On Being Fat

When I was a little boy, I was a normal kid, at a normal weight. I was a rambunctious male child from a divorced household, and, today, I’m sure, I would have been put on Ritalin. My mother, while not maternal, was very health conscious, and kept the food in the house normal, but healthy. There were not a lot of sugary snacks or sugared drinks.

However, I liked to eat, and would find ways to do so. I have the sort of metabolism that packs on the pounds, so after 2nd and 3rd grade, I became kind of chubby. And while I put on some weight through 6th grade, I wasn’t morbidly obese. But I felt fat. When I was skinny—and, after a 4 month stint in boarding school environment where my food consumption was tightly controlled, I was skinny—I still felt fat.

My mother spent a year in France when I was in 7th grade, so I began to live with my father full time. The food there wasn’t as healthy, and I put on more weight. By the time I was in high school, I weighed 300 pounds. After a few years of that, I got tired of it. I started eating less, without a specific goal, with just the idea of eating a little bit less and being a little more healthier, and maybe losing a little weight. I’d still be fat, of course, but I wouldn’t be quite as fat.

At about the same time, my best friend dropped out of school and was rail-roaded into the Coast Guard. Although he was skinny as a rail, a lot of my most egregious over-consumption I did with him. Since he was gone, I just stopped consuming bags of chips and entire tubes of cookie dough in a single sitting.

I smoked like a smoke-stack then–now, I had done that for years, but now it provided me a handy alternative to eating so much. Also, they were menthols, so they were flavorful, as well. But I think the most important thing was that I had resigned myself to being fat, and was only trying to ease up a little bit. I wasn’t going to be skinny–I wasn’t ever going to be skinny. It was an absurd thought. But I could lose a little weight, come down a few sizes. In any case, I could certainly get by on a little less food and eat a little healthier.

By the time I had lost 80 lbs, it occurred to me that I could, in fact, be skinny. And I became so. My freshmen year at college, I went from 215 or so at the beginning of the year to 185 at the end. I had continued to wear baggy clothes, my hair had remained unkempt, and despite having lost 100 pounds over about 16 months, nobody at that point had really noticed*. However, a few changes to my wardrobe, grooming, and a little more exercise over the summer made a big difference. At the beginning my sophomore year, I was now thin and fit, to the point where I got a few audible gasps. I relished getting together with old friends from high school who had not seen me for a year, and seeing their shock (this does eventually get old, when people you don’t even remember come up to tell you how fat you used to be, but at first, I loved it). And even good friends see you in a different way when you’ve lost 100 pounds.

I finally felt skinny. I believe it was over the summer, or at the beginning of my sophomore year. I would have weighed around 175, and was preparing to go out to Rocky Horror. Looking in the mirror, I noticed that I did not have a double chin. No doubt, this had been true for months, but this was the first time I really noticed it. I nodded my head. Still no double chin. I practically had to break my neck to produce anything that resembled a second-chin**. God bless! I was thin!

And I stayed thin for quite a while. I had assumed it would be the case for the rest of my life, and that I had that puppy licked (ah, hubris). But I stayed thin, actually getting down to 150 at one point (of course, I could not actually consume any calories to maintain this weight, so that did not last long). But I hovered between 175 and 185 for years. After working for a year, a crawled up to 195. As my wife-to-be an I moved in together, I put on another 10 lbs, and hovered between 220 and 210 for several years. Then, my wife got pregnant, and I gained 40 lbs. While I managed to get down a little from 250, she got pregnant (again!) and I surpassed it. I been as high as 275 . . . never quite 300 pounds, again, but more than 100 pounds over my idea college weight.

