On Wednesday I left off with the closing of the gym.
There were many good things that came from that gym. I gained friends that I’ve kept for the last 20 years. I lost a lot of weight. I started regaining all of that self confidence back.
I’ll draw an analogy to a haunted house movie. When the ghosts start acting up really badly, someone is brought in to take the ghosts out. So, for awhile, the ghosts disappear. But then, after leading the unsuspecting home owners into a false sense of security, the ghosts come back with a vengeance.
So, why would I sink back into the old self-destructive habits? Because, my friends, the ghosts were never truly expelled. Just like in the movies, they came back, full force.
The trouble is, you never really realize what kind of hold they have on you. You lose 100 pounds, you think you have them licked. But the human mind is a wondrous machine. And that machine is the hub of all we think, say or do. So when there are ghosts in the machine (forgive the obvious pun) the machine doesn’t behave the way it should.
I know my machine did a complete crash and burn. At first, when I started putting weight on, I said to myself “I got this. No problem.” Wrong. I didn’t have it because I never addressed the actual cause.
The cause was that in my quest for world domination through guitar, I used food to fill all kinds of voids. I used food to fill loneliness, anger, frustration and eventually despair. Food was my drug of choice; my addiction. Unlike many other addictions, food is sort of necessary to survival. The really scary part was that the line between actual hunger and just about any emotion I was feeling at any given time became indistinguishable. I couldn’t even tell the difference between hunger and thirst. I remember telling an alternative health practitioner that I once went to, “I went into the kitchen because I was thirsty and promptly stuffed a cookie in my mouth.”
Seriously? That just doesn’t make sense. Not on any level. If you walked up to someone and said, “I’m thirsty,” and they said, “Here. Have a cookie,” you’d probably have them committed. I know at that particular moment I thought I should be committed. The insidious part is that you don’t realize that food takes the place of so much. And in my case, I couldn’t figure out how it got to be such an integral part of who I was.
Fast forward to today. I am looking at playing live gigs again and actually getting paid for it. I’m looking at recording a new album, which means photo shoots. I’m looking at needing to look good. That machine housed within my skull kicked into overtime. “LOSE WEIGHT NOW!” it screams. And now that machine doesn’t really care how that goal is accomplished. I could chop off an arm and my brain would go “GREAT! Lost weight – now chop off the other one!” My brain isn’t going to stop long enough to realize that I wouldn’t really be able to play guitar after chopping off both arms and therefore, it’s being counter-productive.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Which leads to a very interesting question. Do I jump back on the diet/exercise merry-go-round or do I do something different? Well, there is really only one way to lose weight. Eat less – move more. Every weight loss system in the world revolves around that principle. Why? Because it works. If you can keep doing it.
High-protein, low carb? Guess what – protein fills you up more so the net result is the same. You’re eating less and moving more. Face it. When you eat right, you feel better and you do more. That means you’re moving more whether you intend to or not. Bariatric surgery? Same thing – less stomach means you have less room to fill with food, so you’re eating less and consequently moving more.
Interesting conundrum, isn’t it? Eating less and moving more is the only way to lose weight, yet that’s what I tried before and it didn’t work. Perhaps I should say it didn’t work permanently. Fortunately, it only takes one minor change to prevent something from being exactly the same. So, if I change one aspect of the process, that should get me on the road to recovery, right?
Every time I’ve tried to lose weight in the past I tried to do everything at once. Maybe this time, I’ll try to phase things in over a period of time. First up? Slowing down!
Hope you enjoy taking the journey with me – see you next time.