Here is the second part of the 20 questions from The Big Fat Truth. I've been gaining insight since reading the book, and I've noticed a difference in the way I think about food. I don't want fast food anymore, but I eat it sometimes because that's the way we live. My wife was stressed beyond belief this week, and we chose to eat out more than we usually like. However, this has really helped me conceptualize the emotional part of my weight loss journey, and I have taken back some of my power over food. I'm excited to see where this journey takes me.
Food to me is....
Wow, this is kind of a hard one. What I believe and what I practice are two different things. I understand and believe in the "fuel" concept. I know that food is fuel for my body, and putting bad things in there is clogging up the lines, and eventually, the car will stop. However, I treat my body and eat like I believe my body is a convenient store. I run though fast food because it is convenient and fills my need for grease and sugar. I treat food like a drug and use it to fill emptiness for things I haven't quite dealt with. Food is the answer; although, I know that it's not. Food is the problem. I only need to conceptualize food as fuel; what I put in my body will determine how efficiently the car runs.
Do you have kids? Have you passed on your poor eating habits?
I don't have kids, which kind of reinforces bad eating habits because I don't have to set examples for others. I am conscious of what people are around when I eat and what I eat when I am around them. Not necessarily because I think they are going to take on my habits, but because I am embarrassed. Also, in my line of work, I talk about the importance of nutrition and how healthy nutrition benefits the body and helps combat symptoms of mental illness; however, I feel like a hypocrite. I know that people know I don't necessarily practice what I preach, and I think that discredits me a little bit...a lot bit.
Are you afraid of dying prematurely due to your weight?
Hell yes, I'm afraid of dying prematurely. I'm also afraid of my wife dying prematurely. I have nightmares about it; it causes me a lot of anxiety. I constantly think something is going to happen to one of us; it secretly consumes me sometimes. I tell my wife this, and she assures me she's not going to die, but I am still afraid. Before my wife lost a lot of her weight, she was having heart palpitations, and she didn't really tell me until much later. This contributes to my fear.
Describe how your family upbringing has played a part in your weight gain.
I feel like I've already answered this question before. My dad was very conscious about his weight because his father passed away early due to a heart attack. Because of this, he was very critical about everything we ate, which caused my mom and I to sneak food. We also ate out all of the time, which didn't help anything. Being overweight was shameful in my family, but it is also the norm. I mean, everyone (almost everyone) is overweight. It was normal to go out, have lots of carbs and cheese for holidays, and gorge ourselves on food. That was the pattern I saw and I lived in, and that is the pattern I am trying to break.
Have you let yourself down by being overweight? Have you let your family down by being overweight?
Yes I have let myself down by being overweight. I am better than this; I am stronger than this. The me on the outside doesn't project me on the inside. I don't think I have been treating myself the way I deserve to be treated. That makes me sad. I do think I've let my family down as well because they worry about me. I also think I disappointed them a little but because I cannot seem to get my stuff together.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
I try not to look in the mirror, especially when I'm naked. I don't really look at myself because I'm ashamed at what I see. When I am clothed, my eyes immediately go to my midsection to see if I look too "lumpy" in the clothes I am wearing. I think I don't look because I know I'm going to see someone who is unhappy with the way she is, and she is overall unhappy. I would see someone who doesn't have her shit together (and I am someone who always has my shit together). I see someone who is sad and unfilled...and lost. I don't know that I know what to do to get back on track. Well, I do, but it's about consistency, and if I don't see results I get discouraged and don't do anything.
Is there anything you haven't even told your significant other or best friend?
Nope, I have told my wife everything and she knows me and loves me anyway. I'm pretty open with people who ask about my background. I don't share with everyone, but those that are close to me (wife and best friends) know.
How much weight do you want to lose?
I want to lose about 130 pounds. This will get me down to where I'm supposed to be health wise. I want to have a healthy level of body fat, and I want to be toned. I also want to lose the stress of being overweight, I want to lose the sadness I feel sometimes, and I want to lose the negative self-image I have about myself. I think once I let some of that go, and I think I've already started, then the rest will follow.
What is going to be different this time around?
I'm actually diving into the why of being overweight. I'm doing the emotional work as well. I can already tell I don't want to run through fast food or that I'm disappointed when I don't work out. I'm changing the story I tell myself about losing weight and why I'm participating in this journey, and I think that makes a big difference. I think I've learned to set small goals and make small changes. I'm holding myself accountable. I'm also posting things more often, which helps in holding me accountable. The next step is probably posting things where my support system can see them or knows about them, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet.