Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why Am I An Overeater?

This is the question I have asked myself since I was 30 something. and... Why do I find so much comfort in eating. Those times when I keep eating and eating and it seems like I never get full. It's like a constant grazing even though my mind tells me it's not good, I rationalize my way to the refrigerator. When I see a bag of Hershey Kisses and I can't stop eating them until the bag is gone. When I sit down for family pizza net I scarf down 4 slices of pizza and two beers... that's 1/2 of a large pie!

Why do I do this? It started when I was a kid. Most of my family lived to eat. We had everything in the pantry and we ate it all in abundance. My family would eat an entire loaf of bread during dinner. I was over weight as a adolescent but not obese. I slimmed down in high school to play sports but used that as an excuse to eat more. When I played sports in high school I would eat entire crumb cakes at one sitting, gorge on cold cuts, cereals and breads while drinking quarts of orange juice and milk. When I stopped playing sports I didn't stop eating... That's a problem.

My family's best stories are all about food. The one about my who aunt made this italian dish or my uncle who baked this special bread and how we all enjoyed eating these things. Like the one where my cousin is rumored to have eaten 3 pizzas in one sitting. Now, I've never verified this story by actually asking cousin if it was true. Maybe because I not only love to eat but I also love to hear stories about eating?

This obsession with food is at the heart of my problem...

When I'm happy I eat. I remember once I was driving home and received word that I closed a big deal. I immediately stopped at a fast food place to "celebrate" in my own way with a greasy burger meal. Then came home and ate dinner.

When I'm stressed I eat. Eating comfort food is like taking a mini-vacation from reality which gives my mind time to rest and recover. If I have a tough day at work an Snickers bar or Doritos will do the trick.

I guess I am an over eater because I am an emotional eater. Pacifying my emotions with a cupcake or bag of chips. Soothing my nerves with some beef jerky or a vanilla milk shake.

So one of the important changes I have to make is to figure out a non-caloric way to cater to my emotions. I have a feeling that this will be the toughest change for me.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My New Scale Is On It's Way!

I just bought the scale mentioned in a previous post on Amazon. Should be here in 5 days or so. $167.00 with free shipping. Good reviews. Can't wait!


Inspirational Bloggers

A shout out to Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit's blog ( His site gave me the inspriation to use writing as a method to help me on my quest to change my life. A good dose of humor into a challenge or problem is always a good thing... at least for me.


A Few Things That Suck When Your A Fat Person

There are many things that suck when your huge but these are really frustrating:

  1. Traveling on an airplane. The seats are not designed for wide bodies. Having to ask the flight attendant for a "seat belt extender" really sucks. A few years ago I lifted one from Continental. However, putting it on with someone next to you is still very embarrassing.
  2. Attending sports events. Stadium seats are narrow as hell. I have to sit on the edge of the seat the entire game with my arms folded. Very uncomfortable. When I'm regular size I'm really going to enjoy sitting back in my seat watching a game drinking my $5 bottle of water. Walking from the parking lot to the stadium can be an adventure in back pain as well depending on the distance.
  3. Unlocking the gas cap. Yes, when I pull into a gas station I can't just reach down and pull the handle that opens the gas cap. I have to open the car door so I can reach around to pull it. Solution: open the cap before I get in the car to go to the gas station so it is open when I get there.
  4. Going on a vacation. Generally, most vacation spots require you to be an active person. If it's a beach it means showing body parts. When your big it's not easy saying yes to vacations because you know that you will be like a fifth wheel holding the rest of the group up as they whisk off to the daily activity. If you're flying to your destination see #1.
  5. Buying a car. When you're fat you have to make sure you fit in the driver's seat before you can buy the car. You have to also make sure the seat belt fits around your large girth. No kidding.
  6. Washing certain areas of your body. Depending on your size and body configuration you may have trouble reaching certain areas of your body to perform normal hygiene activities. Believe it or not they make devices to assist large people with this. Never had buy any of those thank you very much, but getting close to it. Thus, another reason to change things now.
  7. Not participating with some standard family activities. Bike riding, boating, hiking, long walks, tennis, golf, yard work, etc. Most of these are crossed off the list when your huge. You tend to stay at home while your wife and kids have fun doing active things.
  8. Taking the subway. The best way to get around NYC is underground. However, there are a lot of stairs to get up and down to and from the subway system. A lot of stairs. Very few stations have elevators or escalators. A trip from midtown to downtown via taxicab ain't cheap theses days. Taking up two seats on the train isn't fun either.

I'm sure you can come up with more. Let's see your comments... I'll add more as I think of them.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Preparation Continues

I spent some time on WebMD today figuring out recommended caloric intake which is 2,265. Seems like a lot but that number reduces fast if you graze the cookie jar or pantry too often. I'd like to try to keep it around 2000 calories per day. A nice round, easy to remember number. If I do that and walk 15 mins per day my net caloric intake would be 1,850.

According to WebMD's calculator my RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) is: 3,265. So theoretically... I should have a calorie deficit of 1,415 per day. Since there are 3,500 in a pound I should lose about 1 pound every 2.4 days... 2 pounds per week on average is what I'm shooting for.

The initial exercise doesn't help the calorie burn that much each day but it will get me in shape to expand the exercise for a higher caloric burn rate.

Getting all these numbers in my head will he helpful I think. Going to buy the scale soon. Familiy being very supportive. Results will keep me motivated.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Countdown continues...

