Contrary to popular belief, not all obese people love food. Let me clarify that slightly: I don’t love food.
Yes, a small portion of obese people are so due to illness or disease, but the majority of people who are obese are so likely because of two things: 1) eating far too much (especially foods that aren’t good for them) and 2) limited or no exercise at all. Our bodies need “fuel” (food) but as with our gasoline tanks on our cars, there is a limit to how much fuel we should be putting in there (consuming), particular if we are doing nothing to burn off that consumed fuel in order to be replenished later.
Over-eating is a major problem for most. Improper food choices is another. Lack of exercise doesn’t help at all. Singularly, while not good, isn’t nearly as bad as the disaster that is combining all three. Major no-no.
So as part of my self-deprecation in the past, I was always quick to “clarify” myself whenever I was in an instance that involved food. I remember times when I would say, “I know it doesn’t look like it from looking at me, but, I really don’t eat that much.” or “It may appear from my size that all I do is eat, but I really don’t like food that much.” Of course, most of the time I was met with skepticism. Why I felt the need to excuse myself to anyone, I have no idea. I think perhaps it had to do with the fact that so many times people simply judged me on my looks, so their assumptions must have always gone directly to “she must eat a lot” or “I bet she eats all day long” or “I bet she hides food under her bed”…well, you get the picture. So what are the odds that anyone who would think such things would believe my clarifications? I’m considering probably nil.
So, I’m declaring that…
[“Foodie” is defined in one definition as: A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.]
There are some circles that consider “Foodie” to mean the person is stuck-up and pretentious about food but by my use in this post, I am simply meaning anyone who loves food enough that they love to prepare and cook it and really enjoys eating it. Some who might watch cooking shows or talk to other “Foodies” about food as if they were discussing the latest Mets game or episode of The Walking Dead (both of whom I personally love). So when I talk about Foodie, I want you to understand exactly what I am not.
Yes I do over-eat. I also under-eat. I eat poorly or I don’t eat at all. None of these is of any help to me whatsoever.
I went so many years where I skipped breakfast, often times lunch as well. Then by dinner I’ve be a stark raving mad woman starving for food. And then I’d over-eat. Many see this as “bulimia”.
For the past couple of years I have gotten better with trying to eat breakfast and lunch, even if it meant only something small – at least I was eating. But I’m not really very good at it sometimes. It doesn’t help either that my thyroid medication that I have to take in the morning means I can’t eat for a couple hours before I take it and I can’t eat at least a half hour to an hour after taking it. Or that the twice-daily injections I have to give myself (before breakfast and before dinner) means that once I do the shot in the morning, I have to eat within an hour.
So I not only still struggle with eating properly, I also struggle with making sure I actually eat. The shots help because it forces me to eat something for breakfast, but most mornings, I just don’t feel like eating. I don’t think in those cases that I’m bored (as I might be a night and end up snacking) or that I’m not hungry because I normally am (but those hunger pangs I’ve learned to ignore and that they eventually just go away), I simply just don’t really care for the act of eating.
I know that sounds utterly strange coming from someone my size. Especially when invariably to do it – more so in the evening after work – I tend to over-eat. Though again, since I started these daily shots, they help with suppressing my appetite. But if someone could just invent one pill that can be taken daily that gives me all the vitamins, nutrients etc I need to survive – I could really go for something like that.
As a single person who never liked to cook to begin with (when I was married for 8 years my then-husband always cooked because he was a Foodie), it’s even harder to get any enthusiasm for spending the time and energy to cook meals that I simply don’t really enjoy. It always seems like a lot of work for so little reward.
I know. I know. That’s probably a sacrilegious statement right there to those of you who love food, but for all my struggles with eating or not eating, cooking or not, what to eat or what not to eat, it always comes back to one basic fact: I just don’t like to eat.