There’s a lot I could note about my first years of svelteness (and I suspect, though cannot confirm, that going from being very fat and fit and trim is a great deal more enjoyable than simply having been thin and fit from the outset), but I’ll just note one. The issue of weight, and how I had managed to end up as overweight as much as I did in high school, continued to occupy my mind. A lot of my writing at the time dealt with both direct and indirect psychological introspection. Specifically, songs like Big Fat Geek (I weighed 170 lbs when I wrote it), Fat, Fat (probably around 180, when I wrote it), My Big Fat Friend, with lots of other stuff that touched on similar themes without being quite so direct.I thought I had a great handle on my inner psychology that drove me to over eating and sedentary behavior . . . but, as time would demonstrate, I was a little cocky. Because, while I’m around 260 now (and, slowly, descending, but there’s no rush), I’ve spent a lot of time in the past 5 years around 270 and sometimes has high as 275. If you have told me my junior year of college that, at 40, I’d weigh over 270 and be routinely hoarding snacks in my desk like a chipmunk putting away nuts for winter, I would have told you to go fuck yourself and punched you in the face. Yet, you would have been right, and I would have been a tad hubristic and over optimistic in my projections.

There’s been a lot of dieting since leaving college that I haven’t chronicled. And a lot of eating. Sufficed to say, I have always gained that weight back. And usually in short order, and usually a little more besides. On more than one occasion, I’ve attempted to recapture the state of mind I was in when I lost so much weight from Christmas of 1986 to mid-1988. And it’s been very difficult. But, I’m trying again.

In this case, I’ve gone this way before, but I’m having a little better luck (so far), in that I’m not dieting. I’m just trying to change my eating habits. While I want to lose weight, the goal is to change my eating habits, and do so in increments. So far, this has worked all right. I remind myself that it’s a process of conditioning.

I greatly enjoyed Joel Spitzer’s Never Take Another Puff method of quitting smoking. An important point he makes is that it’s important not to confuse your withdrawal a day, a week, or a month into the process of quitting with how things will be in a year. It’s different for everybody; I’ve quit smoking enough to know it takes me about six weeks to get past the general addiction and, even then, I sometimes still really want a cigarette (if this weren’t true, I wouldn’t have had to quit smoking more than once).† When I remember I’m not trying to diet, specifically (if I don’t lose weight this week, that’s fine) but attempting to recondition myself in regards to how I eat, I have to remember: a lot of what I’m feeling is because my body is used to being fed a lot of calories, and that my body will eventually adjust. I felt fine for a long time eating a very modest diet; I know I can get by with much less.

I am trying not to confuse how I feel when trying to manage day to day life while feeling out-of-sorts, punchy, or light-headed with a state of permanence, and trying to focus on the things I enjoy about eating less (my sense of smell improves, bizarrely, and scents become much more sensual–that is, if they’re pleasant).

So, we’ll see how this approach works. I’ve fallen off the wagon, in regards to overeating, more times than I can count. Because I have an appetite, and I enjoy eating, and tend to over do it. But I’m focusing more than usual on changing eating habits first. No more second breakfast for me!

So, anybody else here overweight? Struggled with dieting? Fit and svelte, but formerly fat? I often debate politics and movies and economics and whatnot but, the fact is, nothing has much more impact on the day-to-day quality of my life than both what I eat, and how much I weigh (despite my undying love of cheese burgers, I miss the lightness and mobility of weighing 185, and try to keep that foremost in my mind when the leftovers in the refrigerator start calling my name).

There is more to be said: I suspect some, though not all, the migraines that I get would be gone with the wind, if I maintained a low calorie, low-consumption diet. I can tell you from experience, people who struggle with their weight really do struggle with it, even if to some they only seem fat and lazy (but I can understand why some people might think that). I wonder how much of the perceived negatives (for me) of low food consumption, and low blood sugar, are psychological. Am I oversharing? But . . . I’ll dip into that in the comments, if anybody is interested in discussing eating habits and weight history on an ostensibly political blog.

But, then again, it is called all things in moderation.

* In fact, we usually make a huge deal about our weight, when wardrobe and grooming actually make as much, if not more, and impact on how we are perceived by others. If I found myself waking up in my 300 pound high school body back in 1984, the first thing I’d do is upgrade my wardrobe and grooming habits).

** Ah, the wonders of youthful skin elasticity. While there was nothing to be done about my flabby stomach–300 lbs is too much stretching, and you’re never going to have six-pack abs after that without cosmetic surgery–I was able to rebound from being 300 lbs in high school to having a nice, tight firm skinny little neck by the beginning of my sophomore year in college. This would not be the case now, alas.

† At some point, I may do a post on smoking. I don’t know how many former smokers we have here, but I’ve got a few things to say about smoking, about enjoying smoking, about quitting smoking, and not being great about “never taking another puff” even though, of course, once you’ve gone through the trouble to quit, you know you’ll just have to go through it all over again the minute you pick up a cigarette.

20 Responses

  1. Kevin,Thanks for the post. I consider myself lucky in that I have avoided weight problems, but many in my family struggle with them significantly. My mom even had gastric bypass performed which has greatly improved her quality of life even if she has gained some weight back. Not to sound patronizing, but my twin brother is overweight and I worry about him as I've seen my mom and grandma struggle so much with the issue. While I've never been more than around 185 and usually weigh around 170, one clarifying experience to me was when I was hiking part of the Appalachian Trail and realized how little I ate despite the fact that I was hiking 10 miles a day. If I could survive on a small breakfast, peanut butter sandwich for lunch and easy mac for dinner while hiking, I could certainly survive on far less while being much less active the rest of my life. Anyway, making changes in your eating habits is the way to make a life long change. Figure out what you can't live without and indulge, but cut back elsewhere. Oh and eat lots of whole grains, they fill you up.


  2. Nice post kevin. Weight is both a touchy subject and a contemporary one right now. You're brave to give us an inside view. We're big people here, but not fat. I was 5'9" in high school and felt really awkward, and as I didn't have an 18" waist like my best friend I remember feeling even more awkward. In those days 135 was big for a girl, maybe it still is, I don't know. We never dieted though, we always exercised and then ate whatever my mom put in front of us on pain of spending the weekend in our room. I became adept at hiding food in my napkin, my pockets, under the table, in my dogs mouth, down the toilet or even out the front door by pretending I'd heard a knock on the door. My mom wasn't quite as great of a cook as she thought she was. I actually didn't look forward to eating and on my 18th birthday I made a deal with my parents that I would never get on the back of a motorcycle if they would let me quit eating meat. It worked and I was suddenly in charge of my own diet. Although, I probably have a little bad karma for riding motorcycles.I immediately went into study mode and found the most healthy diet I could find which in those days was macrobiotics. I still eat only fruits and vegetables in season, not cold storage, lots of whole grains, beans and lentils, and brown rice. When I married my husband I added a little chicken and fish but only once or twice a week. And I seem to have acquired a taste for ice cream. Sometimes I skip dinner so I can have ice cream.The only time I've ever gained weight was when I had my accident 5 years ago and was stuck laying around for almost 6 weeks, yikes. I didn't realize how much exercise played into my calorie intake until I stopped exercising. I easily gained about 10 pounds. And it took me awhile to take it back off, it's not easy getting old.I've never had a craving for fast food, we weren't allowed to eat it when I was a kid and then I jumped right into a very structured diet. The thinnest I ever was was when I lived in the dorms my first year of college. I was still experimenting with being a vegetarian and didn't have my own kitchen. I lived on salads, cottage cheese, yogurt and fruit. I think I got down to about 115 that year but everyone thought I was too thin. Once I had my own place and could do my own thing I've never really looked back. I don't believe in diets, just eating healthy or healthier, so I think you're on the right track.


  3. Are you able to work daily exercise into your life? Even a twenty minute walk every day is infinitely better than zero exercise.I have never had a severe weight problem, but my sedentary life from age 58 to age 65 was potentially deadly. To track my weight:6-2 160 at 16; 168 at 17. 31" waist [baseball days].6-2 204 at 34. 36" waist. [beer days].6-1.5 184 at 51 33" waist. [Hard work at gym].6-1 218 at 65 38" waist, high blood pressure. [Sloth]!6-3/4 195 at 68 35" waist, 105/65 bp. [moderate work at gym, moderated diet to eliminate added salt, sugar, and reduce starch; almost no caffeine, no antihistamines unless I get stung by a wasp/bee/fire ant, etc].I cannot work out as hard at the gym as I did from age 49-54 because joints, not muscles, hurt. This routine of the last three years was established for me by my Medicare Advantage Doc, who is ex-USAF. The 7 years of stagnation from age 58 left me able to leg press only 165# when I began in 2008 back at the gym. I did 330# in HS, a strength loss of 50%. Within a year I was at 315#, and got as high as 340#, but my right knee complained and I stay at about 300# on that machine now. My right shoulder complains so much that I cannot do lateral dumbbell raises. Also, I cannot do pull-ups b/c my right shoulder screams in the fully extended position. Strength can still be gained, I find. But I have to be constantly worried about the joints, about warm-ups, and about stretching.My kids bought me New Balance gym shoes last year and that instantly made me comfortable on the treadmill at 4.1 mph walking for 20 min when I could not maintain 3.8 in my old sneakers.I cut my beef intake from 10+ times a week to twice a week. I eat oatmeal [2/3 cup whole oats] with fruit cooked into it most mornings, Cheerios some mornings, and eggs two mornings a week. Drink 10 oz Texas Ruby Red grapefruit juice and 20 oz of HEB Mootopia nonfat protein enriched milk every morning.I eat decent size meals and would blow up to 215# if I were not working out. If I got serious about cutting out all starch [bread is a weakness of mine, all kinds of fresh baked bread] I could probably get down into the mid 180s again.At the gym, some folks have been as steady as I over the last three years. Four women who have stuck with it have changed their shape[s] from large to shapely, but it has taken them longer and they have worked harder than the men who have trimmed down over that time. There is one guy in his mid 50s who now looks incredibly strong and lean but he tells me he has done 2-3 hours a day every day. We had four Army Rangers from Ft. Hood on weekends who stopped coming after the crazy Arab doc shot up the fort. We had two professional athletes in their off seasons [one was Marion Jones]. Their workouts were awesome. We had a 45 YO Round Rock firefighter who needed to pass his physical work his way up to 600# on the leg press and do incredible things on the balance routines.I have not tried to emulate any of them! I encourage you to do something physical, anything, on a daily basis.


  4. I've always, always struggled with my weight as have many of my family members. I've never been morbidly obese but that's only because I make a serious conscious effort every day to exercise and make wise food choices. To make matters worse, my husband is one of those evil people who can eat everything in sight and not gain an ounce. It's disgusting. I always joked when I was pregnant with my daughter that my only hope for her was that she would get her Father's metabolism and my math skills. So far, thank God, that seems to be the case.I'm also an ex-smoker-7 yrs now. Still miss it ocassionally. Usually it's when I'm walking out of a restaurant or bar and someone's having a cig nearby. I miss that after-dinner-drink cigarette the most.


  5. Amazing, excellent post Kevin! One of the things that I'm enjoying the most about this blog is finding out more about my Blog Buddies like this.It's interesting because in my mind's eye I pictured you as a slim, trim runner; so you have an inner energy that comes through in your writing that maybe doesn't channel itself through your legs right now. And, while I've never struggled with my weight, I can totally relate to eating more than you intend to. When I was a 20-ish whippersnapper in the 82nd Airborne (working out twice a day for about three hours total a day) I was eating around 5,000 calories/day of absolutely anything my little heart desired. Oh, to have that metabolism again!! The closest I've come was a few years ago when I was training for the SLC marathon; I remember going out to dinner three or four nights before the race when I was in my taper mode (back off on the miles and up the calories). I ate so much that one of the line cooks actually came out of the kitchen to see who was eating all the food at table #3–and it wasn't the guy! Unfortunately, I kept eating like that after the marathon. . . and then had to go on a diet for the first time in my life.Now I stay mostly right at 135 (at 5'8"; I lift weights so I weigh more than some women who wear the same size clothes) with it mostly dipping down lately as I have a bad habit of not eating when I'm stressed out. What I'm finding now is what Mark noted above: it takes me longer to put muscle back on if I lose it, and I don't lose weight as quickly as I used to. But I'm lucky and have had a pretty good body image my whole life; I talk to female athletes nowadays and it seems that none of them are happy with the way they look, even though–to all appearance–they're smokin' hot. I do have to remind myself that I'm never going to have that cute, flat little tummy that I had when I was in my 20s, but at least I have more wisdom under my belt (as it were).The best "diet" trick I've found has been going vegetarian for a few days a week, and The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee has been immensely helpful. I was raised a good Midwestern meat and potatoes girl, and had no idea how to plan a vegetarian meal. Karen gives you complete menus, and they're darn good, also (and too)!Keep up the good fight, Kevin, we've got your back!!


  6. And vegetarian is great for preventing gout, as long as you don't load up on soy or the cabbage family.


  7. I'm going to go ahead and throw Bits & Pieces up for the evening. Enjoy!


  8. Wow, Kevin, good post!I have struggled with weight issues forever. I weighed 98 pounds when I graduated from high school, and hit a high in my 30's of 150. I've gained and lost and gained and lost. Right now, I'd like to lose about 15 pounds, which probably doesn't sound like much. I am only 5 feet tall, so a 15 extra pounds makes a major difference in clothes. What a pain. I often joke that in my next lifetime, I want at least 6 more inches of legs, and I will trade…well…I'm not saying here right now what that trade would be….LOLI don't have much of a sweet tooth, don't drink soda, no sugar in tea, etc. My big problem is carbs and dairy. I am an ice cream addict, never found a flavor I didn't like. I love cheese and chips, pasta, good bakery breads, etc. Every once in a while, I get sweets cravings, but it's usually over with in a few days. I do love fresh fruit, though, and living here in the fruit-belt of Michigan is wonderful as long as I don't overdo. I'm also not enamored of going to the gym, work-out machines rarely fit me well. I'd rather go for a bike ride or a walk or an exercise/dance/yoga class instead. A couple little tips that have worked for me in getting appetite control may sound a little simplistic, but they've worked. Maybe they will help you out, too.Snacks:Try to never ever eat anything directly out of the package…like eating chips directly out of the bag. Get a plate, bowl, napkin, something…and portion out a serving, and then put the package back into the cupboard or fridge. Then remove yourself from the vicinity to eat it. Of course, you can go get more, but it takes decision and effort. (And, yes, do this even if that bag of chips is intended to be a single serving. There is something about seeing the whole portion that can help you if you have a picture of it without the packaging.)Meals:Use a smaller plate for meals than you do now. Take half what you expect to eat the first time around, knowing that you can have seconds if you wish. NOW HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART: put your eating utensil(s) down between bites, and train yourself to chew slowly, and savor! Eating takes longer if you do this, and gives your stomach some time to register a signal to your brain that you are full.


  9. Thanks for the feedback! I'm going to have to respond in more detail tomorrow. But I'm glad many found my musing on such weighty matters worthwhile. Good night!


  10. And that should be, thanks to all. Great comments. Tomorrow!


  11. Kevin,I struggled with my weight starting in my mid-twenties. I have bounced up and down from 200 – 240. In my forties I decided to quit smoking (w/Chantix) and gained about 35 pounds on top of that. My wife and I then went on an Adkins type Diego and dropped 20 then platued. In Nov. '10, we decide to just count calories and usedthe wbsite Livestrong.com. I've lost 65 pounds since then and am maintaining at ~185. I know at some point I'll gain it back but at least I regained an appreciation for simple foods and home cooking. Also, just knowing the nutritional content of restaurant food is enough to have kept me away from it during my active weight loss phase.I'm sure I'll gain some or all of it back someday, but I am enjoying the glow of being thin right now, along with being in good shape so it's keeping me motivated.I think quitting smoking was more, for lack of a better phrase, traumatic than weight loss. Weird.


  12. "I think quitting smoking was more, for lack of a better phrase, traumatic than weight loss."How many times have you quit? Once you know what to expect, it's easier–still difficult, but easier. But, that's good to hear, Troll. The glow of being thin is an excellent glow, indeed!


  13. BTW, Mr. McWingnut, thank you for your inspirational example. Sounds to me like you got up to around 270 after you quit smoking? If you're now at 185 (I have been under 200 since I got married), then there's hope for me, as well!I gained 10 pounds on the Adkins diet. Of all the Diets™ I've ever tried, that was the worst. I've lost weight on Weight Watchers but, for me, it encourages a bad habit–heavy eating for four days of the week and then intensive dieting for three. Which is not how you're supposed to do WW, that's just how I ended up doing it.sue: I've recently lost about 15 pounds (almost) and it barely makes a dent!"My big problem is carbs and dairy."My big problem is everything that doesn't contain okra as an ingredient. Oddly, as a kid, I got fat eating nothing but processed foods, meat, candy, junk food. I didn't like weird things, exotic foods, fruits and vegetables, etc. As an adult, I like almost everything, so . . . that's a challenge, sometimes. I love Coca-Cola. Cutting back to one a day is hard enough. 😉 Good advice on pacing. I'm trying to do that more, build it into an automatic habit. A big part is re-learning to enjoy (and even pursue) a physical state where I am not full, and not treating it as something that has to immediately be assuaged by food.


  14. Mark, I do exercise. Trying to increase it. I loved getting fit in college. I had a rigorous, 2-4 hour a day exercise routine during the summer that slowly faded during the school year, but I loved the summers. Mostly running and weight training back then; now, walking on the treadmill, doing some basic weight training, although the tennis elbow thing is making me put the pause on upper body work for now. Which, I think, came from trying to use a particular machine at too high a weight, so, even when I eventually return to upper body work, I think I'm going to avoid that particular machine.Michgoose: "It's interesting because in my mind's eye I pictured you as a slim, trim runner; so you have an inner energy that comes through in your writing that maybe doesn't channel itself through your legs right now."You're picturing me in 1989, and I appreciate it.I've been physically active, on an off, most of my adult life. Just not weight training and jogging every day. When the online pharmacies were a little less rigorously policed, I tried phentermine as a diet pill–which didn't do much to my appetite, but, since it's an amphetamine, acted as a stimulant, and I'd wake up early with plenty of energy. So, I'd get up and walk for a few hours before work, or before the saturday started. Now, I'm not on any kind of diet pill or stimulant, and I don't wake up with that much energy. But I try to wrap up work two or three days a week with a workout. I just have to cut back on the food . . . as I once told my doctor, as he advised me to lose some weight: I'm a hobbit at heart. The day doesn't truly start until after we've had second breakfast. "Lunch? Tea? Dinner? Supper?""I was raised a good Midwestern meat and potatoes girl, and had no idea how to plan a vegetarian meal."Now, that, we can do. I'm always mystified by overweight folks who have no idea why they are overweight, or tell me they are on a diet, and proceed to suck down fat and sugar and so on. But there are apparently a lot of folks who simply don't know how to eat nutritionally. I, on the other hand, have known for years how to eat healthy, how to eat light, how to plan meals, where the calories come from, how to increase my metabolism with regular exercise . . . the occasional doctor who explains to me that vegetables have less calories than lard get on my nerves. I *know* why I'm overweight. I know exactly where I'm deviating from appropriate nutritional behavior . . . I like crappy food, and lots of it! It's reforming that tendency where I need to do most of my work. 😉


