So I thought I would tell my story of what my diet and eating life has been and where I have come from.
I can remember as a child sitting at a table at my friends birthday party. I think I was probably 6 or 7, her mom was serving hot dogs and I think there were eight of us at the table. By the time she got all the kids served I was asking for another hot dog, I remember there was a comment about how quick I ate it. I also recall a Christmas visit to a family members house, she sat all kinds of chocolates out to eat. I was chastised for eating to many of them. Then again the same family member made comment that I was eating to many meatballs at a wedding we attended. I can remember as a kid being upset at my dad and stuffing food in while crying. I think most of my memories involved food. Another summer I spent in Baltimore with my dad and was allowed to order any food I wanted from the kitchen he worked in. As a teen I would collect money early from my paper route so I could go to McDonald’s. I would eat a Big Mac, large fry, 6 pc McNugget, two cheeseburgers and a large coke. There are lots more of these memory’s but you get the idea. I soon weighed 490 lbs. I was pretty miserable. I believe I was and am addicted to food. My father was an alcoholic and I have the same tendency only with food.
I went into adulthood with all that weight, but something finally snapped in 1990 and I found something within me to lose some of it. I started out by only counting calories. It didn’t matter what the calories were. If I wanted a Big Mac I had one even though it took half my calories for the day. It worked and over the next 1 1/2 years I dropped 180 lbs.
Marriage, marriage is what brings us together! We all know what that does to you. Well I did pretty well at first, I continued to lose for a while and got down to 290. The trouble was I also switched jobs and my new job was physical. Great, right? It was great, except that having a physical job allowed me to eat a lot more and still maintain my current weight, then came the accident. I fell out of a loft at work and fractured my back in three places. I ended up a year later having to have surgery to correct a herniated disk. So with no more physical activity, the weight started creeping back up.
Fast forward a couple years. I was able to go to school and get a computer programming degree and was on a new path in life. I also put all but 80 lbs of my 200 lb loss back on. Well I finally got sick of being so heavy and it was getting to the point I could hardly walk to the bathroom at work and my back was also killing me. I thought losing the weight would help my back and put things back the way they should be. This time I went all out and within two years I was down to 245 lbs, half the man I used to be. The trouble was is that it did not help my back at all. In fact my back continued to get worse and you could see my spine protruding out of my back. I had a horrible curve in my spine that just had everything out of whack. Well I had to go see a surgeon and see what they had to say.
Surgery – Well thanks to some wonderful friends I was able to go get a second opinion at John Hopkins in Maryland and all though the diagnosis was still surgery the surgery itself was completely different. They restructured my spine and straightened it out and all went really well. The doctor was very encouraging about my recent weight loss and told me the worst thing I could ever do for my back was to gain that weight back. So what did I do? I gained most of it back. I gained 157 lbs back of the 245 lbs I had lost.
That brings us to the present. The last gain was over the past 9 years but here I was last July at 406 lbs again. I could kick myself over and over and over. Again I decided life was miserable and I had to do something. I am currently at 329 and going down each week. I know I have it in me to do what it takes and I know I will continue to get back to where I was in 05.
I think I have learned where it went wrong and I think I can correct that now. I have adopted a pretty healthy outlook about food. I eat lots of vegetables and really just try to stick to the food pyramid we all learned as children. I cut out most processed foods and drinks. We still have a treat night once a week but we try to keep that to one meal and around 1000 extra calories. This is usually something like pizza and a couple beers. I know my downfall was not continuing with logging my food and becoming too relaxed with what I was doing. I know I need to always be mindful of my portions by logging my food or maybe someday just knowing what portions I should eat. My guess is that I will always have to log. With my background and what I would call an addiction to food, I think I will always have to be on the lookout.