Probably one of the worst things about this disease is the weight gain. I absolutely hate the fact that I’ve gotten so much fatter. You see, I’ve always had problems with eating. I was always a pretty chubby kid when I was younger, and that fact tortured me to no end. I played rocket football, and to touch the ball, you had to weigh less than 155 pounds. I played tight end, and the fact that I had to make weight every week made me hyper-aware of the state of my stomach. This created a psychological complex that made me feel a lot bigger than I was. My body-image magnified any weight gains and blew everything way out of proportion.
Then, I started running and my body matured as I got into high school, and I lost the baby fat. However, I had only cured the symptom, and not the disease: I still had an awful diet. I still ate in the manner that had made me chubby in the first place; the only difference is that I was running a lot of and, to quote John L. Parker in Once a Runner “if the furnace was hot enough, anything would burn, even Big Macs.” My diet remained awful, but even that wasn’t the real issue.
I am addicted to food.
I have an addictive personality, and I would definitely characterize the way I eat as an addiction. I literally ate an entire 48-pack of fruit rollups once. There are no two ways about it: that is addictive behavior. It was funny when I did it as an in-shape, 195 pound runner. It becomes serious when I do things like that as a 240 pound dude who has lupus. I honestly have a problem, and the nature of my disease is forcing me to confront it
Ultimately, the problem boils down to self-control. Paul of Tarsus once said “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” This, is my problem. The whole time I was gaining weight, I knew how to stop it. It ain’t rocket science, bro! Just don’t eat stuff that’s bad and eat less in general. However, I was a slave to my desires and I couldn’t stop, even once my dosage of Prednisone went down.
Today, I had an epiphany. I was on my way to get a Mountain Dew from the vending machine at school to feed my addiction to sugar when I had stopped in the bathroom. I was had a little staring contest with the person in the mirror and got hit with the crushing realization that I hated the way he looked. This is nothing new, but what I did afterwards is.
I decided not to guzzle sugar-water. At that moment It was as if something inside me popped and I realized that I could no longer continue to engage in behavior that takes such a toll on my mind and body. It’s as simple as that.
Concerning training, John L. Parker also said “The only true way is to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many days, weeks, months, and (if you could finally come to accept it) years.” I have to adopt the same attitude towards my diet. Everyone is enthusiastic on the first day of a training program. Those that run day in and day out are successful while the springtime patriots and the fairweather fans give up once the initial “ferocity of ambition” wears off. Diet is a part of training. Therefore, I will approach my diet with the same mentality that I approach training with.
I’ve decided to become a vegetarian as a part of this new mindset. I’ll explain why in an in-depth manner in a later post.