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.
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?