Surviving is not Living

Why am I fat?

with 2 comments

I’m not talking about excuses. Excuses do nothing but put stumbling blocks in your way. Excuses say, I can’t be successful at this because… or it’s someone else’s fault.. etc.

Frankly, excuses are bullshit.

But there are reasons why we are how we are, things that have led us down the road we’ve come to in life, whatever that road is, here we stand because of something else.  In order to combat the behavior or other that we want out of our lives, we need to know the why. Otherwise it seems we’re fighting against an invisible enemy that will keep crawling back until we bring it to light.  It’s easy to listen to somebody give their reasons and grab onto them for ourselves. Perhaps their reasons really are the same as ours, or maybe it’s just easier to join the club rather than dig down into yourself and risk exposing the part of you that you’ve shoved so far down inside that you thought you’d never see again.

I’m not an expert on myself. I haven’t figured out all the whys, but I’m on my way there, and so far, this is what I’ve come up with. And remember, these are reasons, not excuses, so there’s no blame.

Cheap food is crap food. That continues to be one of my biggest peeves. When you’re living on a very tight budget, it’s so much easier to buy ramen noodles than it is to buy a lot of veggies and healthy food. A serving size of healthy food can be low cost, but you had to buy all of the ingredients to go into that dish, and that probably wasn’t cheap. Growing up, money was tight. We didn’t often get extras, and money was stretched pretty thin.

I was picky, and allowed to be. I didn’t want veggies except for corn, or fruits except for apples and bananas. I wanted sweets, and I wanted fatty foods. But mostly I wanted sweets. I don’t remember much sweets being in my house. Soda was rarely there unless it was left over from a party, and sweet snacky foods were reserved for sack lunches. But I still craved sweets, and I can remember (uh oh…here comes a confession mom..) when my mom or sisters would go down to the laundry room or be in the bathroom or another room, running to the kitchen and eating spoonfuls of sugar. The first choice was granulated, then powdered, and if all we had was brown sugar, I’d eat that.  Yup, I wanted sugar all the time. Then I had my grandparents and they had sweets in the house a lot, and I don’t remember ever being told no. Ever. There was definitely more homemade foods at my grandparents’ house, so less processed junk, but it was a lot of simple carbs, AND instead of cutting me off at one serving, I was allowed to eat what I wanted til it was gone. And then there were friends. When I was at their houses, I got the soda and the other crap that we didn’t keep at my house. Anytime I did have the option to eat well, I didn’t. I chose the bad stuff over the good stuff, because that’s what I wanted, what I was used to, and I have come to fully believe that those additives and crap are addictive, truly and physiologically addicting.

It was easier. By the time I got to the point where I could start to make autonomous decisions for myself, I was overweight. Anybody who has ever tried to lose weight and get in shape, knows it’s not easy. I just didn’t want to make the effort. I was still too young to realize the health risks of my size. Being fat at that point in my life was just about the fact that you could see I was fat, not about what it was doing to my insides. I still stayed pretty active and had friends, and learned to ignore the people who made fun of me. I didn’t want to make the effort to lose weight. Who wants to sit and eat fruits and veggies when they’re friends are eating doritos and drinking coke. Really. Plus, at that age, the part of the brain that controls impulses hasn’t developed, so if I wanted 12 cans of mountain dew, I drank 12 cans of mountain dew. (And there was one summer in high school where that was pretty much the reality). Anytime something is easy, I do well at it. When it stops being easy, I give up. It showed in my schoolwork, my weight, my very short length in relationships, and in other ways. When faced with an obstacle, I stop.

Emotional attachment to food. There are people who say that they’re addicted to food. I don’t know if I would classify myself as addicted, but I definitely am an emotional eater, I’m a comfort eater. When something goes wrong, I want to have something to reach for. Occasionally I think “I need a drink” and that’s still something that I’m putting in my mouth, so whether it’s drinking calories or eating them, consuming something is my way of coping. When a guy stopped calling, I reached for the ice cream. When I was disappointed that I didn’t succeed in something, I wanted a big fatty cheeseburger and french fries. But it was also tied to celebration. Cakes for birthdays, cookies for parties, I love to celebrate with food. When I’m bored, it’s easy to fill that time with eating. It’s always been my “go-to” solution for any emotion I was feeling.

Fear. As I’ve become an adult and become solely responsible for all my food choices, both what gets bought at the store and what gets consumed, I’ve come to realize that may be the biggest part of my struggle. I’m afraid to be thin. I know who I am as an overweight person, because that is who I have been for almost 28 years. I don’t know what it’s like to be thin. That person isn’t me and never has been. This fat suit has been part of my identity for my whole life, so who am I once that is gone?  With this weight, I’m allowed to use it as an excuse for failure or unpopularity. It’s been the scapegoat in my life for my lack of a significant other, my failure to get the parts I’ve wanted in shows, and even the reason I don’t go after things, thinking that it will be the reason I fail. What if I were to lose all this weight and still fail at something I really wanted? It’s easier to blame the weight than to admit there might be another reason I’m just not good enough.

I know I can conquer all those reasons. I will have the hardest time with conquering my fears, but it can be done. I have made up my mind about who I am, and who I am is strong. I’m no longer a quitter, and I’m no longer a slave to my cravings. I control my life, my fear doesn’t. It will be a battle. It may be a battle for a very long time, but it’s a battle worth fighting, for me, for those who love me, for the people I hope to encourage with my success, and for the healthy children I wish to bring into this world.



Written by No More Tomorrows

June 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Fear, Health, Weight Loss

2 Responses

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  1. Enjoy your journey to a healthier you. And to turning those reasons on their head.


    June 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

  2. I know where you are coming from! Those were some of my excuses also. Congrats on making the change to lead a healthier. I too just started working on my eating patterns. Good luck!


    June 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

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