Addictions,  All Posts,  My Diet,  My Health

The High Cost Of Being Fat

I became a vegetarian about ten years ago. I did it for the animals but I expected to lose weight because I’d never seen an overweight vegetarian. Sadly I see one, now, whenever I look in a mirror. It turns out eating a lot of fried foods and sugar will make you fat even if you don’t eat meat.

I have struggled with my weight ever since I had my first child and settled down. Every year I just seem to get bigger. I have tried so many things.

Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Lite and Easy, Intermittent Fasting and good old fashioned will power or, as some might call it, won’t power. All of them helped me to lose weight but none have helped me keep the weight off. Worst of all, after every diet, I always put all the weight I lost back on PLUS several kilo’s more.

Jenny Craig was far too expensive for me to stay with. Just joining cost me over 700 dollars and that was in the 1980’s! The cost of the food was crazy expensive back then. I have no idea if it still is but it would probably have the same problem I had with Lite and Easy even if the costs are less now.

Weight Watchers was less successful in helping me lose weight because I was inclined to skip meetings if I thought I had over done my eating for the previous week.

Lite and Easy worked well and the cost was sustainable but there were limited meal choices and they grew boring after a while. I don’t think you can blame the product. Their meals just don’t have the addiction factor that allows you to eat them day after day without getting sick of them like pizza and other unhealthy foods do.

I tried intermittent fasting out of sheer desperation about five years ago. One meal a day I called it. I could eat anything my heart desired once a day but once I was full that was it. Turns out I didn’t invent that diet. It’s called intermittent fasting. You fast for 23 hours and eat whatever you want for the next hour before fasting for another 23 hours.

That diet worked well. I got used to the hunger pangs and I even stopped having them once I got used to the regime. After a few weeks I even stopped wanting all the unhealthy foods I had craved previously like pizza, fish and chips, sugary treats and desserts. It was as if my body was in control and telling me it couldn’t make it through the next 23 hours on sugar and grease alone. It wanted fruit and vegetables and “real” food with vitamins and real nutrition that would keep it going through to the next meal. It was great and I was going strong.

Then I quit smoking.

I couldn’t handle that and a diet at the same time so I quit the diet. I told myself it was just until I got used to being a non-smoker but I’m still waiting for the eating to stop.

It’s as if I have transferred all my addictive energy from the other things to food!

I can’t remember the last time I went gambling. That addiction is in the past praise God! I don’t play any online games any more apart from the usual patience, mahjong, yahtzee type games and I am in no way addicted to any of those so my online game addiction is over too. It has also been more than five years since I last had a cigarette. I have zero interest in ever going back to that prison of addiction so I seem to be free of all previous addictions.

Now, it seems, food has moved in to the space they vacated and has filled the gap and then some!

Conquering a food addiction is not going to be easy. You can’t just go cold turkey like I did with smoking. You have to eat or you die. The gaming and gambling addictions kind of faded away as my life changed. I got too ill to be sitting at my computer for hours and I was too tired to go out to play the pokies most of the time. None of that has any impact on the need to eat. No matter how tired or ill you are you have to eat and I did/do.

As I got fatter and fatter my health has declined. My knees hurt so bad from carrying far more weight than they were ever designed to carry. The pain puts a stop to any interest I might have had in walking or doing any form of exercise that requires using my knees!

My blood pressure has gone up and that causes breathlessness and chest pain if I try doing anything – even climb a few stairs.

I have high cholesterol levels and something called ‘fatty liver’. Those make me feel unwell and tired. More incentive to rest rather than exercise.

Recently I’ve developed pain in my hip and shoulder that could be bursitis or it could be a pulled ligament but it makes getting around tough and it makes exercise out of the question. Just getting up off a chair is almost too hard for me now.

I take a daily thyroid replacement pill thanks to losing my thyroid gland to cancer several years ago. I’ll have to take those for the rest of my life no matter what I weigh so I’m resigned to that.

I also have to take vitamin B12 and vitamin D pills each day and I might need to keep taking them too regardless of what I weigh.

If I lost the weight I wouldn’t have to keep taking a blood pressure pill every day though. I’m sure of that. I was taking one a day before I lost weight last time but I was able to stop taking it as soon as I lost a few kilos so the weight is causing the high blood pressure.

I’m supposed to be taking a pill for my high cholesterol but side effects were not acceptable and, again, I just know if I could get the weight off I wouldn’t need to take it.

I am very much afraid I might be, literally, a handful of kilo’s away from being bed ridden and unable to walk! Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever think I could, or would, get this fat but here I am.

It scares me a lot to be honest.

Look around. How many obese 70 or 80+ year olds do you see? Not many. Most really old people are quite thin. I don’t think age thins them. I think the fat ones die and only the thin people make it to 70 or 80 or older! I’m 62 now. I’m getting close to the age where fat people seem to vanish!

I’m trying. I’m motivated. I just seem to have transferred all that helpless ‘slave to addiction’ part of my psyche to food and I’ll eat to the point where I feel like I will throw up if I have one more bite and then I’ll eat two or three or four or more mouthfuls and, somehow, I overcome the urge to vomit.

I have a brand new elliptical machine that I bought years ago to try and get fitter/slimmer. I’ve used it a mere handful of times and never for longer than five minutes. I’ve never been fit enough to keep going longer than five minutes and, at the moment, I doubt I could make that long on it.

I’m frightened and tired and ill and I know those things would come good, or at least improve, if I could just get some of this weight off. I just don’t understand why I can’t knock some sense into myself, get a grip on it, pull my shyte together and do what I should do, need to do, want to do.

So, once again, the only hope is God. He rescued me from all the other addictions. I know He can rescue me from this one too and so I pray. In His own good time He will save me from myself but, if I dig my own grave with my teeth, then I have to trust He can make something good come from it.

Meanwhile, if you have a spare minute, can you please add your prayers to mine? Thank you.

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