The day is approaching. 1/1/2010 is the day I start my new life of eating to live and exercising. The holiday foods in the house are slowly dissipating. Still some left overs that will be consumed tonight for dinner. Preparing my mind to stay focused when I start. I want to succeed this time.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Post Mortum

Well I did pretty well getting through two Christmas feast (Christmas Eve and Day). I goal was to taste all the great things that were served but not to fill up until I felt I was going to explode. I even kept myself to two small cups of eggnog (I could drink a quart). I felt full both days but not stuffed. Had the Eat To Live thought in my head during both dinners. Felt good.

Still have some holiday leftovers to go through and have to steer clear cookies and the candy the kids got in their stockings.

New Year's eve is the next feast... then after that its EAT TO LIVE IN 201o!

Haven't started to exercise yet. Have to do that soon.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm Going To Buy A Physician's Scale

Since a normal scale that you would buy for under $50 doesn't have the capacity to weigh my big butt I'm going to buy a Physician's Scale. This one looks pretty good

Good reviews on Amazon. Having this will take away the "well, I can't weigh myself" excuse.

My wife will be suprised when this box shows up at the door! Other rationale for this purchase... the entire family will use it.

A few more changes I plan to make...

  • No unhealthy fast food.
  • No stopping at convenience stores to pick up a few "snacks"
  • No eating in the car or while driving... this could result in bad things happening anyway
  • I won't skip meals, especially breakfast
  • Substitute water for diet soda
  • No eating after dinner (a big NO-NO)
  • Exercise everyday (a big YES-YES)

I'm sure I'll think of more as times goes by. But this is a good start.

My Christmas Wish

I come from an Italian American family. Christmas Eve is a great tradition for my family... we spend it together every year. My parents, brothers, sisters and all of our kids. It is a time to slow down and spend time with each other. I've loved it since I was a young boy.

Is it also the climax of the eating year for my family. I start thinking about it around Thanksgiving. My brother will text me "ready for Christmas Eve?" This is code for are you ready to over eat? We have many traditional Italian foods.. mostly fish. And then there are the cookies, cakes, candies. My mother and sisters are wonderful bakers and I look forward to eating (not sampling) all of their creations.

I can honestly say that during the past 2 years I have not over indulged during this feast. I've been careful not to over do it. However, it is a "tradition of eating" and I think of it that way.

Will it be OK in my new lifestyle to think fo Christmas Eve as a "tradition of eating"? NO IT WILL NOT BE OK. I think beginning this year I will travel to the celebration looking forward to being with my family and enjoying a good meal.

It's the normal days throughout the year that I have to change. It's the lack of excerise I have to change. When I'm fit I won't feel guilty about eating an extra cookie or two during the Holidays.

So what is my Christmas wish? To have the resolve and will power to get on track after the holidays and stay on track. Take the right steps, one step at a time.

Merry Christmas


Thoughts and Goals - My New Life in 2010

I am a middle aged American man who is extremely obese. I have a wonderful family who I love very much and they love me as well. I have battled with food addiction my entire life growing up in a family that saw food as a comfort rather than a source of energy. I want to break from my food addiction problem and someday have a healthy lifestyle. I have a lot of weight to lose... maybe 200 pounds. I can't really say for sure because sadly I don't have a scale that measures up to my weight but I would venture to say I am at least 400 pounds if not more. However I know how I want my body to be and that's where I want to get to.

My family wants me to be around to see my kids grow up. I want the same.

I have started this blog as a way to express my feelings and thoughts. I hope it will be therapy for me as I venture into this new life. I also hope that anyone who reads this will find it as inspiration.

I have to stop turning to foods for comfort when work is stressful or when I'm worried about something. I have to learn to eat to live.... not live to eat. I'm a smart guy and I should be able to figure this out.

I will begin on January 1st, 2010. My initial plan is to:

1. Exercise at least 15 minutes per day. i will start out by walking on the tread mill three times a day for 5 minutes each time.

2. Reduce the amount of bread and bread like foods from my diet. I have a serious addiction to breads and this I think will help.

3. No more eating after dinner. I have a bad habit of eating after my family has gone to bed. This is not good. After 1/1/2010... once I finish dinner I am done eating for the day.

4. Eat only what my wife prepares. I have been doing this for a while now but have to cut out anything in between meals.

5. If I have to eat out, eat healthy. I have a tendency to use eating out as the excuse to eat unhealthy or fattening foods. This has to stop.

My goal for 2010 is to lose enough weight to where I am feeling like I can move again. Where the simple movements are natural again. In 12 months I would like to lose 75 pounds. I think that if I follow these steps I have a good chance of obtaining my goals.

Why do I want to lose weight?

So I can extend my life and live to see my kids grow up and have a great life with my wife.

So I can easily walk to wherever I have to go.

So I am not embarassed when my clothes don't fit

So I can travel on an airplane without having to use a seat belt extender. I have my own but it's still embarassing to have to squeeze into those tiny seats and hold my breath while I buckle up.

So am not always thinking that my kids are embarrased of me.

So I can fit into any car and use the seatbelt.

So I can go to a pro sports game and fit into the seat.

So I can wear nice, stylish clothes.

So I can love myself again. Don't get me wrong.. I like myself... but I don't love myself. I want to be comfortable in my body again.

That's it for now... Holiday dinners coming up. Will post on that separetly.