What’s Eating Me?

The other day I met a close friend of mine for lunch. This guy is one of the biggest and strongest men that I have ever met.  He has a big frame, a big cowboy hat and belt-buckle and a big heart. He is the type of man that you would want either in your foxhole or with you when you are putting up a field of hay.

Over the years, my buddy’s metabolism has caught up with him. The 10,000 calories a day that he used to consume and burn as a younger man have lately been depositing themselves onto various areas of his body. He is ultra-busy and he travels frequently. He has come to believe that his schedule leaves him little time to exercise or to execute on his enduring desire to eat better and to regain his health. While we were together, he admitted to having reached a breaking point, indicating that he is unwilling to stay stuck in the shape into which his body has slipped.

I am excited to see what his future holds.  Based upon my personal experience, I know that physical change and lifestyle modifications had a more lasting effect once I got sick and tired of being sick and tired!  To succeed, I had to value the lasting happiness that comes from being fit more than I did the temporary fix that comes from eating comfort foods. Nothing tastes as good as fit feels is my favorite health truism. Whenever I recite it or remind myself of it, it immediately realigns me with my long term physical goals.

Any number of fitness professionals would say that in order to be fit, one need only to monitor one’s diet and exercise.  For most of us, this is the dietary equivalent of telling a shopaholic to merely spend less money. If it were that easy, far fewer people would be struggling with their weight and health issues in general. My challenges are unique to me, no doubt, however I believe that I have identified a powerful part of the solution that may have a more universal appeal.

Being prepared is my only hope. With financial planning, experts suggest that a failure to plan is a plan to fail. When it comes to food, if I wait until I am hungry before deciding what I am going to eat, then I won’t have a credible claim to being fit. Daily preparedness is the key to success. Staying attuned to my emotions helps me to avoid the trap of letting issues and concerns that are “eating me” decide what I am going to eat.

When I was younger, growing up in what had been coined “the Pepsi Generation” many people who were my age viewed food as fun and not as fuel. We unknowingly formed habits that were too weak to be sensed until they were too strong to be broken. Now that we are forty-somethings, many of us need to displace unhealthy habits with ones that honor and support our deeper desire to be fit. It is best for me when I pay attention to how my emotional state can drive my food choices and meal planning. 

Improving my eating habits and forging a new relationship with food has been difficult. The causes of food addictions or the misuse of food are complicated.  Food addictions are unlike addictions to alcohol, smoking, gambling, pornography or other dead-end vices in that one has to eat in order to live.  For one to abstain from food completely is not an option.

Displacing bad habits and training for different outcomes in any area of my life can be difficult. Fortified by the knowledge that nothing tastes as good as fit feels keeps me from being eaten by what is eating me.

Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying….cause you are!



Comments 1

  1. Jim

    My mother was never concerned about her diet. She grew up with her 11 sibs in a German household where the meal was the gathering time. It had components that were across the food chain, and always included dessert. She said her work was her exercise.
    In retrospect, she was the epitome of balance and focus. We never ate between meals, we ate wholesome food, and she arrived at that place naturally. She was never overweight, and her family was always active. I did not mention at the start that she was deeply faith-based. For her it was the start. She always focused there, and everything else flowed.

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