Monday, September 2, 2013

Part 8 - The Demon In the Dark

     I am going to start this week's post a little bit differently. I am going to talk about the demon in the dark.  Specifically, my demon.  The demon of addiction.  Merriam-Webster defines addiction as the following:


The compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

     I am not addicted to drugs, alcohol, or sex.  Sadly, there are times that I feel I would rather be addicted to one of those because my addiction is a bit more trickier.  I know that sounds a bit ignorant to say but think about it for a moment.  Even though it has become a social norm to make drugs, alcohol, and sex evil villains in terms of addiction, these are all addictive sources that can be overcome and exiled.  Once a person addicted to one of these "bad boys" claims a victory, they can banish the substance from their lives.  I, as I have said before, am addicted to food.  I am not saying that my addiction is any more important or worse off than other addictions; I am just saying that it is a bit more trickier.  As I am sure you have figured out, we are living beings and as such, we can not just stop eating.  There is no way to banish or ignore that fact that our bodies need food to survive.  Imagine how successful a heroin addict would be if they had to shoot up even just once a day.  It isn't hard to see that they would not be able to achieve success in kicking their addiction.  Food is a necessary evil to keep us alive, but it can be just as deadly as any substance, in the long run, if abused.
     As you can see from this graph above, obesity is a growing (no pun intended, just a happy accident) issue within the United States.  I personally feel that if you were to take a close look at the ever-increasing numbers, you would find out that the reason is because they too battle addiction to food.  Any person fighting this battle, at one point or another, will begin to question if it is even possible to beat this addiction.  I say to all of you that have questioned this, YES! YES! YES! you can indeed conquer this addiction but you must solve the puzzle...
      I try to keep this thought in mind when I face my demon or when people ask for my opinions or encouragement.  I remind myself that for each one of us, even though our addiction is the same, the pieces will never fit the same.  Fear not though! The pieces WILL fit in the end!  I believe that all of this back and forth encouragement and discussion is helping both myself and others figure out where the pieces go.  Sure, sure, I will admit, I do occasionally try to pound a square piece into a round hole but hey, that's just  Someone will slap me in the head and point out that no matter how many corners I try to cut, that particular piece just simply, will not fit in the round hole.  It helps to have people that love me enough to smack me like a skipping record player to get me back on track.  
     Oh the days that I have dreamed away exactly like good 'ole Homer.  That is where it all starts for me.  Trouble in my head leads to trouble in my eating habits.  Here is some science for ya!  The term HIGHLY PALATABLE FOODS refers to foods rich in sugar, salt, and fat.  These foods, when respected and not abused, are fine to have in your diet.  However, the reward signals from highly palatable foods may override other signals of fullness and satisfaction within your brain. As a result, people keep eating, even when they're not hungry.  That right there is not good for a food addict...duh!  So how do we beat this addiction and figure out the puzzle??  You put one foot in front of the other and gets to steppin'...(get ready for some silliness).
     For those that are not familiar with who the Winter Warlock is, he is a character from the 1970 TV special, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.  Fine, I am sure that there are some of you thinking, "what the hell does this have to do with food addiction?" and no I didn't lose my mind.  In that fine work of art, Winter, as he is called, sings a little ditty that I keep in my head as a reminder of how to start making changes to beat my demon.  If you have never seen this before, please feel free to watch this short clip and be encouraged.  I insist...

     Making small changes in the beginning is the first step.  I have weeded out a lot of the foods that are considered "highly palatable" in my daily diet, although not completely.  Moderation is the key to battling food addiction.  Portion control and constant vigilance is how the demon will fall.  I have replaced the "HP" foods with better options.  Green, leafy veggies, fruits, and water are all great options to help replace foods and they help to fill you up.  A friend told me this weekend that he just won't eat anything "healthy" because it all tastes gross.  One of the most revealing lessons I have learned on this journey is that; all of those "healthy" foods are not gross, they are just different.  I have begun to refine my palate and I am tasting worlds of new flavors all from "healthy" foods.  I also supplement my diet with a treat now and again, remembering to stay vigilant by choosing a healthy option to fill up on.  I find that even a small treat can be enough to satisfy the demon and keep him at bay.  
     As you continue to put one foot in front of the other you will find it gets easier to choose the healthier options.  It is said that you can change your habits by repeating the new habit 21 days in a row.  That is a great goal to start with.  Once you hit day 21, you have planted the seed of a healthier lifestyle and it is sprouting.  Continue these habits for another 60 days or so and you will realize that you have completely replaced the poor habits with the healthy ones.  You may never fully defeat the demon, but by making healthy habits and remaining vigilant you can render the demon powerless.  Claim your victory!
     I think I have said enough so I will announce to you all my numbers for the week.  Are you ready?  Are you sure?  Tiny drum roll please.....
      There it is guys and gals...FIVE SIX ZERO!  I weighed in at the lovely weight of 560 lbs.  That means that I am down 2 lbs. more from last week and a grand total of 114 lbs. overall.  Since this is the first post of September, I am also including my waist measurement.  As of the August 8, 2013 posting of Part 4, my waist measured 72.5" and I can proudly report that this month's measurement is 70" even.  I have dropped a total of 4" from my waist since I began.  I hope that I have been an encouragement to some of you out there and I encourage you to share your success stories with me as well.  I am going to try something new.  I am asking for suggestions for a "mystery" ingredient.  Something that you enjoy eating but would like to find recipes that are healthier and tasty, delicious even!  I will pick one or two ingredients and find a delicious and healthy recipe to share with the group.  That is about all I have for this week.  As always, thank you all for you support and love.  I would ask that you share this blog with as many people as you can.  On your facebooks, twitters, word of mouth, or just tell random people.  It doesn't matter how the word gets out, just the fact that it gets out and that it is touching lives.  I see in my day-to-day life that there are changes happening all around me.  Random people are surprising me by coming up and talking to me about the blog and their own personal journeys.  People are seeing us and the Fat Revolution is hurtling on like a juggernaut.  VIVE LA FAT REVOLUTION!!!  God bless you all.  To be continued...


  1. Mike, Another great blog. You have a way to keep people inspired. Thinking it's going to be another good week. Veronica

  2. Great post!! Thank you Michael. I have not had a lot of time to read your blogs in the past month and after reading this week's post, I am kicking myself for not keeping up with it. It is so encouraging, and I have been on the verge of giving up the weight battle for a long time. The good intentions that used to last through a few months have not gotten beyond a few days or even my thoughts for a long time. I am 46 years old and need so desperately to get serious about this. The fear of knowing myself and my inability to follow through with anything keeps me from even getting started. Just continuing to read your blog and other encouraging posts would be a good start I think.

    And favorite ingredient....hmmm....I guess tomatoes. =)

  3. thank you for continually inspiring me