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Do You Love Food That Much, or Are You Just a Glutton?

I am going back to many of my old essays about diet, weight, and food because I’d like to explore my toxic attitudes towards eating and my weight.

This is a short essay from January 2022, and it shows the roller coaster I was on when it came to being fat, losing weight, and eating.

When you look back on your own life, what attitudes and habits added fuel to the fire that was your health and well-being?

January 17, 2022

I love food. There, I said it. There is no getting past the obvious. You can take one look at me and recognize that I like to eat. My arms and legs are average sizes, but I have a gut. I would estimate my weight to be close to 280 Lbs.

It’s a long time coming. If I look at pictures on Facebook from five years ago, I am fairly thin. I had a bit of a stomach, but I was a normal weight. But since I grew, it increased when the pandemic began, and we couldn’t leave the house.

About a month ago, I looked at myself and said, “It’s time to do something.” There is no getting past it. I am uncomfortable doing simple tasks like tying my shoes, and I can’t stand that my clothes don’t fit.

There is a problem. I like to eat. Rice. Here in the Philippines, everything is with white rice. I like soda. I have to have something sweet every so often, and it’s usually a Coke. And the food here, I could eat all day and be happy. I love all the flavors, and since we work all the time, we mostly order delivery, and anything I want is just a few minutes away.

We try to cook and sometimes we have a Sabaw for breakfast, a brothy soup with vegetables. It’s easy to make, but it depends on whether my wife has morning meetings. She is busy all day, and I tend to the kids. I try to sleep a bit because I work all night. But there are dishes and dirty diapers, and the kids must eat, so I eat whenever I can. We rarely have a sit-down meal anymore.

So, we order from Grab and the local network of home delivery services around us that have provided food since the pandemic. One day, I might eat Jollibee Chicken; another day, I might have Adobo or Sizzling Squid. All with rice. Always rice.

But I’d had enough. So, a month ago, I just started cutting back. Instead of a massive plate of rice, I would either go without it or eat a small portion. Instead of two pieces of chicken, I eat one. I try not to eat breakfast. Instead of filling my plate with food, I eat a bit here and there. I eat apples and drink sugar-free cranberry juice. I still drink a little soda, but not much.

And slowly, I am losing my stomach. I am fighting against the antipsychotics that want to make me fat and the years of prescriptions that have destroyed my metabolism. Losing weight is hard and slow, but it is happening.

I don’t feel so bloated all the time. And when I don’t eat until I am stuffed, I don’t feel as though I am full of gas all the time. My stomach hasn’t been so sick. When I opt for an apple instead of a burger, I feel so much better about myself, and my body doesn’t complain.

I’ve lost maybe fifteen pounds. Maybe. I can feel it when I bend over. My stomach isn’t such a bother all the time, and I can almost tie my shoes again.

I have so much more to go, and for the past few days, I’ve eaten a little more than usual. It’s back and forth. I love my food. And I love rice. And soda. But somehow, I’ve been able to cut back, and it’s just enough to help me lose a few pounds.

We are still so busy, but we have been eating more soup. More veggies. There are days when we eat nothing but fried chicken or Chinese takeout, but most of the time, we eat better.

I wish I had time for a proper diet. I wish I had time for a workout regimen. But I’ll settle for apples and riding my bike a few times a week.

I may never be skinny again, but I’d love to at least be comfortable with my body, and that means my gut needs to go away. I’ll look better, feel better, and won’t be so disgusted to see my reflection in the mirror.

Yes, I love food, but I don’t have to let food run my life, and I don’t have to be fat. Even if I don’t have the time to eat well, I can eat well enough to lose a little of this weight.

January 19, 2024

I have been on a plant-based diet for 19 days and I feel better than I have in years. I am regular and I can feel the fat dropping off my body. Already there is a remarkable difference in the size of my belly.

I finally got back to walking today after a few weeks of a gout flare-up. It was still painful, but not enough to keep me from walking over 2 km. It takes me a little over 30 minutes to walk that far, so my pace is decent.

I am bathed in sweat by the time I get home, even though it is cooler at 5 am when I tend to walk.

I am trying to stay away from the more processed food and stick to raw, but the past few days I did try some plant-based burgers, which were amazing. I still remember the old Gardenburgers and how terrible they were and am amazed by how far they have come in making processed vegan food better and tastier.

I really like the raw vegetables, soups, beans, and oatmeal I eat, but once in a while, it is nice to have something that is at least a meat texture to change up my diet.

I love this lifestyle, mostly for the changes that are happening in my body.

Have you stuck with the changes you made over the new year?

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