Part of being a writer is being a human person, rounded out with flaws like my characters and in need of change. Some flaws are universal and everyone agrees they are flaws, others’ not so much. I’m overweight. Very overweight. This might not be a flaw to some people, and I accept that, but for me it’s a personal flaw. I was a thin child, then I gained weight in my teens. That weight was an emotional response to some family and personal drama I went through. I locked myself away from friends and stayed inside ninety nine percent of the time. When I was 20, I was about 60 lbs overweight and I chose to loose it. Six months later that excess weight was gone. I was thin again and I stayed that way for twelve years. When I was 32, I stopped smoking. Like so many people I replaced nicotine with carbohydrates. Within 3 months I’d put on over 80 lbs.
It’s been 19 years since I gained that 80 lbs. I’m not now, nor have I ever been, contented with being over-weight, but I have allowed myself to accept the situation in spite of numerous attempts to lose weight. I’m not comfortable heavy, yet the difficulty in escaping the mental and emotional pull of carbohydrates has led me, on more than one occasion, to falter. Trying to lose weight has only led me to gain back any weight I lost. Most of the time I added significant poundage onto my previously total.
Sounds typical doesn’t it? It is. I’m another example of how the food industry has attacked the American people with processed foods they produce extremely cheaply. They’re poisoning us with carbohydrates and fats. I know it sounds harsh and militant, but it’s the truth. Go to the produce section of you grocer and pick up a vegetable or a fruit and check the ingredients? You can’t really. So check on a website about nutrition and compare the nutritional break down of fruits and veggies that are intended for human consumption and then compare those nutrients to those found in chips, cookies, a loaf of bread or a bottle of salad dressing.
I’m convinced that we’re fat, especially here in the U.S., because of rich people. Not because the rich people are making all the money from selling these foods that are unhealthy for us, but because we the people want to live like wealthy people. Envy.
I haven’t really done any research on this, but the simple and basic understanding I have of the past, is that poor people didn’t have much to eat and not very many choices. They had to conserve and be frugal with their food, so they would have enough to get through each season. They didn’t have refrigeration to store foods, so they ate a lot of dried foods and roots during the winter that they could store underground in a root cellar. They also ate grass fed and free range meats for the most part, when they could get it.
The Aristocracy on the other hand, had money and land and they had serfs or indentured servants of even slaves, to do the work that put the food on their tables. They were frequently able to feed themselves with an abundance of vegetables, fruits and meats and they could waste it, and that waste would go to the poor or as slop for pigs.
I think once the U.S. came to into existence, many of our ancestors had a chip on their shoulder. In the burgeoning democracy, it became an American dream to live like the Aristocracy. The dream became to live a comfortable life and that included a cooler environment and an abundance of fresh food. Enter the inexpensive refrigerator in the 1920’s, when 1/2 the households of the US purchased refrigerators.
It makes sense that America’s fat problem started with cooling down our environments and removing heat from our homes and automobiles. It also makes sense because refrigerators allowed us to store milk, eggs, cheese, cream, butter, yogurt, bacon, and all the other fatty foods we only get to eat, if we have a safe way to store them. I think the subconscious of America wanted to be Aristocratic and with refrigeration came comforts that had been limited to the wealthy. Even people who had live as slaves, until abolition, could get a refrigerator and air conditioner and live in comparative comfort like the wealthy.
I think the connection is, that abundance and comfort has led to a nation, and now a western world, of wanna-be aristocrats living-it-up on foods they wouldn’t have access too, if not for refrigeration. In fact, many of these weren’t foods for the masses, until refrigeration.
So in my case, I’ve chosen to try the Paleo Diet and see where it leads me. It’s about cutting out dairy and most fats, no grains or processed foods and no added salts. I think it does go overboard in today’s market place where grass fed and free range meats aren’t in abundance, like they should be, and therefore cost significantly more. We can’t really afford the high priced foods the Paleo Diet calls for, organics, grass fed and free range, but we’ll give it a shot.
I think the benefit of not eating dairy, which I love along with fatty meats, is that I feel better in just a few days. I haven’t cut the dairy or grains out 100% yet, because I’m eating most of our perishables before starting in earnest. I’ve already cut back a lot though.
Usually I eat a lot of cheese and pasta. I make pizza from scratch regularly and I make my own egg pasta from scratch from time to time. I haven’t had any of that since last Friday night and I already feel better. The trick to any diet for me, will be to not just avoid pasta, cheese and bread, but to also not give up when I really want to eat them. I get cravings for those foods I love. I’ve lost weight before, 60 lbs or more on low-carb and HCG injections and I couldn’t maintain my weight loss on either. I think it’s really a lack will at moments when I desire my favorite comfort foods.
Comfort is what these foods truly bring, even in the face of shame. I feel ashamed when I eat that way, but I eat that way just the same. The emotional gratification from the flavors and textures are like good sex. It’s like having an affair with someone you know isn’t good for you, but oh the sex is the best. So, from time to time, the lure of that great sex draws you back to that indulgence of pleasure with a lover you know you shouldn’t stay with, but then you feel the memory of the pleasure and the next thing you know, you’ve eaten a half gallon of ice cream.
This is my journey and I’m going to share it with you. This is part of my daily journal, but I’m going to add this to a weight-loss category and start blogging a food journal and my weight-loss progress along with any struggles and victories I have.
If you have any comments, advice or questions, drop me a line on this page’s comments form and I’ll try to get back to you as quick as possible.
Today is July 5th, 2017 and this morning I weight 281.2 lbs or 127.55kg.