I've never really appreciated food. Growing up I was always too busy to sit down and eat. I was the first to leave the cafeteria of friends, or the dinner table with the fam, scraping my garbage into the disposal as they were still conversing over half eaten lamb chops and green beans.
I've also never been thin-- nor had the desire to be. A size 16 for most my life I abhorred activities that made me sweat, but moved around enough to keep my form stagnant. My curves kept me attractive and my personality supplied the rest.
So it never really dawned on me that when I weighed in Tuesday night at my first ever Jenny Craig meeting that I would be 278.6 lbs. 278.6 pounds!? Golly Moses!
I knew that I was wider...in the few years I noticed a change in my pant size. The 16 that I was so used to quickly turned into a 18, which I kept for awhile, assuring myself that it was just the winter season. But my 18 expanded again into a size 20 and about three months after that I made the short leap to 22w.
In my mind, I knew that I was heavier...knew that I probably weighed 200ish lbs. But never, in my self-aware (but mostly self-denial) assessment did I comprehend the number 278!
As my coach uttered those offensive words a wave of nausea passed over me. All of a sudden I felt the 278.6 like a smack across the face. I could feel the puffiness of my cheeks, once long, now round and complete with a double chin. My arms and legs felt heavier and I could feel the jiggle of each appendage as I walked the 10 back to the office, completely shocked and speechless at the words I just heard.
Later as I sat in bed pretending to read documents from work, my mind raced over the events of the past few years. What had become of me? What was so jarring in my life that I gained almost 150 lbs? As I rewound and fast forwarded my stream of memories I began to notice certain behaviors. Not quite large or prominent, but repetitive enough to focus on.
I am an eater.
I do not eat food because I enjoy the taste of it, nor do I eat food when I am hungry. I just eat. I would eat when I was bored, eat when I was unhappy, and always when I was stressed.
Eating has been my drug of choice; my "nicotine," my stress releaser, my go-to-guy. My habitual neglect of what I was putting into my body, as long as it was something, had finally bitten me (pun slightly intended) in the butt.
So here I am.
Twenty-Nine years old. 278.6 lbs. And I am an Eater.