant with my Grandmother. My meal wasn’t complete until I sunk my teeth into one of their Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake. Looking back, it really was the only reason I wanted to go there. It was more than a treat… It was HEAVEN. For those brief moments while I was consuming my treat, my pain went away.
Being an emotional eater, I had to start tricking my brain and figure out the patterns of my eating habits. So I came up with an idea to figure out my triggers, called, ‘The 3 W’s!’ What, When, Why? When I’m at the grocery store and I want junk food,
I’d STOP and ask myself these 3 questions, “What are you eating? When do you plan on eating it? And most importantly, WHY?” These were tough questions I asked because it meant that I had to have accountability. Yep, here I am standing in the grocery store isle looking like a crazy person, talking to myself trying to analyze whether or not to grab the cookies that were on sale. LOL! Was I wanting the junk food because I had a bad day, stressed out, or pissed off cause someone yelled at me in the parking lot? You have to ask yourself, “Do you NEED it or do you WANT it?”
Now, I see food as a guide to nourishing my body in a healthy way. That’s not to say that I won’t ever cheat, but it’s never to the level of where I once was. When you’re a food addict, you have to analyze yourself and figure out your triggers, so you can find the root of when and why you want to reach for that junk food. I had to learn how to use food as part of my strengths and not for my weaknesses.
If you’re strong enough to lift a weight, then you’re strong enough to control what’s on your plate!
Now that I’m older, food has much more meaning to me. Throughout all my experiences, it was a lesson that I had to learn later in life. I recognize what’s going into my body. Yes, there are days when I want to eat everything under the sun, but I know that if I do, I run the risk of overindulging and wanting more. I’ve learned that my eating habits were controlling me, instead of me controlling them. Now, I’m a seasoned, trained healthy eater!! I turned the sidewalk into my treadmill and I’ve definitely GOT THE GOLD when it comes to a healthier life.
The #ElectricNegro signing off! #feelingELECTRIC
BLOG POST: I use to live to eat, not I eat to LIVE! Click on picture.