By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
September 24, 2015
When you really think about it, there really is no good reason against the idea of eating well. While I can honestly be a true testament to this idea, it just seems weird to me that so many people these days just don’t get it. I can relate to their stubbornness, for I was also trapped in that insane loop of death, where I pretty much wanted to eat myself to death. Yes, I have come to peace with saying that, from not just my friends and family but to perfect strangers. When I was on my way to 500 pounds or beyond, I was most likely on a subconscious suicide mission. I try to relay this thought to as many people as I possibly can, merely for the effect we only have one real life to live, and in spite of religious beliefs, we still have to go through the rigors of living this life before you expire and get whisked away into some afterlife. Don’t you want to at least run out the battery because you went full throttle or wear out because you stopped moving for so long. Anyway, I came to peace with this thought a while back, and have no real problem with saying it aloud. Heck, during an impromptu chat conversation online with a fellow health nut, I just bluntly stated I was probably trying to kill myself due to misery and malaise. I never really understood it at the time I joined Parsons Training a few years back, but as I have progressed on this journey, I have learned more and more about myself. It was kind of interesting earlier this week at my Tuesday workout, for I overheard one of the other trainers and his client talk about a friend, and bought up the subject of the movie “Leaving Las Vegas.” Personally, I haven’t seen the movie in years since it came out in the 90s and I had no real concept of addiction back when I first watched it, much less life. But it really made me think as I tried to overhear the conversation, one that I ultimately decided to not butt in to. Often times we are delusional about what we perceive, and reality is often times a pill no one wants to accept. Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to ever accept that pill, for just a slight word change on your search and you can find all of the information that suits your world view, and you will find so much of it that you won’t even care of it is some recycled crap that had nothing to do with the original subject. There is some truth comparing that movie to the old journey I had. It was filled with sadness, and while I have hopped on the misery train a couple times these last few years, it is no longer that deep felt desire gestating inside me. Living is good, even if the living is kinda hard right now.
This past week I decided to indulge a little in some Field Roast hot dogs, which are a pretty reputable (albeit expensive) brand of faux meat. Even though the fat content was pretty high and I knew it really wasn’t too healthy for me, it ultimately turned into a great little meal as I mixed it with some whole-wheat pasta and some Gardein meatballs. In spite of the expense, I’m probably going be able to get quite a few meals out of it. Back in the day, I might have eaten three or so helpings! I felt good and energized after the meal, and ran a decent little run later that evening. In spite of the perceived lack of health, the food ultimately helped me with a little energy and protein, and even though I was in good spirits, I took Wednesday off just to let my body rest. There has been lot of crazy stuff going on my little world, for people are rejoicing on the idea of some kind of seaweed being a suitable substitute for bacon as well as McDonald’s continuing to tank (which doesn’t seem to be the case in my neck of the woods). It was kind of funny, but yesterday a big ol’ infographic was circulating the internet illustrating what happens to the body after you eat a Big Mac. https://www.yahoo.com/health/what-happens-to-your-body-one-hour-after-eating-a-150514875.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=fb
Half of the stuff that is mentioned in the info-graphic is stuff I already know and have explored quite often in this blog. I just find it unusual that people seem oblivious to what they are doing to themselves. The biggest tell for me in the graphic is what the Big Mac will ultimately do to your body. Not only will it spike your blood sugar and cause you to become addicted through this process, it will ultimately dehydrate you and cause your body to work harder, which can cause high cholesterol and blood pressure. I remember those horrifying days quite readily, for the cheaper the brand of hamburgers, the worst it felt. It always happened when I went to a local place called The Hamburger Stand. I would always get the family pack (which was four cheeseburgers, four chili cheese dogs and four fries) and some other stuff, typically spending 13 or fourteen bucks on enough food meant for a family. There were several scary moments whenever I did this, for my heart would be racing mere minutes after ingesting all the food. I often times became antsy and my arm would get numb, and then I would partake in the old Chris Farley joke from his Saturday Night Live days where I would jokingly hit my heart to play off their of potentially dying. But it would go away, and you want to know why? I typically fell asleep. Now the graphic indicated you might feel hungry afterward due to the insulin spike, but falling asleep was my ultimate problem. http://www.livestrong.com/article/556026-the-disadvantages-of-sleeping-immediately-after-a-meal/
