This morning as I was making my coffee I was surprised to feel a rumble in my stomach, a sign my stomach was empty and I needed to eat. And yesterday as I was finishing up wall mounting a rather heavy TV for my writing teacher, Charles I stood up quickly as I was packing my tools and suddenly felt faint. It was almost 2pm and I hadn’t eaten since 8am, some muesli with milk.
It’s been a while since those things have happened, so the regimen I set upon a few days ago is starting to pay off.
I was never a skinny kid, my mom was a wonderful cook and made large protein AND carbohydrate rich meals. Have a little rice and beans with your pork, son.
We always had salad, of course, and I thank my mother for knowing we needed our veggies, but her idea of salad was iceberg lettuce, tomatoes from a little plastic holder and big tasteless Mexican avocados. But it was a good foundation, as it were.
By the time I was 16 and my hormones were raging I’d reached the weight of 200-plus pounds, and with urging from mom and some savings from my shoe store job I went to a local doctor who put me on a diet. The things I remember the most about him was that one day his tie was on top of one wing of his collar and that he smoked. He always wore a glazed look on his face and I wondered what drugs he was on.
I cheated, of course. In addition to following his diet, which was mostly tuna fish and lettuce, I took Dexedrine and Dexamyl pills and lost 35 pounds in a couple of months. The doc was proud of me and I got my first girlfriend.
I have to say I noticed a pattern vis-à-vis weight loss and women. Every time I broke up or was dumped, I immediately shed whatever weight I’d gained being in the relationship and was trim and slim and ready for the next one, like my body was on autopilot.
Conversely, every time I got into a relationship, I would gain weight, due to complacency.
During my first marriage, to the mother of my son Javier; I gained the most weight. Then again, it was the longest relationship I’ve ever had, 20 years if you count the dating beforehand.
In 1992, when my son was 5 I was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes. I weighed in at 285 pounds. I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.
I was working at another shoe store, and I made breakfast for everyone each morning. It was always eggs, bacon, and bread. Usually bagels, sometimes white rolls.
Me in 1990, at 285 Lbs.
At my coffee break at 10, I would have a large Au Bon Pain coffee with ten sugars and a cinnamon roll or croissant. Lunch was a sandwich I made myself, and that would be washed down with a big cup of Pepsi from the 2-liter bottle I kept in the fridge at work. I drank most of the bottle each day.
If you drink a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi every day for 20 years I promise you will die.
I think I did it for ten, so I only half-died.
After I was diagnosed with the type 2 diabetes I was sent to a nutritionist, a woman who was appropriately as thin as the proverbial rail. She was always munching on a piece of celery or raw carrot as way of example.
I did what I could, stopped eating sugar, and switched to diet Pepsi, cut down on the bread. I lost 50 pounds in six weeks. But there it stopped. My blood sugar remained above normal, and I was still fat, just not as fat.
Javier’s mom had gained weight after his birth, but somewhere along the line she became a jock, a gym rat, she worked in a place that had a gym and membership opened to its employees, and she took full advantage. She lost weight and became a new person, one that wanted different things in life. New things, new people. I had missed the bus.
During our divorce I took stock, and again the autopilot kicked in and I started to change. This time I started to exercise, and lost a lot of weight in a hurry. I went from 235 to 169 pounds in a matter of months. I called it the divorce diet, as the divorce left such a bad taste in my mouth I couldn’t eat anything.
I used to fill this shirt. 2001, 180 Lbs.
But I did start looking in the mirror again, and started feeling good about myself. This was in the year 2000. I stayed around 170 for a few years, till I quit smoking. I gained 10 pounds but met my soon to be new wife, Danusia.
We both eat healthy, but we both also like to snack while watching TV. Last year I realized I was 207 pounds during a doctor’s visit. I knew I’d gained weight; I’d had to buy new pants, and shirts. As a clothing aside, when I was really fat I had to wear 4E shoes. I didn’t know even your feet get fat. I wear a D width now, which is normal for a man my size.
I cut out peanut butter and started watching what I ate more, and lost 10 pounds. But it gets harder and harder to keep it off.
I think movies and TV have made Americans fat. I know when I am in front of the TV and I snack, I mindlessly shove food into my mouth. Luckily we don’t eat at the movies. The most we’ll do is bring a bag of nuts and share them.
Eating in bed is out, in my new effort. So is gluten, not all of it, but most. I truly believe gluten spikes your glycemic index, and that’s not good.
This summer, 195 Lbs.
So I’ve embarked on a sort-of protein rich, low carb diet, and of course I always exercise, we’ve got the old elliptical machine (we’re on our second one) and I do plenty of strength training stuff. By the way, if you have type 2 diabetes all you need to do is exercise and watch that sugar intake. As soon as I started exercising during the divorce diet, my blood sugar plunged. It went too low, and my doctor recommended more fruit.
Bread affects the very same receptors in your brain that opiates do, so it is no wonder that it can be such a comfort, and such an addiction. So I am making the concerted effort to limit not just bread, but all gluten as I said before and I’ll keep you all posted as to the results.
I read a lot of stuff about dieting in the past few days, and there is so much conflicting stuff. Eat bananas, don’t eat bananas. Eat chocolate, don’t eat chocolate. One thing that pops up on all the food blogs and website is the “5 foods you should never eat.” I clicked on it once out of curiosity and got a shaggy dog story that I’m told leads you to the opportunity to buy a book that tells you the 5 foods you should never eat. Bananas is one of them, it’s on the teaser.
I have a banana most mornings to start my metabolism, and I’ll tell you what. I’m not going to stop eating bananas, and I ain’t buying that book.