“What do you miss about being fat?”
The question, posed to me by my friend and mentor John Romaniello, caught me off guard. No one had ever asked me that before. I mean, after all, why would they? Who misses being fat!?
But knowing John, I knew he wasn’t just asking me because he was curious; he wanted to get me thinking.
My mind started racing as I tried to fill the silence with more than, “Umm…” What could I possible miss about being fat?
I could easily say what I didn’t miss. I didn’t miss looking in the mirror and hating what I saw. I didn’t miss feeling unattractive. I didn’t miss the low self-esteem, and having no confidence. I didn’t miss feeling unathletic. I didn’t miss hating myself…
But the thought of actually missing something about being fat? That didn’t make sense.
However, I knew there was an answer. And I knew John knew there was an answer. I just had to find it.
I thought back to all the bad habits that Fat Jorden had. Things like playing video games instead of going to the gym, making excuses for why getting in shape was “too hard”, and eating whatever I felt like, with no thought or care to what I was putting into my body or what it was doing to me.
And then I turned my thoughts to my habits now; the habits that have made my life so much better. Things like going to the gym, not simply to get in shape, but because I enjoy it, or finding ways to make things happen, instead of making excuses.
But then it hit me…
Of all the things I do now on a daily basis – of all my new, “good” habits – there was one thing I didn’t enjoy…
When Food Is Not Just Food
When you eat, or think about food, what goes through your head?
Kind of an odd question, right? Probably not something that most of us consider.
If you’re reading this article, you likely have some sort of interest in your health, losing weight, building muscle, nutrition, or something along those lines. If not, I think you’re lost, but I’ll do my best to make this a good experience for you.
If you’re one of those people, I’d venture to guess that your view on food is much similar to mine; and a lot different than the everyday average Joe or Jane.
Tried to lose weight, successfully or unsuccessfully
Attempted to put on muscle; maybe a little, maybe a lot
Done some sort of diet program, or tried to clean up your nutrition
Read something, somewhere, that said gluten is bad, carbs are the devil, sugar will make you fat, etc
Consider this…when was the last time you looked at food, as just food?
Do you remember what it’s like to look at food as just food, and not a macro, a calorie, a “good” food or “bad” food, healthy or unhealthy?
Do you remember what it feels like to be able to just enjoy food, without at some point, giving thought to if what your eating is going to hurt your progress, if it’s bad for you, should you be eating it, or even feeling guilty for eating it?
I don’t. I don’t remember.
I don’t remember what it feels like to not look at food as simply carbs, fat, or protein.
I don’t remember what it’s like to eat something and not consider what it’s going to do to my physique, or if it’s going to help or hurt my goals.
I don’t remember what it’s like to look at the menu at a restaurant, and think to myself, “Dammit, I really want that double-cheeseburger, topped with pulled pork, bacon, and onion rings…but I shouldn’t.”
(Yes, that’s a real thing I’ve eaten)
I don’t remember…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy food. I fucking love food. I love trying new foods, indulging every now and then, ordering whatever I feel like…but I can’t do it anymore without that thought in the back of my mind; the thought of, “So, how much damage am I doing to myself here?” or “Should I be doing this?”
I try to think back to a time when food was just food; to when these thoughts didn’t constantly circle my mind.
But I can’t.
I think back to high school. But even then these thoughts were present in my mind. I was one of the most out of shape kids in school, so every time I ate something I know I probably shouldn’t be, I felt guilty. These thoughts of, “I want to lose weight and I know this Taco Bell isn’t good for me, but I don’t care.” were there even then.
Until Roman posed this question to me, it was something I never really thought about. But it’s true. No matter if I’m trying to lose fat, gain muscle, maintain, or just having a day where I could care less, I still think about it. For me, food is not just food anymore.
And I miss that.
I miss looking at a big, juicy, greasy burger and thinking to myself, “Dammit, this is going to be amazing.” and nothing else.
I don’t remember what it was like when eating what I wanted, when I wanted, was something I did simply because I enjoyed it.
But then I think back, and look at what my life was like before food was more than just food. I think back to the feeling of having no confidence, to low self-esteem, not feeling attractive, to hating what I saw every day, and being depressed because the person I was on the outside didn’t reflect the person I felt like on the inside.
And I compare it to now; to feeling more confident than I have ever felt in my life, and being in a better mental and physical state than I have ever been before, and I think, “Was it worth it?”
Is never being able to look at food the same way again; never being able to 100% enjoy a meal, without any guilt, or wondering what it was doing to my body, worth it?
I say yes.
What about you?