Thursday, March 09, 2006

Self Therapy???



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.

6 comments:

Mikee said...

Bigglesworth, I've eaten with about 10 times and I promise you don't look weird at the table. As a matter of fact, you always stopped eating and found time to pick on me for various reasons.
Anyhoo... I'm envious of your dedication to the triathlon and proud of your honesty regarding your weight and eating habits.

Tri-ing Fat Man said...

Mikee,

You know what they say . . . You only abuse those you care about!

With the abuse I have handed out to you, on and off the pitch, you are very much loved!

Thanks for the kind words my brother.

How are all of your kids, don't you have like 8 now?

Your friend,
biggelsworth (you are the only person I let call me that, by the way)

Michelle Boggs said...

Christopher,

It's not about the food! It's about your life. It's about keeping you healthy. It's about loving yourself. It's about changing your mind and putting you first. It's about will power.

It's not about what's happened to you in the past. It's about who you are now and accepting responsibility for who you are. Sure you need to understand why you eat and you need to understand where you've come from, but you also need to start fresh and tell yourself that it doesn't matter where you've been in your life but that you love yourself and you are committed to taking care of yourself in the here and now.

As far as the food. It is just energy. It is your fuel source to keep you healthy. It is true that you can't look at the prices when ordering--but you do need to look at how the item your ordering is cooked. Is it in a cream sauce? Is it fried? Is it a good fuel source or is it just wasted energy?

It is not easy to change your habits. You will be hungry. It will be uncomfortable until your stomach adapts to having less food to process. It is a bit like starting to exercise after taking a long reprieve. When you first start back, all your muscles ache until they start to get used to the new routine.

It is a bit like my hand. I know that I will never get my full strength back unless I push myself in each therapy session until it hurts. You have to experience pain to receive the most gain.

Christopher, I am so proud of you for changing your lifestyle. Know that it will be a daily struggle; however with each wise food decision you are adding years to your life.

Remember to lose the weight you have to burn more calories than you eat.

Be true to yourself. Love yourself. Know that you are worth the effort!

I love you Cuz!

Tri-ing Fat Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Chris, you do not know me as we have never met. I found your blog and have been following it with interest. You are inspiring.
Here is my take based on your writing and your friends' letters:
1) You spend a lot of time caring for other people from which they and you get a lot of benefit. I might suggest turning some of that care and energy to yourself. It is not selfish as you will be surprised how this frees up energy for continuing to do nice things for other people.
2) When you go out to eat, at the time that you place your order ask the server to bring a to-go box with the food as it arrives at the table. Remove at least half of every food item on your plate and put it in the box. If the presence of the food in the box is too tempting, ask the server to take it away immediately. Always ask the server to remove or never bring the chips, bread, etc from the table. Your dining companions will understand.
3) Consider thinking about food as fuel. Someone else has suggested this. However, you might take it a step further. Everytime you think about the food, ask your self "is this the kind and amount of fuel I need (not want)?" Ask people in your life to help you be accountable in terms of what you buy and cook. Keep a fuel diary.
4) When you start to beat yourself up about being fat you need to "reframe" those thoughts. Decide that you will immediately change the thinking to something like: you will properly fuel your body. You will continue to train hard. You will be successful.
You need you to be successful. So does your family.

Good luck and take care. I have no doubt you will be successful. I will keep reading your posts.

Tri-ing Fat Man said...

I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for your insight.

I received pposts here and many emails.

I am taking in all of your thoughts and there are many and all so insightfull.

I was telling Amanda about a few and to her many were second nature and it baffeled me? Then i realized, that is why she is so thin, but for me it is a learning issue right now.

Again thank you all.

Stay tuned for this weeks "look back" post.

Thanks again, it's working!!!!!!!!!