  15. Excellent post!I have exactly the opposite problem. At 5'5", I have never weighed over 120. I don't exercise. I smoke like a fiend. I have never dieted.I used to drink Ensure as a supplement to a regular diet of bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a nice-sized sandwich for lunch, and most of a medium pizza for dinner. At that point, I was… 36, and could lift my own weight (100) over my head. Forgeddaboudid now!I despise shopping for pants: if they fit around the waist, they are too short. If they are long enough, you could fit two of me in the waist.I still have this roll around my waist that is a recent development, and won't leave. Now, at this point, I skip breakfast entirely, no Ensure (thought about getting some this morning though), a sandwich at lunch, and about 1/2 a frozen entree, or 1/2 a summer sausage with cheese and Triscuits for dinner. It take almost 2 hours to get home, and so don't feel like fixing anything, or even eating really, but I know that I have to, so I do.No soda, ever. Beer, 1 or 2 an evening, unless I run out, in which case it will wait until I get around to getting more. Otherwise, lots of milk, lots of V8 Fusion. Love Cheezits, but that is starting to fade. Like Sue, I rarely get a craving for sweets, and then after a week or two, it is gone for another year (or two).What kicks my butt the most? SMOKING. I am trying to convince myself that I really don't like it, that it is awful (and it is all of those things) and that I don't want it anymore. (liar, liar, pants on fire!). While you try to lose weight, I try to gain. Unlike your success, however, I have had none. I shouldn't complain, but there is nothing like standing in line at Kmart and the clerk exclaims, "I HATE you!" Can't find clothes to fit worth a damn, I generally look like a hobo, with clothes that are too big. I have always felt awkward as well, kind of gawky.I will be checking through that link to quit smoking.Now, gotta go. Have a dead UPS, people are starting to roll in, so need to initiate damage control.Maybe I will do a post on quitting smoking…


  16. "A big part is re-learning to enjoy (and even pursue) a physical state where I am not full, and not treating it as something that has to immediately be assuaged by food."As I said, I haven't struggled with my weight much, primarily because I have been pretty physically active and am young enough that my metabolism is not yet my enemy. But I still struggle with the trying to stop eating before I get full. I know at some point my metabolism will slow even more and that my joints, particularly my surgically repaired knee, will become an issue, so I am trying to learn how and when to stop before I get full.


  17. I also agree with Michi, I had a vision of you as dark hair, and very trim.


  18. Taroya: "I have exactly the opposite problem. At 5'5", I have never weighed over 120. I don't exercise. I smoke like a fiend. I have never dieted."So . . . you claim to be the perfect woman. "Now, at this point, I skip breakfast entirely, no Ensure (thought about getting some this morning though), a sandwich at lunch, and about 1/2 a frozen entree, or 1/2 a summer sausage with cheese and Triscuits for dinner. It take almost 2 hours to get home, and so don't feel like fixing anything, or even eating really, but I know that I have to, so I do."We often hear about people who can eat anything and not gain weight (and they do exist), but I think a lot of folks who are thin and fit have a different condition: they have an appetite that only demands what the body needs, or even less. Making peace with my appetite is a problem . . . I like eating. I'm trying a process by which I am not constantly battling my appetite, just . . . stretching it out. We're going to eat, yeah, just not right now. Gimmick diets don't work for me. On quitting smoking: should you decide to, I recommend Joel Spitzer. All the stuff is free. Compiled, it makes a bunch of great stories that he's accumulated over 35 years of running stop-smoking clinics. jhttp://whyquit.com/joel/Do the video lessons or the MP3s (you have to download all of 'em all at one time, for MP#). He recommends cold turkey quits (which, as someone who has quit smoking a few times, for long periods, I do as well). And I'd listen to/watch the lessons that resonate most with you on the first day of your quit, and keep going on. Everybody is different. Some people who quit smoking barely notice it, most go through withdrawal that last a few days to a few weeks. Takes me about 6 weeks to get to the point where the temptation is sufficiently dulled that I know I'm physically done with it, and not thinking about it all that often. Still does occur to me, and I often do want a cigarette, but that passes–mostly because, as Joel advises, I just admit to myself that I definitely want that cigarette. And that cigarette might be awesome. But do I really want the next one, and the next one, and the next pack, and everything else that goes with it (after smoking for a few months, I develop a numbness in hands and feet related to the vasoconstriction caused by nicotine, and knowing that some people have actually had limbs amputated due to this condition . . . well, then I decided that I can do without. But it does me no good to say I don't dearly love smoking, or that there aren't some cigarettes where everything is perfect, and it tastes wonderful, and it was a particularly great, contemplative moment . . . as with overeating, it's the gestalt I've got to be concerned with. I've heard people rave about the Paul McKenna Stop Smoking program. If you're receptive to positive suggestions and hypnosis, that may be the way to go. I've heard from people who say they quit smoking with barely any withdrawal . . . that's not me, but, there it is. " I had a vision of you as dark hair, and very trim."I'm flattered! And you're not wrong, if you're envisioning me in college.Dark hair, very trim: 1989. Still have darkish hair (going gray), and now a geek-beard. I was beardless, trim, and sporting a thick head of dark hair. At 172 I was mostly muscle . . . and the flab that never goes away once you stretch your stomach out to 300 pounds, but in tight jeans an small-t shirt, nobody could tell. I've got a picture somewhere, a headshot I took for my own passport. I often look at it and weep softly. So does my wife. 😉


