I am spending the next few days looking inside my life of eating. I want to try and figure out why I have such a problem with food. There is a reason or maybe a few reasons? I want input on this. Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings or say something that you think. You can post it on the blog or email me directly. I want input and thoughts.
I want to start in present day and then look back, even into my childhood.
I have tried to recognize my eating habits of late. I have also taken time during my meals to examine myself, as I am doing right now.
Let’s begin at the grocery store. When I am going to cook, whether it be for myself, my wife, family, friends, I have to select the largest cut or piece of meat there is. If there is not a size of beef thick enough, I will ask the butcher if he/she can cut a thicker piece.
If I am cooking for 5 people, I will select a meal and buy groceries to feed 10 people easy. I go overboard. But more over, when I go to Whole foods to pick up a couple things to make for just me, I leave having spent $50 and food for three! I can’t simply pick up a small filet, or A, single chicken breast, it has to be the thickest cut of a ribeye, or better yet a WHOLE SMOKED CHICKEN!!!! Yes, I will eat it ALL when I get home.
I have tried making a list. I have tried eating a little something before I go shopping. Somehow, it all goes right out of the window when I get there. My mind is an unbelievable negotiator and I have no chance!
“Yeah, I know you have a list, but look, when is top sirloin going o be $4.99 a pound EVER AGAIN!” my mind says.
I say, “Ummm those sausages look good, but I don’t need them, but man they look really good.” My mind, “Just pick them up and you can have them as an appetizer or eat them during the game tomorrow!” “Yeah.” I respond silently.
I am trying and becoming a bit more proficient at my grocery shopping. I also have my friend Pat, who is making meals for me and my wife is also cooking and keeping me from overeating. She is such a good little cooker. I will continue to focus on only purchasing what I went in for and no more and I will stay focused and not let my mind sway me into the OTHER STUFF.
Now, this leads perfectly into Dining out. OH BOY!! Dining out is not much different to grocery shopping.
How many people open a menu and look at it, trying to decide what has the largest portion? Not, what looks really good, but what steak has 16oz. What entree looks like it is really big, a give away is the word PLATTER, oh platter must mean it is big!!!! Seafood platter, Catfish PLATTER, Boiled peanut PLATTER! Yum, I want platter!
Then there is the price! If it cost more, it must have more on the plate! Let’s look at prices! Oh here, this $27 entrée must have more food than the $12 one. I will have that one!
At times I do find myself looking at what the meal is first. What type of food always goes into the process of selection, however usually not until the size and price bases are covered, THEN I will look to see whether I want the shrimp scampi or the fried chicken feet!
Once my meal has been selected I am fine. I can socialize, joke, shoot the bull, all that jazz.
THEN THE MEAL ARRIVES.
I have often wanted to watch myself at the dinner table. I think one day I will give my video recorder to a friend and have them sneak and tape me eating at a restaurant. Until then I have to picture this in my head.
When my food arrives I go into some sort of trance. I am being serious here. When I begin eating, I don’t stop until I have finished everything. I stop talking unless directly addressed, I think I stop breathing as well. My focus is this food. Finishing the food. Consuming the food. The whole time . . . The food is not what is being consumed. I am being consumed. I have caught myself in the middle of one of these episodes and stopped to look around and think. I didn’t like what I began to think about.
Listen, let’s not over dramatize this. I am not like the Tasmanian devil, pillaging through my plate with bones and slurps flying everywhere. It is a science, very controlled looking. It is also VERY subtle to me. It is difficult to recognize. But it is oh so obvious when dissecting it later.
I have decided that when I go to restaurants that I am not familiar with, I will have my wife or friend read me the entrees without prices obviously, and I will decide that way. If it is a business meal, I will not look at the menu and ask the server to tell me their top three entrée preferences and chose one of those. That way I am not perusing the menu for my tell signs of BIGMAN MEALS!
This goes along with the trance state during feeding time. I also can’t stop. I will eat everything on my plate. I will stuff myself to the point that I feel sick. Literally want to get sick. TMI, I know, but I am laying it out on the line here. Do you want to know what is worse? After putting myself in this state, he server will ask who is having dessert and I will actually entertain the idea and if it is a dessert I really like (bread pudding) I will get it.
“What kind of sick mind lets himself do that?” is all I can ask myself when I look back on it.
Exercise is not my problem. I might weigh close to 400 pounds, but I carry this extra around while on a 3 mile run, a 20 mile bike, or swimming 2000 meters.
I had a dream a few weeks ago. A really funny dream. There was a triathlon race, but it was like a handicapped horse race. The handicap was that everyone had to weigh 400 lbs. So they were all wearing weight vests and ankle weights on the bike and added dumbbells on he run! So you had all of these people carrying around as much weight as I do, participating in the race!!!!
I didn’t win. I think I could have, but I was helping my friend Matt finish. He might weigh all of 150 lbs at 5’4”. But it was a weird dream. I think it was a self medicating dream or even a selfish dream, since everyone I was passing on the bike and run were telling me, “Now I see how hard this is for you.” And things similar. Funny how the brain works. I guess my brain was telling me it is ok to be last in every race, you’re doing this for other reasons.
Let’s stop there for today. I have given you the present and what I see in myself as compulsive, uncontrolled, eating habits. I will begin sharing my life with you from childhood and see where that leads us.
I am very afraid to do this, but I am not afraid for the reasons you might think. I am proud of my background, which I think you will see is quite diverse and exciting. What I am afraid of, is hurting peoples feelings when I discuss critical times in my life when it comes to my battle with food. I love all of my family. I love my friends that I will mention, but I think there are deep issues to my problems with food that have to do with my childhood and eating. Nothing serious like abuse, or abandonment (I don’t think) but, habits and things. We’ll leave it at that.
I look forward to you sharing with me your thoughts and similar experiences.
Thank you for allowing me to share mine.