Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm still learning and growing.

by Paul

I’m still learning about food and me.

For most my life I’ve been eating food wrong in one way or another.

For many years I was in hot pursuit of being a pro football player - so I ate everything... and ate it fast. I took weight gainers and other natural supplements to get bigger and stronger. In the Navy I was taught how to eat food quick and be on my way. I never had anyone in my life teach me what food really was or why we even eat food other than we need to eat it to “survive”. My nickname growing up in my family was “PIGPEN” because of how much and of what I ate - I ate everything.

One of the reasons I started losing weight is because of something one of my younger brothers said to me while we were at a huge buffet table - he said, “You know - you’re the biggest one of us brothers”. That was when I started on my first change and learning process.

After being over 300 pounds and getting back down to a more manageable weight, the last few years I’ve been learning slowly what food is and how I am affected by it. I’ve yo-yoed the last few years with different things going on in my life and it has got really frustrating. I’m learning as I go - and everytime I think I have it down, something happens and throws me back into bad habits. I hate that I’ve looked at food as some kind of reward - awarding myself for good deeds or accomplishments. It gets frustrating to keep knocking off the same weight I just took off a few months ago.

This past month after accomplishing my goal of finishing the PCT50 mile run I let myself party and I awarded myself free reign on all food and alcohol. What did that do for me? I ballooned up to 245 pounds on June 19th when I checked it.

When I am training I trick myself into thinking that I can eat anything I want - because I’m training so hard. That is not right either - it doesn’t matter - if you are eating more calories then you are expending then you stay the same or gain. I am slowly learning that I am treating food wrong in more ways than I thought.

This past week my wife and I started the Engine 2 Meal plan - which involves eating all plant-based foods and taking all animal-based foods out. What that has done in one week has amazed me - I’ve lost 10 pounds and my wife has lost 4 pounds. Which is pretty crazy, because we haven’t starved ourselves at all. I have had less calories because I was eating a lot before this, but my wife hasn’t - she probably added calories to her diet through this meal plan. It’s just everything we eat is plant-based.

I’ve learned something over this past week - and from some Ultra runners - that food is not everything and I shouldn't use it as an award for accomplishing my goals.

So now when I accomplish one of my goals I’m going to go shopping for some running gear or something else fun. I might even set up a mini vacation somewhere for those big accomplishments.

If I keep learning and growing then I’ll be happy in my eating and in my life.

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