Now, to contradict myself slightly, I’m in no way indicating that I don’t like some foods. I have my favorites for sure. But as you might imagine, most likely none of my favorites are very good for me. So when faced with only eating foods that are good for me, I’d rather opt out of not eating at all. On top of rarely feeling energized though to cook, it was always so much easier to just skip it or find something much easier. And we all know that “easier” usually means “junk”.
Sad, I know. Troublesome? you bet. Illogical. No damn doubt about it (say that fast 10 times!).
My profile on this website says I’m an enigma. I wasn’t kidding. If you don’t think you understand me and can figure out everything I say or contradict myself about, can you imagine what it’s like to be inside my own head!?
But despite all of this, I am trying. I’m trying to order out/in less. I’m trying to cook more healthy meals. Preplan them to address issues of exhaustion when I get home – another excuse I use to not bother cooking and ordering something unhealthy to eat. But I’m trying. And I have been trying to find ways that I can learn to like good-for-me foods that normally I wouldn’t by finding alternative ways to cook them. And I’m a fussy eater. Just ask my mom.
But I am trying.
Another area of struggle is that I’ve always likened the feeling of fullness with over-eating. Even now, when I’ve eaten a healthy meal, along with plenty of water (which really fills me up), that fullness I feel often leads to guilt because it feels the same as when I over-ate something I shouldn’t have. I am not always able to shake the feelings of guilt or shame that I’ve done something wrong even though logically I know I didn’t just because I ate.
Despite all of this, another valid reason I don’t like to eat is that most foods – those good or bad for me – bother my digestive system. I also have ultra-sensitive taste buds that have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Fussiness aside, there aren’t many foods that don’t bother me. And without entering the TMI zone, basically things like the following bother me – but some not every time:
- anything spicy. And my level of what I consider spicy tastes like nothing to most of you.
- actual flavor of something may not taste good to me. E.g. brown rice to me tastes like burned leather
- food with too much tomato sauce (the acid from the tomatoes)
- some dairy. while I’m not lactose intolerant, the older I get the more milk products bother me. But also butter, mozzarella cheese. Things that are higher in fat.
- certain spices. I usually eat only oil & vinegar dressing because while I only like Italian dressing, most have spices in them that I don’t react well to
- meat that contains too much fat.
And my Achilles Heel: Pepsi
Now before all of you write me and expound all the problems with Pepsi, I’ll save you the trouble. I know exactly how horrible it is. From the sugar prospective. Empty calories. Outrageous carbs. Basically if I could list one thing that no one, let alone an obese person should consume, it’s Pepsi.
But here’s the kicker: While I may not be in love with food, I’m addicted to Pepsi.
The other kicker: It makes me feel horrible. Sluggish. Bloated. Tummy distress.
And yet I struggle with not drinking it more than I struggle with just about anything else in this quest to lose weight. I never thought of it as an addiction before. It didn’t seem comparable to other addictions like drugs, alcohol or what not. But the truth is, that’s exactly what it is. And as a Type-2 Diabetic, I absolutely must get away from it. Not just to lose weight but also because my body is battling the insulin, the sugars and everything else and it’s screaming at me to do something.
To. Just. Stop.
If I had to say, this is the hardest part I’m facing. It terrifies me that for all the bad I know it brings, I can’t simply stop. And I need to.
What’s completely asinine about it though is it is one of the things that while it tastes great to my taste buds, it quite literally can make my stomach heave. But no matter how bad it makes me feel or my body reacts to it, I just don’t stop.
So as I keep this train moving, that is the one thing I need to work the hardest on.
I’m already working on eating three proper meals a day, taking my meds, walking as much as my stupid feet will let me, making sure I get enough sleep, keeping the stress down…but this last one is a doozy.
So with the ending of tonight’s post, I am asking a special sort of support from whomever believes in the power of prayer to please say a prayer for me to finally lick this enormous road-block. For those who don’t prayers, perhaps just sending me some good juju would work also. I thank you in advance.
Blessings to you all.