So I have a confession. I can sometimes be guilty of watching reality shows. *Gasp* I know, they suck. They are every thing that is wrong with the world, but there is just something fun about watching contestants go to ridiculous lengths to find love or make a quick dollar or chase their 15 minutes of fame. I happen to have fallen victim to the Jon & Kate saga, and while I’m not surprised Jon left Kate because she could be an unbelievable beeyotch at times, Jon sure is acting like a certifiable douchebag more and more every day and should really focus on his kids. Another show that has been on my radar lately is More to Love . I will have thoughts on that one really soon.
I love The Biggest Loser and I cannot not even count the number of times I told my wife that if I was on that show I could win the whole thing. I felt like I needed that show to force me to lose weight. I needed Jillian and Bob and a giant scale to force me to exercise and eat right. I always knew in my heart of hearts that only if I could be on that show, I would lose weight and change my life. As it turns out all I needed was a little kick in the pants. That said though, my weight loss journey coincided with the last season that started in January 09'. For the first 2 months or so, I would have never fallen below the yellow and would not have faced elimination. It helped motivate me and inspire me to keep doing what I was doing. I saw that if those guys could do it, so could I. I saw them busting their butt everyday not only for the cash prize, but for the ultimate prize of life. They constantly talked about changing their life. Each and every one of them was of comparable size to me and each of them was given a gambit of health tests and evaluations and were told that they were going to die soon if they didn’t change. So was I.
More recently the show started to focus on the question “why are you overweight?” Sure you eat too much and lay on the couch watching reality TV, but the answer is deeper, way deeper. The real question is why don’t you care enough about yourself, why don’t you respect yourself enough, why don’t you think you are worth it?
Most of us that are morbidly overweight have the same story. We struggled with our weight all our lives. We were always the fat person that was funny and would do spot-on Chris Farley impersonations. Our self confidence was non-existent. Maybe we didn’t feel loved enough or maybe we didn’t feel as though we were meeting expectations or maybe we just wanted to just go away and be forgotten. Food was a refuge. It made us feel good, because it didn’t judge, it did what it was supposed to do and it filled that emotional void.
I had a conversation with a couple of people at work who said that when they see overweight people with giant McDonalds sacks full of food or fat people getting on the elevator to go up 1 flight of stairs, that they had no sympathy for them and actually spoke as if they were quite disgusted. My co-workers are not bad people, but how can they be so judgmental? Fat people don’t want to be fat. You know when your high school counselor asks you what you want to be when you grow up. A morbidly obese person whose internal organs struggle to sustain life everyday is not the answer that they get. Food is an addiction, just as powerful as any drug or alcohol addiction could ever be, with one huge difference. A food addict can feed their addiction way easier and cheaper than a heroin addict can. It takes all of $4.32 to buy 4 double cheeseburgers from McD’s which happens to total 1760 calories and 92 grams of fat. That’s a helluva deal at only $0.0025 cents per calorie. The calories though, aren’t even the worst part – that comes after you gobble down the 4 double cheeseburgers in about 6 and a half minutes and you feel guilty and disgusting. I know this for a fact.
I’m not sure how to reach out to people that are in this place; because I know when I was at my heaviest the “I can’t” attitude reigned supreme. I didn’t want to hear it. I knew I needed to make a change but I wasn’t willing to. I wasn’t ready. I had to be ready mentally and emotionally to change. I had to answer the question of why am I fat? Once I was ready to face that question, I was ready to conquer my food addiction and lose the weight for good. That is why I refuse to call what I do a diet. Diet insinuates a short term fix. What I do, is for a lifetime.