Tag Archives: food

Hi My Name’s Jim, I eat too much!

I just want to get this post out of the way so I’ve decided that I’m going to dictate it using voice recognition software. I hate using it but I just need to get this done and finished and out there. 

So, as you can guess, my diet is officially, like Monty Python’s parrot, completely dead. It’s expired, it’s lifeless, dead as the proverbial dodo (interesting that I just had to manually correct that last word as dictation software wanted to put dead as the proverbial dildo).

Like the parrot, Jim’s diet is now dead!

I was at a socially distanced outdoor children’s birthday party on Sunday. Of course I wasn’t drinking but I was eating and I was also observing how I ate in comparison to how other people ate. It didn’t take me long to realise why I struggle with diets. It was quite clear that I eat the way I used to drink; excessively with moderation completely thrown out the window. Whilst other people picked up the occasional crisp I was cramming handfuls into my mouth. When the hot sausage rolls appeared most people politely picked up one whereas I, on the other hand, managed about four within the first five minutes of them appearing. I was not eating like other people. I was devouring food. I was not eating to satisfy hunger, it was some anxiety generated, emotionally damaged,bored black hole I was trying to fill. I was suffering from some strange affliction. One could just say I was just being a greedy pig but that doesn’t sound good to me as it smacks of moral weakness, “Eataholic”is more reassuring as it takes responsibility away from me and locates it in a condition over which I have no control but is clearly nonsense.

Then it hit me, I talk too much, when I smoked I smoked too much, when I drank I drank too much, often when I eat I eat too much, I used to do a lot of drama in other words I love the sound of my own voice, I play music and have the need to sing all the time; it’s quite clear I’m orally fixated. Freud would love me, he would say I’m a perfect example of someone who didn’t go through that initial oral phase in a satisfactory manner. I got stuck there and constantly seek comfort and pleasure from all things connected with my mouth. And yes my mother had to stop breastfeeding me quite early and so at last I now know why diets do not work for me. It’s my mother’s fault! She should’ve carried on breastfeeding me then I wouldn’t have had all these problems with smoking, drinking and eating. Simple.

I jest of course. There may be a slight element of truth in what Freud had to say but of course his theory of psychosexual development does not really stand up to scrutiny. What I can say though is that consuming alcohol and food has been my way of coping with a certain level of social anxiety and an inner void, of which I’m increasingly aware. The fact is that on occasion I do eat excessively and diets alone will not work for me, I have to look at the why of my eating?

What this all means is that I have to approach cutting down on food the same way I approached giving up alcohol, I have to dig more into the reasons why I really eat and find a way of managing some of those compulsions. As I said before the option to just quit food isn’t an option so it will be very different to how I tackle booze in that with food it will be about moderation. It will be about stopping certain foods and it will be about monitoring how I eat, when I eat, types of food and the quantities. Crucially though I need to do the work of what emotionally I’m trying to comfort and suppress when I do eat excessively. Maybe that’s been long overdue so now is the time stop blaming my mother and dive into that emotional void.  That should be fun! Wish me luck.

Jim X

Call That a Diet Jim!

Let’s start with the good news – I’ve lost 3.5 lbs! The less good news – 4 days ago I’d lost 4.5lbs. I know, I know don’t weigh yourself everyday . I can’t help it- it’s just the way I am. Ah, that’s it. It’s the way I am so my diet needs to take that into account. Let me revisit my bold proclamation last week:

“So phase one is basically eat healthily, one big meal a day and cut out the snacks and crap- and zero added sugar. I won’t of course forget to exercise. Right, I’ve gone on long enough in this post so I shall stop there and start day three of my new diet plan.”

The Devil finds many ways to tempt poor old Jim

So spoke Jim- Bollocks and bullshit diet I should have called it. ZERO SUGAR- ah that should mean NO sweet things like ice cream, cakes etc, shouldn’t it. Well in my little chart/spreadsheet I recorded many an instance of sugar related eating; cheesecake on two days, cheesecake plus custard on another, Ice cream last night. I could go on….