  19. "What kicks my butt the most? SMOKING. I am trying to convince myself that I really don't like it, that it is awful (and it is all of those things) and that I don't want it anymore. (liar, liar, pants on fire!). "Gotta think in terms of the whole package. Think of smoking like a really great person who seems like they are really into you, and you're a perfect match, you've never known compatibility like this before, and also they were in jail for murder. I'm not smoking now because of the whole package, not because I hate cigarettes. It's helps that I have kids, and a wife who would not let me be a smoker, and that the world is more hostile to smokers these days. There are lots of things to focus on, as negatives, but that doesn't mean I hate cigarettes or smoking. It's the whole package (expense, long term consequences). I don't know if you've ever quit for long periods, but being able to tell the difference between myself after having not smoked for a year, and then having smoked for a year, is also helpful. I didn't realize until the last time that I was smoking that it was responsible for circulatory problems–I was more prone to feet and hands feeling numb or falling asleep, as well as getting cold when I was smoking.On the whole, being a non-smoker is a net positive, so I always keep that in mind. But (everybody is different) trying to pretend or talk myself into hating it didn't do me much good. But there are plenty of negatives to encourage one to be a non-smoker, so I went looking for them, and the whole WhyQuit.com website is full of stories of people who idea because of smoking, etc. I like the seminars because there are some stories, but they are full of context and Joel just becomes an interesting guy in his own right.Which is not to say I might not ever smoke again. Frankly, if they were going to outlaw cigarettes tomorrow, I might go buy a couple of packs and smoke it up one last time, knowing I had a built in quit date. 😉 Which is not what Joel Spitzer advises: his advice is to never take another puff (which goes back to the cold turkey system: as long as you have nicotine in your system, you aren't quitting anything). One suggestion: tell yourself you're quitting for 3 months or 6 months, and then you'll assess how it's going at the end of that time. If it's just not working out, you'll start smoking again. You've given yourself permission! But . . . you have to quit for 6 months. But it's not forever. Just six months. Then, if you want to keep your quit at the end of the 6 months, you can. If you don't, you can throw a little party and buy yourself a pack of cigarettes (at the end of 6 months . . . you can never have any cigarettes around during a quit) and wrap it up in a bow. But you may never need to buy it. In which case, you can throw some other kind of party. Those first few weeks after the quit, prep yourself. I hate going to the Walgreens or the convenience store. A whole wall of cigarettes, just there for the taking. All you have to do is ask! On more than one occasion, I barely escape with my quit intact. But, I'd love to hear your smoking cessation story. 😉


  20. Kevin, your post is good!What I am observing in some of these new posts is not so much topics for discussion, but "This is who I am." I like it, and will have to take my turn. I only hope that I post as well as you and Nova have.Perfect woman my ass! All angles, not one curve to be seen, and we won't discuss the top half. Mostly because there is nothing to discuss there. I have a hook nose and mouse-brown hair that can't decide if it is straight or curly, and thin lips.I wouldn't say I was ugly, or plain, but I am most certainly not the perfect woman by ANY stretch of the imagination!My appetite for FOOD may be less demanding, but I think my appetite for other things makes up for it.Regardless, I will wager my paycheck that every one of us has an issue which makes them feel unconfident, less than, weak, something negative. Not all of us, though, will be willing to let that out there, so kudos. And not all of us have something positive that they feel about themselves.You have posted a personal struggle, and also success! Keep it going, don't stop now!


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: