Category: deformities

consumed

“Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.”
-Peter De Vries

“Well, I hate myself.  I already have a pint of ice cream, a pizza, and mini eclairs.  I don’t need these cookies.  I’ll have to put something back.  Pizza.  I’ll put that back.  I have pizza at home.  But no, that’s why I came here.  I want this kind of pizza, not the kind I have at home.

“I’ll just put back these eclairs.  I can do without them.  Yes, I feel good about this.  Actually, no, these eclairs remind me of the time when I was in college and went to Publix and bought eclairs and ate them all in my car to soothe the pain of being a gigantic loser.  Those were good memories and I think I want to re-capture them.

“And I really want this ice cream.  And the cookies.  I haven’t had the cookies in a long time.

“I’ll make chili dogs when I get home.  I don’t need this pizza.  But if I bought the pizza, I could have that the day after.  That way I could satisfy my cravings for chili dogs and pizza.  Yeah, I have to keep the pizza.  But I have one at home.  But this one has a cheese stuffed crust.  I’m definitely keeping the pizza.  Nah, the one at home is just as good.

“Okay, pizza is gone.  Too many sweets here.  Okay, ice cream gone.  Just eclairs and cookies.  That’s not too bad.

“Okay, the ice cream is back.  I know I can do without it but it will literally be on my mind, making me crazy, until I eat it so it’s better to go ahead and get it so I won’t drive myself nuts.  But that means I’ll have to, have to, put back the cookies.  I’ve got to compromise.  I don’t want to spend too much money.  Or calories.  But my diet is already shot.  What’s another weekend binge?

“Damn it.  Okay, keeping the eclairs for sure.  It’s just…I’m so annoyed right now and these frozen foods, these processed pizzas, is what soothes me.  I know I’m hurting myself.  This is not normal, healthy behavior.  But I’m sad and so I just don’t care.

“Screw it, I’m gonna get the pizza too.”

This is an average conversation I have with myself when I go to the grocery store, except I use a lot more foul language and stand around being indecisive for a longer period of time.  People passing by probably think I’m lost.  And in a way, I am. Continue reading

heterotaxia

“You love, love, love
when you know I can’t love
you love, love, love
when you know I can’t love you
so I think it’s best we both forget
before we dwell on it…”
-Of Monsters and Men, Love Love Love

If someone says they love you but they don’t show it, does it really count?

It’s like living in poverty with a million dollar bank account no one told you about.  You’re rich but you’re not rich.  You’re blessed but you’re not blessed.  You’re loved but you’re not loved.

I don’t want to say not being in a relationship has been detrimental to my self-worth but I don’t think it’s helped.  I just keep thinking how I’m 27 and have never connected with anyone on a deep, meaningful level.  And the one time I thought I did, well, it disintegrated and completely changed the way I saw people.  If that strong of a friendship could crumble, there was no hope for me and anyone else.

But stuff happens.  People form relationships and those relationships sometimes end due to any number of circumstances.  And sometimes you’re left wallowing in your own cesspool of self-doubt because no one else comes along to help you correct your interpersonal errors.  Sometimes locations and circumstances make it hard to hone in on a partner.  Or even a friend.

There must be some benefit to being told your loved by someone outside your bloodline.  They can be with anyone but they choose to be with you.  They open their hearts to the possibility of pain and see through the marks on your skin and the mistakes in your mind.  Someone out there came to you and decided to stay because you were worth getting to know.  For me, people have come into my life but it’s the staying part that seems so difficult.  Do I subconsciously drive people away?  Do they just get tired of my incessant self-deprecation?  Or do they get bored with my personality?

I often feel like a novelty act, a brand new Brannon still in the cellophane and once the protective casing has been cut away and I’ve been squeezed of jokes and encouragement and conversation, I am discarded.  The newness wears away as the imperfections poke through the shellacked surface that’s eventually worn away through long exchanges and lots of laughs and eventual awkward pauses.  Then missed e-mails.  Unanswered text messages.  Phone calls not returned.  There’s something about me that hooks people in but once they’ve penetrated whatever “thing” magnetizes them to me, they realize I am too flawed, too flat, too frail to stick with and they eventually pull out.

I’m not trying to make myself look like a victim.  I know you think I am.  But I’m not.  And I am not blaming anyone who has gone away.  I wouldn’t want to put up with someone like myself either!  The novelty becomes a nuisance after a while.  And everyone says they aren’t like everyone else.  They’ll stick around.  They never do.  Some stay longer than others, but for me, it’s just a waiting game.  Classmates never called when class was over.  Co-workers never kept in contact when they found better jobs.  Old roommates haven’t written.  It hurts.  It hurts so bad.  But I’m not bitter about it and I don’t blame them.  I just take it for what it is: another form of rejection, just a slow kind, a knife plunged inside by inches.

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cacao kapow!

Valentine’s Day hit me like Chris Brown in a Bronco.  I’m not talking about just being alone (although that did have a lot to do with it).  I’m talking about the enormous amount of crap I ate.

I won an entire plastic container full of Hershey Kisses from work and then the store gave everyone a box of chocolates and my mom bought two boxes of chocolate for me.  After consuming that much sugar and chocolate and lard and fat and lard and sugar and chocolate and fat and lard and more lard and the occasional coconut cluster that slipped past my security measures (yuck), I felt like total garbage.

It’s kind of amazing how you don’t realize how bad you stopped feeling until you start feeling bad again.

I always thought I was impervious to sugar, caffeine, Aspartame, vitamins and minerals, love, legally obtained prescription drugs, etc.,  because I can have that stuff and it doesn’t make me more energetic or foggy or good or bad.  I’ve always walked around generally feeling like crap.  So, when I started exercising and eating less greasy, fast food-type items, I didn’t feel more energetic or “alive” or better physically or even mentally.

All it took was a near month-long binge of boxed chocolates to make me realize I didn’t feel as bad as I believed.  And you might say a month-long binge of chocolates will make anyone feel that way, no matter what condition they started in.  Even the most lethargic sloth would come away from three boxes of cocoa-coated caramels feeling worse.  But that chocolate wasted feeling was how I used to feel all the time before I started dieting and exercising.

I felt bad that I indulged so heavily.  I write these entries about doing well.  I write about moderation and it’s okay to cheat every once in a while and you just get up and do better the next time around.  And then I binge.  And it happens to everyone but I still feel like I should be a better example.  I’ve battled food and my weight and my addiction to food for years and you’d think I’d develop some sort of resistance to the constant cravings.  But, no.  In a lot of ways, I’m no better now than when I was seventeen and bingeing on Doritos and Diet Coke.

I also feel like I’m not as in touch with my body as I should be.  I don’t know what’s going on inside.  I can’t detect the changes in my mood or my middle.  There’s a giant disconnection there and I don’t know how to harmonize my senses and awareness. 

If anything, I guess this overindulgence was a good lesson.  There might be something to this diet and exercise after all, folks!  Maybe it does make a difference, even if the differences are subtle and fluid and not easily recognized by those who aren’t in touch with themselves.    

cotard’s syndrome

I was talking to my supervisor at work the other day and out of nowhere, she said, “Brannon, from some of our conversations we’ve had, it seems to me like you’re dying a very slow death.”

“Been there, done that,” I said.  “Now I’m just rotting.”

i am not my beard

I buzzed my beard off the other night because I was tired of the rough texture.  I went to work the next day and was met with audible gasps.  Not good audible gasps, either.  More like shock and terror.

“What did you do to your face?”

“Where’s the beard?”

“You…you shaved it?”

“Grow it back!”

People acted like I was missing an eye or a nose instead of facial hair.  I know they didn’t mean to make me feel bad but they did.  I didn’t realize I was some gargoyle and the only thing that kept people from bursting into tears at the site of me was my beard.  It was a mask, a filter, a softening lens that cranked down my deformed face.

Or maybe it was just the shock of seeing my face look so different so fast.  As I grew the beard, everyone was slowly introduced to bearded Bran, including myself.  And taking it all off with a few strokes of the clippers was a bit jarring.  I had the beard for nearly three months and it just became a part of me as if it were always there and suddenly it wasn’t.  I didn’t recognize the smooth stranger in the bathroom mirror.

I didn’t like everyone’s reaction.  I didn’t even like my own.  I didn’t regret buzzing it off but I do like the way I look better with a beard.  But my face feels so much better without one.  When I had the beard, I combed and clipped and conditioned and even through in some argon oil to soften the facial hair but it still felt too rough for my liking.  And sometimes when I slept on my side or stomach, the facial hair against the pillow really irritated my cheeks.

I also realized maintaining facial hair was actually more intensive than just shaving it clean off.  There’s a lot of maintenance involved.  Clipping.  Washing.  Conditioning.  Keeping the neckline even and clean.  Trying not to get food or bugs or girls’ fingers caught in it.  Serious upkeep.

Yes, the beard will come back but I won’t do it for anyone else but myself.  This is kind of a big deal because I’ve always been so used to doing things the way others wanted, living and looking the way others have dictated.  But I’m not doing that anymore.  In fact, I am thinking about holding off on growing the beard back even longer than I normally would just out of spite!  Take that, jerks.

It’s gonna be my choice, no one else’s.  And I’m going to rock it either way. 

I think just about every guy has done this at least one time when debearding.

fearfully and wonderfully slayed, part 2

“Just let your faith die…”
AFI, Sacrilege

I hear people say that unanswered prayers are still answered.  I keep thinking of that stupid footprints story.  Maybe you’ve seen me through all the pain and I never realized it or maybe I just made it on my own.  How will I ever know because you’ll never tell me!  How can I keep the faith when there’s no sign, no feeling, no subtle recognition to keep me going, to let me know I’m doing the right thing?  Am I just wasting my time?

I kept praying, turned away from my sins, tried to think positive thoughts, focused on you and nothing ever changed.  I was empty on the inside and disappointed with the nothing in the sky.  Why couldn’t I get a sign or a feeling of reassurance?  Why was there such a disconnect between me and you?  Was I still doing something so wrong as to keep you so far away?

I looked for you and only saw sadness.  I saw confusion over the course my life had taken.  I saw this little boy who sat alone, teary-eyed, wondering where the love and comfort was that was promised to him in a big book with big words and big promises if only he would believe in it all.

I believed in you.  But you didn’t believe in me.

I put everything into college and it was the biggest financial and emotional mistake of my life, one that I will likely pay for until I die, which will probably be sooner than later.  Not only did college not work out but I barely scraped through graduation with all of my limbs.  My mind was destroyed as well as my spirit.

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fearfully and wonderfully slayed, part 1

“If I ask you ‘what is truth’ will you be silent still?
My questions and doubts made a chasm
That I fear you can not fill…”

-Showbread, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
 
I met up with God the other day.  He actually let me record our conversation and I have conveniently transcribed it for you.  We had a long talk, or actually I had a lot to say to him.  You might notice he was sparse with the responses, which wasn’t surprising.  Below is our exchange.

Me:  What’s up, Lord?  I know you’re busy not answering prayers and and standing idly by as the world crumbles, yet somehow swooping in and saving certain individuals from damnation to propel the proselytizing of non-believers, but we need to have some tea and a chat.  You’ve been dodging me for twenty-six years so the very least you can do is spare me a few minutes.

God:  *irritated, pointing to iPhone*

Me:  Sure, I’ll let you finish your call.  Tell Jesus I said hi and that I miss him.

God hangs up after several minutes, looks at me, becomes morose.

Me:  Please, have a seat.  Can I get you a Snuggie?  Nescafe?  Comfortable?  Good.  This is gonna take a while.

God:  *rolls eyes*

Me:  I hate to be negative right from the start so let’s get to the good stuff first, shall we?  First of all, I am an incredibly fortunate individual.  I guess you’d prefer the term “blessed”.  Sure, we can use your terminology.  I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you played some part in the positive aspects of my life.  I’ve never starved because my family couldn’t afford food.  I’ve never been beaten by my mother or molested by my father.  I’ve never been left out in the cold or went without adequate clothing.  I’ve never had loved ones torn away from me by death or divorce.

My life is easy.

But I am absolutely miserable.

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bullets or bitters?

“It feels so much like falling
dying while I wait to die
the fear of something or nothing
lonely empty lie…”

-Flyleaf, Much Like Falling

“I’m on my way to hell,
well I’ve tried
God knows that I’ve tried…”
Brand New, Noro

“When are you leaving here?” a coworker asked me one day.

“5:30,” I replied.

“No, I mean leave leave,” he said.

“Oh.  Whenever I get up enough courage to take that entire bottle of Tylenol I have in my medicine cabinet.”

He just laughed.  “Uh, no, I mean just quitting this job.”

“Well, once that Tylenol has absorbed, that’ll be my resignation.”

He laughed again.  “You’re warped.”

“Yeah…I know.  Hence the Tylenol.”

I was joking.  Mostly.  But even though I was kidding around, it occurred to me that I kid about suicide a lot.  And back before I was moved to a different department,  when I wasn’t busy and the boss was away for the day, I often slipped to the edge of my counter and wrote.  One day, a supervisor came through, saw me, and said, “What are you writing there?”

Without missing a beat, I said, “My suicide note.”  She too laughed and kept walking.  I guess she didn’t take me seriously or maybe my coworkers all laughed out of discomfort.  It makes sense.  I can dish it out to others but I don’t know how I would react if I found someone who could match my morbidity.  I might be a little uncomfortable, too.

I often think about dying, about getting out of this place, out of my skin, shimmying my way out of the mess I have made of my life.  If I’m left too idle, if I’m not distracted by television or music, I think about my life and it horrifies me.  It settles in that this is my life, this is what I’ve become.  It’s hard to realize this is not practice.  I’m not test driving life.  I’m living it and I’m hating it.  When I sit back and really think about where I am and how I’m living, it makes me so despondent.  It’s like, this is really it.  This isn’t a fantasy.  This isn’t a book or a movie where things are comically bad until I win the lottery or fall in love and everything is suddenly wonderful on the series finale.  There are days when I want nothing more than to just get out, you know, to just hit the eject button and be done.

There’s always been a part of me that has longed for death, from being a little boy who prayed to God to kill me in my sleep so I would never have to wake up again to working at the electronic bingo facility a couple of years ago and nearly driving myself off the road.  I got into my car and made the hour and a half trip to and from the job and I often thought about crashing my car into a light pole or tree or even just accelerating as fast as my little Honda would allow until I swerved off the cement and into oblivion.  Maybe I’d lose control and flip.  My neck would snap, my spine would break, my brain would squish between the tree bark and transmission.  Or  maybe I’d just rupture my spleen and be taken to the hospital, stitched up and sent home to face the anger of my parents over totaling my car.

One night, I even tested it.  I gripped the steering wheel tight and pressed down on the accelerator harder and harder.  My heart rate climbed with the speedometer.  I wanted to see how it would feel to become unattached from myself, to witness the process of losing control and separating from my flesh, from my life.  But it only lasted a few moments.  I was too much of a coward to carry on with the crash.  I was not yet prepared.

I knew I’d die one day.  I just never really thought about how I would die.  I wanted to be killed but I never put much effort into thinking I’d be the one to get to do the honors.  But if/when I get to that point, how would I do it?

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insanity

I’m on the third week of the Insanity fitness program and it’s every bit as intense and intimidating and painful as the advertisements suggest.

I feel like there’s nothing left of me after every workout.  I’m pouring sweat within 5 minutes of the typically 40 minute programs and I’m completely drenched by the end of it.  I’ve never sweat like that before and have never felt so exhausted by the end of a workout.  My arms and legs are screaming and my lungs are gasping for air and I feel like I’ve just endured a boot camp session from hell.

But my title doesn’t refer to the program.  It refers to my mental condition regarding my continual struggle to lose weight.  I noticed my weight loss started to slow down so I began the Insanity program to kick things back into gear.  Additionally, I started taking Alli consistently and have tried to cut sugar out of my diet.  I hoped the pounds would really drop with all that going on but they haven’t.  Yeah, I’m still losing but it’s still going so slowly.

I hit a plateau recently where I could not get under 200 pounds.  It was so frustrating because not only was I not losing any weight but I could not break that 200 pound barrier.  It was also frustrating because every plateau was time wasted.  When I committed to losing weight back in January, I wanted to lose 60 pounds in 6 months (10 pounds a month, average of 2 pounds a week, which is safe and recommended) but it’s now the 8th month and I’ve only lost 44 pounds.  I’m very behind and it scares me because I do not want to be overweight for Christmas.  I know I have a few more months left and I even told myself that I had a couple of months of cushion room in case I didn’t make my goal right on time but that cushion is slowly dwindling.  And now that I’m running out of time, I’m feeling the pressure to knock of these last 20-30 pounds.

But fortunately, I have finally broken the 200 pounds mark and I am down to 194.8 and it feels good but I am just so impatient and just want the weight to be off already.  I’m already exhausted from the Insanity workouts and frustrated because I can’t eat pizza and all I want to do is inhale one so bad.  I know having a cheat day every once in a while is acceptable but not for me.  I’m an all or nothing kind of guy and I’ve put up a dam when it comes to food and as soon as I let a little grease slip through, the dam will break and I’ll find myself on the floor, clutching a Little Debbie in both hands with lard dribbling down my chin.

Despite the 44 pounds lost, I’m still fat.  How much more do I need to lose before I feel good about myself?

There’s been this wave of weight loss at work.  Several of my coworkers have gotten on these health kicks and have lost anywhere from 10-20 pounds and they are thin and look great and they didn’t have as much to lose or had to work as hard as I have and it sucks because I’ve lost twice as much as they have and yet I’m still bigger than all of them.

They’ve reached their goal and can move on with their lives.  But even when I reach my goal, I won’t be able to move on with my life.  This is forever.  I’ll be on a diet when I die.

It also upsets me that I can’t see my progress.  Well, I can.  I look in the mirror or see older pictures of myself and I can see a thinning in my face and frame but I still think my perspective is skewed.  I don’t see enough change to be encouraged.  I have a problem seeing my body they way it is.  When I was heavier, I mostly ignored my condition.  I ate because I was depressed and couldn’t see the damage I was doing.  I was in survival mode, eating so I wouldn’t throw myself onto railroad tracks.

But when I finally faced it, I couldn’t see how big I had gotten.  You have to remember, I was thinner in college, the thinnest I had been in my young adult life, so I graduated being as close to thin as I have ever been.  I fell into an intense depression after college and I went into my room at 174 pounds and came out of my room at 238 pounds and although it didn’t happen overnight, it felt like it did.  I think in some ways I still saw myself as still being thin because the weight slowly crept up on me.  I was used to seeing myself as thin and since I didn’t face myself as I gained the weight, I went along unaware.  I wouldn’t have noticed at all except for the fact that none of my jeans or shirts fit anymore.  And they weren’t just a bit snug.  I literally couldn’t put my clothes on.

And now that I’ve lost weight, I can’t see how smaller I’ve become because I’ve shifted my perspective to being “the fat guy” again.  I couldn’t see how big I had gotten and it’s only now that I’ve lost quite a bit of that weight that I’m starting to see how big I was/still think I am.  My body is always changing and my mind is always working to keep up with the bingeing and purging of fat.

It’s hard but not impossible.  I’m going to keep going and I’ll probably continue to be unsatisfied with my performance and the slow rate of weight loss, all along beating myself up for over eating and under exercising.  But it’ll be all right because I’ll get there.

But this is forever, remember.  So when I get there, I’ll have to then shift my focus and fight to stay there.  No matter how much weight I lose or gain or maintain, I’ll always be the fat guy.  I’ll always have that mentality, always think about how what I put in my mouth will make me fat again.  My head goes to fat content and calories and the fear that comes along with it all.  There’s no taste without trepidation, no dinner without despondency, no satisfaction without slicing myself open.              

getting to know gluttony

I don’t want to say my mom is the reason why I’m fat but…it is her fault.

I kid.  Sort of.  But my mom equates food with love and living in the South, food is fried.  We fry everything.  We fry chicken and potatoes and vegetables.  We fry desserts.  We’ll fry anything.  We’ll fry milk if you give us the chance.  So my mom equates fried food with love, which means I was doomed from the start.

My mom learned that kind of love from her mom, who probably learned from her mom.  I don’t think that’s an unusual parenting style, especially in the South, but it’s a slippery slope.  I don’t see much wrong with showing someone you care by feeding them as long as that’s not the only way you show love.  You also have to teach your kids to have a healthy relationship with food, just like you’d teach them how to have a healthy relationship with people.

My mom skipped that part.

My parents were not very affectionate, especially my father.  Once again, not unusual, but Mom’s love shined through the most when she cooked.  She conveyed her love through cornbread instead of kisses and while she just did what she knew, it had an unintentionally negative impact on me.

When I was younger, Mom asked me what I wanted from the grocery store.  I told her I didn’t want anything.

“But the kitchen is practically empty.” 

It wasn’t. 

“I just hate the idea of you and your sister walking into the kitchen and not having anything to eat.”

That sentence struck me.  My parents have been very fortunate to have always been able to provide us with more than we needed as kids.  I don’t think her concern came from a place of fearing she might not being able to have access to proper nutrition, but came from a place of fearing she might be a bad mom.  I say that because she never said she worried about us opening the closet and not having clothing or opening our backpacks and not having enough school supplies.  It was all about the food.

And so my mom passed down the notion of food and love to me, whether she meant to or not.

Even as far back as recent months, as much as I’ve tried to diet, I still look to her as a compass of sorts, following her lead when it comes to eating.  I tried to be good and follow a strict diet but if I see her eat a small plate of food in the middle of the night, I feel like it gives me license to do the same.  Or if she asks if she wants to go get a pizza for us, she knows I’m going to say yes.  Sometimes I’m only as strong as she is.  And when she gives in, I have no trouble caving as well.

I’m not exactly sure how my weight gain started.  I don’t think it was anything tragic that led me to the linguine.  At least not at first.  I was an active child.  I often played with my cousin, who was around my age.  But as I grew older, I simply grew out of playing outside.  I was not a rough and tumble child.  I was sensitive from the beginning.  I was artistic.  I liked to draw inside instead of kick up dirt outside.  I simply think the combination of an ever stocked kitchen coupled with inactivity caused my initial weight gain.

I didn’t notice my extra bulk until a classmate of mine pointed it out in fourth grade.  We had all come back from summer vacation and the first thing he said to me was, “You got fat over the summer.”  I’ll never forget it.  It was the moment I became aware of my appearance.  And over the years, I’ve only become more and more aware of myself to the point of obsession.

That was around the time I went from eating out of pleasure and convenience to eating so I could comfort myself.  I took those notions of love and feel good feelings I inherited from my mom and ran with them.  Any time I felt bad, I used food to recreate those feelings, to cover up any pain I felt.  And this continued into adolescence.

When I hit puberty, everything only got worse.  Not only was my stomach expanding but my face exploded with acne.  I was an awkward mess of excess oil and body parts padded with fat.  And so I ate to forget the freak show in the mirror.  I felt ugly and inadequate and eating only made things worse in the long run but I either didn’t realize or didn’t care at the time.  As self-aware as I thought I was, all that weight certainly creeped up on me.

But eventually, I got sick of being so big and so I lost around 20 pounds during the summer after 11th grade.  I came back to school and felt and looked decent.  After I graduated, I continued the weight loss journey and ended up losing a little over 60 pounds and went to college with a better attitude and a better body.  But I hadn’t defeated the cause of my weight gain.  I was still insecure.  I was still sad inside.  I still felt inadequate.  Somehow I had found the resolve to lose weight despite my overwhelmingly negative attitude about myself.

And then my first year of college destroyed me and once again, I turned to food to cope.   But only for a while.  Eventually, I got a hold of myself and dieted and exercised away all the weight I gained that first year.  But the issues remained, nagged at my mind and wouldn’t let me forget the gross, fat guy I still thought I was.  I buried the feelings with school work instead of food.  I hadn’t overcome my issues, only ignored them again.

It was only when I graduated from college and moved back home that I let food back in again.  It was like meeting an old, familiar lover.  And we made sweet, sweet love.  60 plus pounds worth of love.  I was more depressed than I had ever been and I did not care about anything except filling my stomach up with everything I could get my hands on.  I was in self-preservation mode.  If I didn’t reach for pie, I probably would have reached for pills.

All the weight I lost, all the hard work I put into changing my body and my mind slowly unraveled with each passing day.  I packed the weight back on over the course of two years.  And I ignored it.  I didn’t want to face myself and so I simply didn’t.

And one day I looked at myself and saw that I was back to where I started.  Overweight and still miserable.  I realized I hadn’t changed, hadn’t learned, hadn’t accomplished anything.  I felt like I had wasted my youth.

For me, food was the only constant in my world.  It wasn’t just my comfort.  It was my companion.  It was my best friend.  And although some best friends can be destructive, I didn’t care about the long-term damage.  I was looking for the short-term solution.  I couldn’t just give up on food.  I felt like I was abandoning someone who had been there with me through thick and thin (both literally and figuratively).  Me giving up food would be like me telling you to suddenly cut your best friend out of your life.  I just couldn’t do it.  It was a ridiculous notion.

But one day, just like that one  magical day in high school, I said I was tired of being like this.  I didn’t want to see another birthday as big as I was.  I didn’t want to ring in another year overweight.  Since January, I’ve made the decision to lose the weight I had gained not once, but twice.  And I’ve managed to lose 39 pounds so far.  I still have a long way to go and I’ve hit several obstacles along the way but I’ve done it before and I’m confident I can do it again.

But it’s still hard.  Even now, despite how far I’ve come in trying to recognize bad food behavior, when I’m at my lowest, all I want is food.  It’s still the only thing that soothes me.  No person, no god, no orgasm, no compliment or accomplishment is as satisfying as food.

And I even tell myself to stop.  I’ll grab some chips or reach for the frozen pizza and I’ll pause and tell myself it’s not going to help.  It’s only going to make things worse.  But I eat the chips or the pizza anyway.  I don’t care if it’s going to make things worse because I’m hurting in that moment and need to make the pain go away.  I say I’ll deal with the consequences later.  I never do.  I deal with it by eating more pizza.  By eating  more cake and pie and chips and candy.  I deal by not dealing.

I’ve realized that it’s easy to lose weight.  That’s a bold statement with the seemingly insurmountable weight struggle so many people are going through but it’s simple science.  More calories burned than consumed.  In fact, you can even pinpoint how much weight you want to lose on a weekly basis.  1 pound equals 3,500 calories.  Eat 500 less calories than you normally would every day and in 7 days you will have saved yourself 3,500 calories, which totals 1 pound.  The trick is finding out how many calories you usually eat and how many calories you need to consume to maintain or lose more.  But that’s the basics.

But my point is, physically, losing weight is easy.  It’s the mental part that is the hardest.  Diet and exercise can change your body but what is going to change your mind?  It’s all a head game, a constant fight with the demons inside you pointing you in the wrong direction.  And until you tackle those demons and exorcise them from your brain, you’ll always be in the middle of sensibility vs. gluttony.  I should know.  I’ve been caught in the crossfire more times than I can count.

My mom’s not really to blame.  I was just kidding.  If anything, the combination of fried food love and my stunted social skills and possible mental defects that no one had any control over is what contributed to me being this way.  It’s all just circumstances, random events and chances that led me here.  But I’m at a place now where I can take responsibility for my own body and actions.  Looking into the past and finding the cause of my weight issues is good because I can learn and grow from it but I don’t play the victim here.  Not in this case.  I don’t look back to blame, only to resolve.

I’ve managed to lose the 39 pounds despite not having dealt with my issues.  And until I do, it’s very likely that I’ll gain the weight back.  That’s why it’s imperative I try to fix the inside while simultaneously correcting the outside.  The problem is I just don’t know how to do that.  So until I do, I have to stay on top of my eating and working out.  I gained all the weight back because I didn’t stay on top of it.  I let myself go.  I allowed my inner insatiable beast to roam free in a playground made of pasta.  I’ve temporarily caged him but with makeshift bars.  He’s still clamoring to get out.

I can only hold him back for so long.