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Eat to live, not live to eat.

January 24, 2017

I love to eat. Who does not love to eat? Right? Ever since I was a young boy I have been passionate about food. I loved my grandmother’s cooking, especially her fried chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, broccoli-cauliflower salad, and the way she prepared veggies. Where ever food was, there I was also-with my face in a plate. So to speak. My mother was a good cook, but she did so only because, she was feeding four children who were quickly growing. My dad said I had a hollow leg. That statement is no longer true. I think I plateaued at some point. My dad has some mean culinary skills too. Since my mother passed away, and my dad has since remarried and moved away, I do not get to enjoy his cooking as often.

There is nothing quite so good as a home cooked meal. It’s true. I enjoy food prepared more by others, than my own cooking. I am not a bad cook, and I do like my own cooking, but I just happen to like when someone has taken time out to prepare a good meal, and have fellowship. In Boy Scouts and church functions, and family reunions, I used to enjoy potlucks. I think I would eat to hurt myself-until I would almost pop. During those times I was more active. I was a runner, running 5k & 10k runs, I swam, hiked, camped, was involved in some sports, and I was much healthier, not some semi-disabled middle aged man just trying to survive the confines of poverty, unemployment and possible homelessness. Thankfully, I still have a roof over my head, a little bit of money and assistance, and wheels to get around. I can still enjoy food in almost any given situation.

Unfortunately, many things have happened in my life since my early thirties. Now, in my late forties, I am not as active as I would like to be, and I pay for it regularly. Sometimes I see myself in the mirror, and the self-loathing begins. I do not have a healthy self-image, but I can change that and change is good. I have learned since my gall bladder surgery at age 34, the dangers of having a high fat diet, and eating too much processed foods. I was much heavier then. I am still heavy, just more proportioned for my height. I still like to eat all of the bad stuff, but that is changing. I want to change, and feel better.

Yesterday, I spoke with a young man, an acquaintance about losing weight and getting fit. He shared with me this thought, and I agreed that, “If you expect results you will not ever change, but if you focus on change, you will get results.” I had been expecting too much from myself, and trying to get results without thinking about what I need to do to change. The first step in change for me is my attitude. I am already learning to look at things differently. I have had to deal with the negativity of eating and food disorders the last few years (Yes. Men have eating disorders, too.), and since developing some digestive problems a few years ago that hospitalized me, I have had to reeducate myself, and examine what purpose food has in my life. It is okay to enjoy food. We need to enjoy what we eat. Everything in moderation is a good motto, but we need to remember  food is not our friend. Food is fuel. Food eaten in the right moments and in the right amounts lets us keep on moving and living more actively. My expectations of food have all been wrong for a long time, so it is going to be trial and error, learn from others, and change with a lot of patience.It is not a race with anyone, but yourself. Progress takes time, and hard work–and you have to “Make fat cry!”

If you are struggling with weight loss, as I am, and having more downs than ups, do not give up. Like yourself for who you are, not what you look like. Learn that you have to give yourself grace on some days. Have a plan. Stick to the plan. Fall down, get back up and dust yourself off. Be accountable with someone you trust. I know I need it. I am not afraid to admit I am needy right now, or insecure, or I starve myself when I am nervous, and over eat when I am depressed.  I have a friend I talk to and get encouragement, and sometimes that encouragement is tough love. Take small steps to change, at first. Set a goal and stick to it. I have heard one say that,” a bad day does not mean you have a bad life.” I think I saw this on a meme by Toby Mac. But, be good to yourself. Look at life with fresh eyes, and renewed commitment. Learn to ask yourself if what you are eating is going to help you or hurt you in the long run.

The newest thing I am doing is keeping a record of everything I eat. Keeping track of the food I am eating will help me see what I am eating too much or too little and make changes from there. I have a long way to go as far as eating “right”, and I will continue to be determined to continue sharing my journey with you . I hope that what I share will help someone else who is having a hard time. Let’s stay positive, and keep moving forward.

I will post my weight here later (current weight:_____ date_____/ weigh in on Fridays with new weight.


One Comment
  1. Sometimes just realizing what you’re eating is all it takes. At one point I was eating over 5000 calories a day, easy – and I didn’t even realize it! Now I’m at 1200 calories and I hit that really fast if I eat junk. It’s a little harder to get a lot of calories when you eat healthier foods.

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