Turns out the source of my weight gain, my acid reflux and my blood sugar problems probably all had to do with that horrible habit of mine, and being a fan of sports made adhering to such a lifestyle an easy endeavor. But that is all in the past now, even though I might occasionally fall asleep after big meals. Last week, I talked a lot about dealing with some demons and coming clean about some slips, but ultimately my slip-ups weren’t that terrible. Yeah, I might have gained a couple pounds, but it is not like the old days when the continuing assault of my body was constant and unwavering. I still remember the old life, the one where I was subconsciously destroying my body and my health. It’s kind of funny how we start having these conversations again, especially with the beginning of the football season (which I haven’t really followed) and the upcoming candy crushing of Halloween. On one post on Facebook, I will see someone post a disgusting “bacon sushi” that kind of makes me blood pressure go up just from watching, and the next post would be about “reduce your candy intake at Halloween with these cupcake ideas…never mind the fact the cupcakes might be worse for you!” Once again, the cycle will continue. The consumption of too much food will start with the barbecues of the football weekend, continue with the sweets of Halloween and then reach a boiling point at Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years. Every year, we subject ourselves to the growing waistline of our lives and then every year, we tell ourselves we need to lose the weight and waste money on a gym membership. I think my side of town is the epicenter for such problems, for so many people are forced to work two jobs that they rarely take care of themselves in their regular life and escape with the greasy, horrible food that is in every restaurant. It kind of excites me a little, but there is a Chuze Fitness opening near my house, which might be a suitable option when I eventually start thinking about a gym membership. I guess they saw the opportunity in the midst of the poor eating habits. Suck the people in and wait for them to give up, because eating poorly and gaining weight is so much easier than losing it and working out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the construction company does a quick job and gets that place built by New Year’s (but it will most likely be finished by the summer).
Now, I like to ponder my existence quite often, which is what this blog is good for. Since I rarely get the chance to look at the vagaries of life in any other form, letting out some thoughts for you all to read helps me. I keep having a bizarre interaction with one of friends that is starting to get old. This person keeps thinking I am unhealthy, that I am wasting away. This thought came up because I mentioned once again my size 36, straight cut jeans are getting a little baggy on me, when a few months back they were fairly tight. I’ll admit, I am a little misshapen due to my stomach being a little large and loose from the former stretching it used to get as well as my love handles still being a little rotund….but to say I am unhealthy? Needless to say, I keep blowing the conversation off because I just view it as petty jealousy, but said person is already prepared for the day I decide to quit my vegan eating. And it makes me sad to hear this, because I know how to fight the urges (well, 95% of the time) and regulate some of my neediest nutrients (iron, protein, magnesium, etc.). My friend of course thinks I look unhealthy, but doesn’t seem to fully understand how stressed out I am right now. It definitely shows in my face, for the fatigue has been hitting me lately and the money woes always aid in my sleep deprivation. And then there is the other thing that ultimately bothers me…..I always thought I would be a good example for how to take back your health back. Most of my friends have taken some steps, but their steps aren’t really big or drastic enough to really put a dent on their personal health. So yes, you can see how I might get a little perturbed when someone thinks I am the unhealthy one in my circle of friends, especially when bad health is pretty much the norm.
I’m not gonna get too angry about the issues in my life, for my life is my own and their life is theirs, but it just goes to show how truly difficult it is to fight the demons. Just imagine how difficult it is to truly lose weight when the food industry is fighting tooth and nail to hide ingredients and make food more addictive? And of course, you still have that difficult mental struggle. Recently I have been chatting with a “newish” friend of mine that also has a lot of urges in regards to indulging in bad foods. Even though she is utterly beautiful (well, in my book) and rather fit, she constantly has to fight the desire to eat too much. While contentment makes me indulge in too much food while desperation helps me eat better, it is kind of the opposite for her, and we had an interesting little back and forth about that. Well it’s interesting to me at least, discussing the differences people have in their personal struggles. So I look at it this way with my friends…they will ultimately have to make some tough decisions, which I know I will have to help them out with in spite of some of the criticisms I have taken. I know each and every one of us has a different reason for ignoring our health, but the bottom line is you have to take care of what you have in this lifetime and on this rock.
I’m sorry I have been waxing the poetic with these subjects the last couple weeks, but let’s face it, it’s been a stressful and aggravating time. I often times wonder when the good times will start and when I can relax, for that could be a huge key in my stomach fat weight loss. But on the other hand, this blog can’t always be about exercising and pointing out the deficiencies in health reports, it has to be about the personal as well. I saw a pretty funny meme talking about the trouble of losing weight and staying focused. The joke goes “My goal was to lose 10 pounds this year. Only 15 more to go!” Aye, it is so true when you really think about it.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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