I knew something wasn’t right in my dietary habits. It wasn’t that I was constantly eating junk food- in fact I naturally don’t drink soda, coffee or tea because I prefer water. I was working out 3-4 times a week. Being 6’ tall and wearing size 34 jeans, I don’t think anyone had me nailed as overweight.
But that is exactly what I was.
Unfortunately, My body type hides weight well. And over the course of 36 months, I went from weighing around 180 lbs (slightly below my ‘ideal’ weight) to 212 lbs. I managed to still fit into the same size clothing but was carrying 3 extra bowling balls around!
The behavior of my eating style had caught up to me. I tried to lose weight by exercising more, adding extra cardio and the like. This wasn’t helping- and I knew why. My problem wasn’t the amount of energy (calories) I was expending, it was the energy I was consuming!
I lacked self control in a bad way- and I KNEW IT!
Have you ever known what you needed to do but you pretended like you had no idea while attempting every other option available? This was me. I knew I needed to change my dietary intake in a bad way. I had formed negative eating habits. Occasional fast food runs became a couple time a week ritual.
My diet became mostly meats, carbs and sauces with little to no vegetables or fruits. Sadly, this is not unlike most modern diets, which allowed me to justify my behavior.
My body craved healthier options. After every meal, I felt empty. Unsatisfied. Craving more. Instead of obeying my body, I was living out the “story” I had grown up telling myself: “Bad foods provide you happiness. Healthy foods- while good for you- are not fun”.
It was simple, I had confused the “pain/pleasure” messages in my brain. This means I told myself eating Italian sausage, milk shakes and other fattening items would provide me a source of Joy in my life. The inverse was true: eating a salad or vegetables would rob me of joy.
The power of the mind is a fascinating thing. Even though I was facing the real pain of gaining weight, clothes fitting tighter, lowered self confidence on a daily basis, my subconscious brain was over ruling me with the lie I had come to believe: Unhealthy food = Joy.
We all know deep down inside that the helpless feeling of gaining weight sucks. Inversely, controlling our weight, being (whatever you define as) slender, eating healthy and living active provide empowerment and fulfillment like nothing else can.
I knew I was on a negative behavior tail spin and needed something to shake me out of this destructive behavior. Using the analogy of a pendulum-my life had become out of balance and was leaning heavily to one side. I knew that minor adjustments wouldn’t work. Ideas like “moderation” and “balance” are true but not appropriate for this moment.
No. If I were to change, truly snap myself out of this destructive, self defeating behavior, it would require extreme action.
I reached a humbling place where I realized I couldn’t rise against billions of dollars of marketing, an entire cultures behavior and a lifetime of telling myself lies without extreme action- and extreme resolve.