I’ve been waiting awhile to write about this in detail, and after yesterday’s poor judgement call on my part…I feel it is time to finally face the beast. It’s the number one thing I’ve noticed since returning home to the United States, and the one thing I’m having a hard time NOT falling back into a rut with. I’m talking about food, and the uniquely American obscene portion sizes.
A little background, first, for those who didn’t know me before my international journey. In high school, I seemed forever 138 lbs. My poor eating habits (I was [and still am to some extent] an extremely picky eater, no fruit, no veg) didn’t seem to matter. I graduated in 1999 and by the time I met Indi in 2003 I was up around 155, which had been my second plateau for some time. I still ate terribly but felt fine. By the time we hit the road last April I was 200 lbs. My diet was abhorrent, as it always had been, but I didn’t really notice. I saw the number on the scale, sure, but I didn’t FEEL any different. It had been such a slow creep that I didn’t even see the weight on me, which in hindsight I cannot believe. But it’s true.
New Zealand was the first time I really felt it. We were getting outside every day, walking everywhere we needed to go in town. We went hiking in beautiful parks and on scenic trails. I was not the young man I still was in my mind’s eye. I was still getting around, sure, but it was harder than I expected. I just figured it was normal out-of-shapeness. After all, didn’t Richard tell me the earth would try to kill me? Indonesia was next, and the heat didn’t help matters. I continued to lose weight, though the rampant lack of scales didn’t give me a number. I knew. My clothes started to get baggy. Then I had to replace them. When we got to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, I was climbing up ancient ruins, walking miles through fields and temples, and had to punch new holes in my belt to prevent my pants from causing an international incident.
By the time I landed in Chicago last month, I was down to 145 lbs. I felt great! I had more confidence in myself, was happier with the man in the mirror, could get around much easier, and got tired less often. I was starting to eat healthier on a regular basis, too. When I got home to Tulsa, my friends and family echoed my happiness in my weight loss. As I started looking through old pictures, I realize just how much weight I was carrying around. This all brings me to last night.
Indi and I have been good kids, eating at home much more than we used to (we used to eat out daily) so we decided to treat ourselves to a place we hadn’t gone to since returning: Texas Roadhouse, home of my favorite barbecue ribs in town. We ordered a rack of ribs to split and I passed the time by chowing down on the free rolls. Once the ribs arrived, I was struck by how much food it was. Indi gave me the ol’ “I told you so” look and left most of it to me, which I promptly devoured.
I still feel horrible, fifteen hours later.
I used to eat those kind of portions regularly. Looking around, most other people are doing the same thing. In all restaurants I’ve been into, the portions are incredible…and not in a good way. Even splitting meals, Indi and I end up with way too much food. I don’t want to be the guy I used to be. I like this new person that eats salads and normal portions of food. The social food culture here was slowly killing me. Not only that, but the food overseas is mostly preservative-free. We will be frequenting Broken Arrow’s Farmers Market when it opens.
I cannot post about food and weight loss without mentioning Indi’s journey. To do it justice, I heartily recommend you head over to her personal weight loss and exercise blog at http://caloriecount.about.com/profile/indiwarrior … she has lost 80 lbs and is still going strong!!