I wrote this on 12.15.05 late at night but have been holding off posting it, not sure if it was worthy of publication or relevant to anything. I decided to do it now because I do not want to post it in the new year, I want to get it behind me now, if that is possible. Out with the old, in with the new...or something like that.
For twenty five years food has been my primary obsession and focus. For no apparent reason I realized this late last night, while staring at a greasy chicken leg.
As a young boy food was always important to me and my family, particularly on my mother's Italian side. Food was a reward, it was entertainment, it was solace, it was excitement, it was dependable. There were elements of my family life that were not so...accessible, food was a great comfort. Even so, my obsession and focus on food did not start until I was about 17 years old. I can't say why exactly, I think it has something to do with girls, and Rocky, and an aerobics craze, and diet awareness, but whatever the reason, I woke up one morning and said..."my problems are because I am fat". I have been "fat" ever since, even when my weight was 150 1bs and my body fat 6%.
Tonight was the usual routine. A good size meal with the family, followed by a dessert snack later on, followed by a late night "snack" of left-overs. I was standing at the kitchen counter, I had just eaten a few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, sipped some Pepsi, and had taken a bite of a greasy chicken leg, when I looked down at the chicken leg in the Tupperware and said out loud..."I am tired of being you're bitch". I put it all away and went to bed.
I don't know if I can adequately explain what this means. Maybe I can explain what it had meant.
For the last 25 years, through my courtship, marriage, son's birth, career rising...and falling, food has played a major part in every day of my life. Many of my decisions I have "put off", procrastinated, until I had started my diet. I think you know how that probably went. Many times I simply did not choose my path, I let others do it for me, or circumstances. I never took control, because I never was in control of my life, chicken legs and Ding Dongs were. Seriously...so many events, trips, plans, decisions, were avoided because I was fat and "not ready" that my life, with the great exception of my wife and son, seems worthless at times, pointless.
I could list all of the above, but the sadness would overtake me. I could tell you of all the great opportunities I had, but you would think I was a fool. I was. And like a fool, I never realized what I was doing, I could never see the incredible amount of days, one after the other, adding up like links on a barbed wire fence, until I was completely enclosed and cut off. Until tonight, staring at the greasy chicken leg, something made me see all those days lined up, something made me see the slave I had become to food, the bitch it had made me.
There is nothing inherently evil or bad about any food in particular. I do not blame the food, or its bounty. I blame that weakness in myself that keeps telling me "you need more". I blame my predilection to fill a void within me with things that "taste good". I have been a chump, a loser, a baby. I have been weak, and soft, and sad. I have been wasteful, and neglectful, and sinful. I have been sick. It has nothing to do with the food, just living my life around it, by it, for it.
This is enough for one day...and enough for 25 years.