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My relationship with food

As a young child, I was a bit of a runt. Short, but very thin. Then that whole puberty thing happened and I started to put on weight. I never got that big, but I never thinned out again.

As mothers always do, mine reassured me that my weight gain as an early teen was just part of growing up and I would thin out.

I think it’s just my genetics.

I was always self-aware of being sturdy – that’s what my mom called it. Fortunately, my Type Red personality overpowered the self-conscious part of me and didn’t allow me to miss out on too many opportunities.

However, I know I held back some times.

(Especially when it came to girls)

I had the privilege of serving a full-time service mission in Mexico City. When I left, I weighed just over 200 pounds (I’m 5’10”). By the end, I was down to 175 and feeling pretty confident.

Within a year of returning home to Utah, I was back up around 200 pounds.

Since then, I have dropped back down to 167, then up to 210, then down to 175, then up to 195 and I’m currently weighing in at 188. I’m on the HCG diet hoping to drop down to 175, which I believe is a healthy and attractive weight.

If you add that all up, I’ve lost 100 pounds in my life. That’s more than half of my current weight.

I’ve never regained the thin waistline of my childhood always having at least a spare tire.

Weight Loss

I’ve tried working out.

That’s how I dropped down to 167. I went to the gym three times a week for 1 1/2 hours each time. I felt great and was confident in my appearance.

But life happens and that stopped.

Part of my reason of losing 35 pounds last year was because I was applying to some top tier MBA programs. I didn’t want my physical appearance to taint any opinion of me.

This post may sound as if I am ranting and complaining.

I’m not. I’m giving the back story to a realization that I had today.

I was recently asked on Facebook why I would use such an extreme diet, such as HCG, to lose weight. I’ve always given two reasons. First, it’s fast. Second, it cleanses my body of toxins and shrinks my appetite.

However, I think there’s a bigger reason. The reason I put weight on so easily is because I am slave to my hunger. When I want to eat, my body and desires take over. I just eat. I lose control. Fortunately, I’ve never allowed myself to gain considerable weight. Or maybe my wife didn’t.

Today, as I was thinking about my hunger and great desire to break down and just eat, the thought occurred to me. “Maybe, I’m teaching my body to shut-up and listen to me. I’m teaching myself to control my appetite.”

The application of appetite control is far more reaching than just hunger.

We can describe many desires and wants in life as appetites: overspending, alcohol, adultery, cruelty, selfishness, greed, pornography, etc.

Any addiction is the indulgence of an appetite.

Through spending three weeks starving just about every moment that I am awake, I am learning to control my appetites. I’m learning that I am Master and Commander.

I once heard a story about a man who decided to quit using chewing tobacco. For many years, he carried a tin of tobacco in his pocket. Several times a day, he pulled it out, looked at it and then said, “Who is master here, you or me?”

How often do we carry our appetites in our pockets – tempting, reminding and calling to us? This man was fortunate enough to win every battle and eventually the war. But it’s a dangerous path.

I want to enjoy life, which means also enjoying food.

But I need to change the nature of my relationship with food. My appetites do not control me. None of them.

So yes, my diet is extreme and it’s not enjoyable. But I’m walking away with more than a slimmer silhouette. I’m walking away with self-mastery.

What appetites do you plan to control today, this week, month or year?

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4 Responses to “My relationship with food”

  1. Runner Lyon says:

    So what steps have you decided to take after your diet? You cant just diet and return back to your “Old” self again. You said it yourself, you have gained back the weight that you lost before. Do you have a plan of attack? You have to be ready to make a life style change. You might be the master now, but who is going to win in the long run……..?

    • Excellent question. I certainly don’t want to fall into the same traps as before. While I don’t have a fully formulated plan just yet, I am planning on the following.

      First and this is going to sound cheesy but it’s the truth – listen to my wife. She’s a health nut and eats well. She’ll warn me to stop eating or to not eat something and I ignore her. So she’s willing to help me, but I need to listen.

      Second, one thing that I’ve learned from the HCG diet is that it’s not just about avoiding bad foods but it’s also about eating the right foods. So with this diet I eat 2 proteins, 2 veggies and 2 fruits a day. Not eating Taco Bell is a good thing, but not eating any fruits during the day is also not a good thing. My wife and I have discussed how we intend to change what I take with me to work, which is when I eat the most junk. The food in our house is all pretty good.

      The third component is exercise. I actually really enjoy running when it’s not freezing outside. From experience, I know that I tend to eat better when I’m active. I actually have less of an appetite to be honest.

      I haven’t been a soda drinker since high school but I still do enjoy eating out. We are also making some changes to our budget that will make it harder to eat out too often. The food available to me will be better controlled.

      I’m happy to hear more suggestions and thoughts. Thanks!

  2. Deacon says:

    Way to go on dropping some LBs! I weighted 203 last year and now I weigh about 180. I attribute it to a good combination of eating right, exercise, and self-discipline. I can relate to needing to change your relationship with food. The key for me was finding replacements. Instead of drinking soda, I drink flavored water. Instead of eating candy, I eat spelt pretzels and a nut/fruit mix. Thanks for the post!

  3. John says:

    Last year I tried eating only healthy things, things that were in their most natural state. I lost 30 pounds and felt awesome. Unfortunately, I’m back on my “regular” diet and gained some weight back. I need to start again! Thanks for the post!