Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Fat

I’m fat.  I weigh about 265 pounds, and I’m a little short of 5'8".  As my doctor (or, more precisely, my physician’s assistant) says, “This is dangerous.”  So, what am I doing about it?  Well. . . nothing.

This isn’t an easy piece to write.  I hate talking about my body.  I hate talking about my weaknesses.  I had planned to write this piece yesterday, but I put it off and wound up posting nothing here.  This morning, I kept trying to convince myself to post a rant about Sarah Palin vis-a-vis the horrible massacre in Tucson.  Anything, or nothing, is better than having to think and write about my body.

When I was a kid, I was normal weight.  I stayed that way until my freshman year in High School when I first became fat.  Then I went off to the seminary and lost a lot of weight between September and Christmas.  I stayed thin until after I left the Friars, when I became fat again.  After meeting Fr. Ben (and Beni), and going to work at a place where racquetball was almost a mandatory sport, I became thin again.  After marrying Beni, I gained a lot of weight which I lost 10 years later, for only a few months.  When I came out and moved to D.C., I was fat.  After a year in D.C., I had lost about 90 pounds which I kept off for five years.  When I moved back to the family in 2000, I became fat again and I’ve been fat and fatter ever since.

What makes me fat???

I used to think I use food as a self-medication, as a something that comforts me when things get tough.  In the past few months, I’ve come to see this isn’t really true.

I used to think that I use food as a substitute for hot gay sex.  I KNOW this isn’t true!

So, what makes me eat to the point where my health is in jeopardy?

1.  Lack of personal discipline.  I have never been especially disciplined in my personal habits.  In my career and in other parts of my life (my finances, for example), I always have been highly disciplined.  I have never been disciplined in things like hair cuts, dental check–ups, or clothing.  I don’t think I care very much about my appearance, and I have rarely exercised self–discipline in anything related to my appearance.

2.  I don’t like to say “no” to myself—if I want ice cream, I eat ice cream, calories be damned.  If I want to stay inside all day and read or watch TV on my computer, that’s what I do.  I’m like a little kid whose parents just let him do anything that he wants.

3.  Laziness.  This is hard to admit, but it’s true: I don’t want to exert myself to the extent that is required for me to lose weight.  I love to walk, but I don’t walk because I don’t want to get off my fat ass and get out and do it.  I don’t want to spend the effort needed to make a salad—I’d rather make a sandwich or microwave a pizza.

4.  Rationalization.  I have a thousand reasons for all my bad habits (see self–medication and sex above).  I have just as many reasons for not trying to change these bad habits (e.g., old dog, new tricks).  I can convince myself that I’m right no matter how wrong I am.  And I do this all the time.

Those are just some of the reasons I find myself at 64 way too fat to be healthy.  I know I should fix this, and fix it fast.

To be continued. . .

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