Emotional Hunger

 

“You are bored, not hungry”

 

I keep telling myself this every time I feel like I want to eat. Yes, every time I like to eat and not hungry. Eating is a fun activity for me. I view it as something to do and not for what it is meant to be, nourishment.

With my anxiety attacks, eating was an escape for me. Back in Manila, I would go out late at night and go to McDonald’s and order a double cheeseburger with fries and coffee. I used eating as an excuse to feel better but I never did. I will go home sadder than I was originally because I’m fat, spent money on food I don’t need and still feel something is missing.

I was loved as a kid. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t abused or anything. People sometimes call me “spoiled” because they thought that I was given everything I need. So my excessive eating is not because I wasn’t loved as a kid. I just love to eat. This is not hunger for love.

My battle with weight loss is mainly emotional. I eat when bored, I eat when sad, I eat when happy. It was maybe because our Filipino culture. We always have food on any occasion be it a happy or a sad one like a funeral. We often kill pigs and cows when we have funeral to feed the mourners. When my father died, we held the wake for 5 long nights. We feed the visitors from morning to late nights. I don’t see Americans doing it at least not when my step grandfather passed away.

I don’t want want to blame my culture or other people for why I’m fat. This is just my way of finding out why some people are healthier than I am. What did I do differently?

Now that I’m aware that I am an emotional eater, I constantly ask myself this question every time I like to eat:

“Am I physically hungry?”

“Am I bored?”

It maybe very elementary to ask these questions but my mind needs constant reminder to keep myself from grabbing a piece of cake and shoving it in my mouth. As I believe that I was trained into emotional eating, I’m now training myself to eat for nourishment.

 

The Fat Kid Inside

I have him under control. For now.

I’ve always been fat my whole life. I was the chubby kid when I was younger then I became the fat guy when I grew up. That was my role for a very long time until I started losing weight in 3 periods of my life. I dieted when I was in third year high school, got fat again after a year in college. I workout and got fitter when I was in third year college, then got fat again after two years working. The year 2006 was the best year for me since I looked better when I lost all the weight by simply watching what I eat, then life kicked in hard and in 2008, I was the fat guy once more. In 2017, I have the fat kid under control as I continue to lose weight.

I am nowhere near my end goal because at my age, losing weight is a tough battle. My slow metabolism is now slower and eating right is no longer enough to help me drop the pounds. I now workout almost 5 days a week and still watches my calorie intake. There’s no cheat day for almost 6 months now and even for my birthday last April, my calorie intake was under 1800.

I’m not writing and sharing this to inspire other people. I’m writing this because I still fear that I will lose control of the fat kid inside and gain back all the weight plus more. It happened before, it can happen again.

I’m currently in the process of changing my wardrobe. I donated some of my clothes already because I dropped from XL to medium, from waistline of 36 to 32. Then it hit me, what if I gain it all back? I will need to buy new clothes again and that will cost me. The Bruce Banner side of me said, “NO! You will do everything you can to maintain that size”. The Hulk side of me agreed. I continued to dispose/donate my larger clothes and now enjoying buying smaller ones.

I decided to keep writing so as not to lose sight of what I need to be doing. A friend told me to post my journey on my Facebook and Instagram to let people know what I’m doing and open myself for judgement. He said, it can motivate me to stay on my weight loss program. It’s an idea I welcome but I’ll leave the shirtless and gym photos for the millennials. I’ll motivate myself some other ways.

Photo May 31, 4 59 54 PM

The photo on the left is me when I went home to the Philippines for my cousin’s funeral on January 8, 2013. I weigh 230lbs and it may be my heaviest. The photo on the right was taken October 2014. I’m only 5 foot and 6 inches tall so according to the norm, I should weigh around 142 to 145 pounds to be healthy. I needed to lose 85 pounds. That is already the weight of one small asian woman. I was carrying an extra asian woman!

I lost 60 pounds already and I’m not yet done.