I WAS THE ‘FAT KID’ IN SCHOOL
This is going to be ‘outside the box,’ for me. I am writing about eating and being fat. I am aiming to reach the guys who normally don’t read articles about fitness because it makes them feel guilty or embarrassed … or, they’ve given up a long time ago.
I was fat. I was VERY fat for a long time. At the age of 40, I weighed nearly 300 pounds and had a 48 inch waist. My BEFORE picture was taken just prior to my birthday. (This was before I became a cop.)
I am going to talk about eating. I believe I can help you get through the upcoming holiday season and emerge in January with the same (or less) body fat than you have today.
I’m not going to drone on about the benefits of being in shape. You’ve heard them before. I assume that you know why it is a good idea for cops to be in shape.
I’m going to share techniques and tactics that will allow you to eat the foods that you really want through the holidays and not end up wearing it as extra blubber into 2021. You can avoid the January burden of, “I need to go on a diet and lose this extra weight.”
I got fat when I was four years old, according to my Mom. I carried it all through my school years. I was the last to be picked for any team in gym class. I was uncoordinated as hell.
In high school, it was awkward to ask a girl on a date and difficult to find one who wanted to go out with me.
I was obese. The military wouldn’t take me due (in part) to my weight.
In 1987, I took a new job that required a complete new work wardrobe.
At the end of my first year there, I’d gained so much weight that I could no longer put my wallet into my pants pocket. I was smoking 3 packs of cigarettes daily and had a cough that worried me.
Exercise? Forget it!
At the urging of a buddy and with some trepidation, I made an appointment with a new doctor. He examined me from head-to-toe. Following the physical, he told me: start exercising, quit smoking, and lose weight.
TODAY he said, emphatically. “You are really lucky that there’s not something seriously wrong with you!”
KILLER FIRST WORKOUT
In the next two days, this happened:
I joined a health club and had my first workout – of my entire life.
I joined Weight Watchers and learned that I needed to lose 100 pounds.
I had my last cigarette.
I then went out and bought underwear that comes in a tube along with a little red car. My mid-life crisis had officially arrived.
In the next 1½ years, I lost 100 pounds. Weight Watchers was great. I became a motivational speaker for them. As of this writing, I’ve had my weight off for 31 years.
I never again touched tobacco – in any form.
In the years that followed, I competed in six bodybuilding contests and became a cop. Here’s a picture from a contest:
That’s enough about me. I’ve shared this personal story so that you know that I know what it’s like to live fat.
I’m going to share some pointed information that I’ve found useful over time.
THE BIG PICTURE
In order to succeed on the long-term, you must be able to eat the foods that you really want while maintaining or losing excess body fat.
For now, let’s keep this simple.
(Yes, there are lots of details that took a long time to learn. If you want to know more RIGHT NOW, feel free to email or call me. My contact info shows up later in this article.
Also: within a short time, there will be a second article for those who want more detail on precise methods and tactics.
I’m always happy to help a brother or sister in blue.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
There are only two terms to remember.
BRAIN SAYS ‘NO’ MOUTH SAYS ‘YES’
SITUATIONAL EATING happens when you eat because of where you are, who you are with, or other external factors. You are not eating because you are hungry. Below are examples.
You walk into a movie theatre shortly after dinner. You purchase a bucket of popcorn, a candy of some sort and a drink. You’re still full from dinner, but habit and surroundings almost force you to eat more.
It’s after dinner at a wedding reception. The wedding cake has been cut and a piece is put in front of you. As with all wedding cakes, it tastes terrible. It’s dry and turns to sawdust in your mouth. But, you eat it, anyway.
During the holidays, you visit some friends. You are offered Christmas cookies and a tray of candies. You aren’t hungry, but you take some of each anyway so as not to offend your hosts.
In each example, you WERE NOT hungry. You ate only because of the situation at the time.
EMOTIONAL EATING seems to happen more with women than men. But, it happens to both sexes. You were programmed as a child to use food to “fix” stuff. Examples:
A child skins his knee. After Mom patches up the wound, she offers a cookie because, “It will make you feel better.”
I came home with all A’s and B’s on my report card. Dad announces that as a reward for my hard work, he will take me out for an ice cream sundae.
I would even eat when I felt bored or anxious. The “comfort food” gave me short term relief from whatever was bothering me at the time.
FOUR EATING RULES
No, this is not a bunch of numbers, measurements or weights. Read on ….
Rule #1 – EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY. Can you do that? (No, I’m not crazy.) Allowing yourself to get too hungry will cause you to eat the first thing you can find – no matter WHAT it is.
Rule #2 – DO NOT EAT IF YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY. Huh? Simple to say. Sometimes, it’s tough to do, for example:
Your Mom made a special desert, “Just for you.” She tries to guilt you into eating it. No go.
Remember the vile wedding cake? Don’t let them set it down in front of you.
Your buddies order pizza when you stop by to watch the game, but you just finished diner.
Don’t do it.
Rule #3 – MEASURE YOUR FOOD. No, I didn’t say ‘weigh’ or ‘count.’ If you want chips, peanuts or something else, put what you want in a bowl, on a plate, on a napkin or in a cup.
LOOK at exactly how much you intend to eat.
DO NOT EAT ANYTHING FROM A BOX OR A BAG because you don’t know how much you have eaten.
Success depends on you KNOWING how much food you are consuming – if only by eye.
Rule #4 – FOCUS ON THE FOOD. Stop doing other stuff when you eat, like: talking on the phone, watching TV, driving and anything else which distracts you from enjoying the food.
Love every mouthful and enjoy it.
OK, so there are the four rules.
Can you do that? I know that if you WANT to do it, you will. Period.
There are tactics which support these four rules. They will be in a second article on this topic coming soon.
If you want to talk with me now, email: jim@CopBlue.com or use my home office phone (386) 763-3000.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If you do, you will eat anything you can find. In just a few minutes, you can undo the progress from many days of sensible eating.
There is nothing worse than gaining weight from food that: you didn’t want, didn’t like, or can’t remember.
Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
At every turn, Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. Make the best possible choice at each turn. That’s the best you can do.
Above is a young cop in GREAT shape. You can be there, too. Believe me.
Staying mindful will ensure that your January weight is the same – or maybe less than it is today. What a GREAT thought, eh?
Good eating and happy holidays to all!
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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