Friday was a milestone in my life. I have been proud of many things in my life, but I think this is one that I haven’t emphasized enough in my mind as I should.
It’s a well-known fact that most diets crash and burn in a glutinous rage of glory. Until September 2010, I was a part of this statistic. It’s also a well-known fact the overwhelmingly majority of obese children remain obese for the rest of their lives. Until September 2010, I was a part of this statistic as well. On Friday, I celebrated that I have risen above these statistics and have broken out of these sad norms within our culture for 1,000 days. It hasn’t been easy, and I have had my share of setbacks, but at its core, losing weight is inherently easy and possible for every single person.
As you can imagine, I have learned a lot about weight loss and about myself over these past 1,000 days. While most of it has been positive, there are some things that I think we could work on as a society. Here are just a few of those realizations. Enjoy.
Don’t glorify food.
We’ve all done it. Late night when the family is asleep, we turn on the TV and turn it the to dirty channel.
That’s right: Food Network.
We sit and stare at the mounds of sloppy, greasy burger, stacked with gooey cheddar, mounted with piles of bacon and sautéed onions.
It’s lust at first bite.
I am here today to say that food porn is wrong.
When I was obese, I would sit and watch hours and hours of Man vs. Food. Adam Richman was my hero. Getting paid to go across the country and eat as much as possible? I wanted to find a way to be his understudy! You see, for most of my life, I have treated every meal like it was a contest. I wasn’t good at a lot of things, but I was good at eating. I was undefeated in every single Whataburger Milkshake Drinking Contest I ever competed in. I would could go round after round at every All You Can Eat restaurant. I would eat until I was physically ill. That is what shows like Man vs. Food promote, that that kind of eating is okay. The worst part of it was that when I would watch that show, and others like it, I would want to eat something gross like that. Because I thought that that’s what comfort food was. I thought eating that way was my right and something I deserved. (Meanwhile, there were homeless people not knowing where their next meal was coming from…) This was a vicious cycle that I had to break out of and it’s still something that I struggle with daily.
With that realization about the power food shows have over me, I’ve had to reassess how I look at food in my life. Is it fuel? Is it pleasure? What is it? I have realized that at the end of the day, it’s just calories. For my whole life, I have been letting my tongue and tastebuds dictate the success of my weight loss and my overall health. In order to be successful with weight loss, you need to be okay with every meal not being your “last meal” meal. I was most successful with my weight loss when I ate a sensible breakfast, a frozen meal with veggies for lunch, and a grilled chicken breast with veggies for dinner. Did I always want to eat that? Heck no! But I knew in the grander scheme of things that I wouldn’t remember one boring meal when I had a low number on the scale. I would think, “man, I’m glad I ate well this week!”
You can still be a foodie and lose weight. I’m proof. You just eat less of it. What I have been doing is eating simple meals throughout the week and on the weekend indulge a little or try a new recipe at home. Programs like Weight Watchers fit that kind of thought process into their points system. Obviously you don’t go crazy, you just eat less than what you would eat regularly. Yeah, it’s that simple.
So, I still have a lot more to say about what I have learned over the past 1,000 days, and I’m going to share it with you this week. Each night will be a different lesson so stay tuned.
I want to truly thank you for reading my blog. When I first started blogging about my weight loss, I had my share of reservations. I remember when I tired to lose weight a few years ago, I thought “what if I just posted my weight as a Facebook every day. What if I wrote ‘Nathan weighs ______ pounds.’ Man, that would be weird. That’s terrifying. I’ll never do that!” At the beginning, I didn’t post my weight. But I had so much support from every single one of you, that I eventually did. That speaks volumes to the level of love I have felt and the amount of accountability I have with you. I love you, dear reader. Thank you for making this weight loss journey so special. Here’s to another 1,000 days of weight-loss awesomeness. See ya tomorrow.