Posts Tagged ‘diet tricks’

October 25, 2011

Pizza party

9:19 am - Posted by Gregg

Sometimes nothing matches the fat in our bellies like the fat in our heads.

When I weighed in excess of 300, 400 and even 450 pounds, I was guilty of having a lot of fat in my head – in that I had a unique way of not only lying to the world, but also to myself.

Friends who knew me back in the day (or back in the weigh), knew me to be somewhat paranoid about being out in the real world. And that I was downright terrified to be seen eating in public. Therefore I was committed to always eating in private. I felt as if everyone was judging me and that everyone knew my deep, dark secret. This was sometimes true (like when a little girl at the grocery store wondered out loud about why a man had boobs) and sometimes not true.

But in my head, I felt as if I was constantly being judged. I also felt like everyone could see my Achilles’ Heal (or Achilles’ Tummy, as it were). Thus, I was constantly trying to prove to said world that it was not only wrong about me, but knew nothing about my lifestyle (no matter how much my belly shook like a bowl full of jelly).

Again, my usual tactic for this ruse was to never eat in public. Even when weighing over 450 pounds, I felt that if no one ever saw me eating, they would somehow forget about my girth and think more of me. (And yes, I realize all of this was very self-centered, but I’m just telling it like it is… Or was.)

One example of this was when I would order pizza. Ordering pizza from the comfort of home was a very comfortable binge tactic. Since I was eating for two (okay – four), I loved the idea of ordering from home and having the pizza pie (or pies) delivered right to my door. I didn’t have to set one foot out into the real world, much less catch another human being making eye contact with me while I enjoyed the pizza’s cheesy deliciousness.

But there was always the problem of the pizza delivery driver. For some strange reason, I never wanted him or her knowing that the extra large pizza (or pizzas) were all for me, the 450+ pound man answering the door.

So I came up with the perfect charade. When there was a knock on the door (usually in 30 minutes or less), I would go to the door and shout out, “I’ll get it” before opening the door – as if I were calling out to a room full of people that I’d ordered the pizza for. In my fat little head, I thought for sure this would ‘fool’ the pizza delivery person into thinking that the fat man answering the door wasn’t a human pig and wasn’t going to have much – if any – of the pizza he or she was delivering.

This is all rather comical to me now. But way back when, it was one of my deep, dark secrets and something I did whenever I would order pizza. It’s as if somehow I thought that when all the pizza delivery people got together for a convention, they would all discuss how Gregg McBride didn’t eat much pizza (and was a good a tipper).

Looking back, I can see that I was lying to myself more than I was deceiving the pizza delivery people. I realize now that I wasn’t worried about the rest of the world being witness to my binges. I was worried about my being witness to them. This was one of the many ways I was deceiving myself – and all part of the strange way that I not only kept myself fat, but kept myself getting fatter.

Today, at a healthy 175-ish pounds, I realize that eating in public is quite healthy (no matter what one’s weight). When eating in public, you can see a “Thin Person” eating ice cream or fried foods. And you can also sometimes see them stop eating before they’ve finished whatever portion is in front of them. I can also let others watch me eat (which people do – especially if they know I’ve taken off 250 pounds of excess weight and kept it off). I love for friends to see me eating something considered fattening – and to witness me sometimes finishing the portion and sometimes not. They also see me eating lots of healthy foods – and actually enjoying the taste of such fare.

But more important than other people being witness to my eating, I am witness to it.

I am aware of what goes into my mouth – not to mention aware of how what I eat can not only affect my weight, but also my mood. Being in touch and aware has become such a freeing and valuable tool. It was something I avoided for years by attempting to “trick” pizza delivery drivers and other such food vendors. Again, not that they cared.

So now I ask you: What kind of deceptions are you attempting in an effort to be less aware of what you’re eating (or what you’re not eating)? Have you ever played mental games like this? I’d love to know that I’m not the only one who has tried this. So please, share your details. I promise not to tell the pizza delivery driver if you won’t.

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September 30, 2011

There are no magic wands

9:36 am - Posted by Gregg

When people I’ve recently met find out I’ve taken off over 250 pounds in excess weight and kept it off for over a decade, they excitedly ask me how I did it. Sadly, nothing brings disappointment to their faces faster than me answering, “Eating less and exercising more – along with drinking lots of water and getting plenty of sleep.”

Peoples’ usual responses to my revelation are, “Oh,” – as if I’ve popped their balloon or accidentally stepped on a kitten.

I understand their disappointment. Who wouldn’t want me to answer with, “I found this magic wand and lost all the weight in a day’s time. Here – you can have my magic wand, if you’d like.” After all, we’re all looking for shortcuts in life. So why wouldn’t we want a shortcut to losing weight and getting healthier?

But the fact is, there is no magic wand – and by ‘magic wand,’ I include pills, surgeries, fad diets and other farfetched means that people use in order to try and take off the pounds as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Because of the dieter’s quest for a magic wand, individuals and companies have taken to selling products backed up by often spurious claims that tell us these items might finally solve the dieter’s lifelong effort to take off excess weight. This activity seems quite criminal to me – all conjured up to rob the dieter of his or her hard earned money by playing on their weaknesses and fears as well as their desires for permanent change.

This practice has come to national attention in the last couple of days, now that the Federal Trade Commission has clamped down on Reebok for making what it refers to as “false claims” about Reebok’s popular selling “toning” shoes.

I have to admit that when I first saw these shoes being advertised (by “celebrity” spokesmodels including Kim Kardashian no less), I rolled my eyes. Imagine my surprise when one of my closest friends, who is very athletic, bought a pair, wanting to tone up a bit more. I couldn’t believe my friend was taken in by the claims (not to mention by anything promoted via Twitter by Kim Kardashian).

According to news reports, the FTC has settled a class action lawsuit regarding Reebok’s claims in product ads that its’ Easy Tone and Runtone shoes “strengthen and tone key leg and buttock muscles” [more than regular shoes might]. Reebok is having to pay a $25 million fine while also having to offer refunds to customers (even though reportedly standing behind its technology).

Dr. Cedric Bryant, Chief Science Officer for the American Council on Exercise, has also weighed in on this issue, stating, “The take home message is that whether you walk in normal running shoes or you go out and purchase and make the investment in these toning shoes, you’re going to get similar results and effects.”

My big question is, why wouldn’t any of this be common sense to the consumer – much less the dieter, who surely has tried these ‘magic wand’-type of products before and likely only gained weight?

Sadly, this is just one example of the kind of “magical thinking” we want to believe might set us free from our excess weight. I know people who have ordered horse tranquilizers from Canada, believing claims that they were a celebrity secret for losing and keeping off unwanted weight without dieting. If this seems crazy to you, consider a popular diet pill that’s available at most stores here in the United States, with instructions that warn the user to wear dark underwear due to the risk of “anal leakage.”

Like it or not, much of the blame for products like these being on the market rests with us, the dieting audience. There’s a reason that the dieting business has become a multi billion-dollar a year industry. It’s because we are suckers. And we’re often unwilling to face the hard fact that we are responsible for our excess weight and, therefore, we are responsible for taking it off.

Horse tranquilizers? Anal leakage? Shoes that tone our bodies without extra work from us? Why not just have a salad and go for a power walk instead?

But don’t lose all hope. In truth, ‘eating less and exercising more’ can be a real magic wand of sorts.

Once I stopped trying to trick my body (No carbs! Only grapefruit! Cabbage Soup!) and started eating right and moving more, the excess weight literally melted off within a year’s time. Now, I’m not claiming that you’ll have the exact same results. I had a lot of weight to lose, so the weight came off quickly for me. Everyone has different metabolisms and their bodies will respond differently. But ask any doctor – even someone with a Thyroid condition will lose weight if they eat more sensibly and add working out to their daily routines. No ‘magic wand’ required.

Less tricks. More common sense and self-responsibility. Try it. The results just might be magical.

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