And yet I’m not despondent. Overall I’ve lost some weight and my main objective was to switch to a cereal less breakfast of fruit and yoghurt every day with a minimal lunch and lots of exercise. Those things I achieved but the one big meal often turned into two normal three course meals rolled into one. But slowly does it. This is not like giving up the booze, this is a gradual realignment with food and eating habits, not an all or nothing exercise. I know that in the morning I can deal with only having a small amount of food, it’s the evenings when I like to eat, hence having my main meal then. This week I shall maintain the good changes and target this need to reward myself by eating sugar based desserts. I’ve cut out chocolate and snacks so this targeting of one specific area seems doable. I will substitute fruit and /or bake my own low sugar healthy alternatives.The proof will definitely be in the pudding .

Cutting down the carbs whilst eating good whole foods in sensible portions is my long term aim. I strongly believe that the other two elements which are easy to incorporate into any eating plan and which help one lose weight without even having to diet at all are:

1 Stop eating once you are full. I had it instilled in me that you had to finish what was on your plate. Rubbish. When you’re full-stop eating . Put the rest in your recycling. It’s OK. It’s not a sin to discard food you don’t need. After a while you will naturally adjust your portion sizes.

2 Eat mindfully and slowly. It takes twenty minutes for your brain to register that you are full from when you start eating, so give your body the chance to register the food you’ve eaten. Slow eating means you are more likely to notice being full and can stop. Eating mindfully (not watching telly at same time) helps you focus on the food, it’s flavours and slows down the process. Enjoy the food, not woof it down. That is especially aimed at me!

All I need to do now is follow my own advice!

Jim X

SuperBooze me- The last day in a month of excess

It’s 2 in the morning here in the UK and I’m awake writing this because I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I’m a bloated whale washed up on the shore of my own excess; eat, drink,shit,drink ,eat. I feel sick.

It’s officially, according to my own rules, my last full day of drinking before what I’m hoping will be a lifetime of sobriety and I’m beginning to have doubts. What if I fail? What if all this is some elaborate joke I’ve played on myself just so I can have a month of unrestrained excess?

I wanted to have a month of allowing myself to drink whatever I wanted before giving up and part of the thinking was to see what it would be like if I took the brakes off, not apply the normal limited restraint I put on my drinking and eating. No alcohol free days necessary this month Jim, just go for it, enjoy it! In Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock consumes only McDonalds everyday for a month to see how that would affect him physically and psychologically. The results were fairly predictable. My month has been similar in allowing myself to drink and eat without any of my normal constraints.

The results of this unrestrained food and booze fest:

  • terrible sleep
  • 10lbs weight gain
  • constant feeling of being bloated
  • night sweats
  • lethargy
  • lack of motivation (with the exceptions of doing this blog and music)
  • bouts of nausea
  • self loathing
  • reduced level of physical activity and exercise

Basically I feel and look like shit!

The month of excess is thankfully coming to an end. Without normal internal constraints I become a creature of excess. I consume, I stuff myself,I devour, cramming it all in hoping for what? Happiness? Contentment? Sensual gratification? Relaxation? Satiation? Maybe that was the intention but after a month I feel the opposite. I feel worn down, miserable, sick, tired, out of touch with my body. I feel like I’m dying, slowly.

This month has not really been an experiment, it’s been me saying, hopefully, goodbye to a way of life. For years I have had to apply discipline and self scrutiny in order to stop the impulse to over- consume. At times it worked and other times it didn’t. But, take that discipline away and my default position is this mad desire to consume and cram in as much as I can and it’s not just the drink. When I drink more, I eat more. Trying to satisy something maybe, appease it, whatever “it” is, but I know there’s never enough food and drink to satisfy this intangible hunger. Instead of feeding this hunger I need to look at it, listen to it, understand it,confront it.

Alternative futures – Jim as an explosive fartball of excess

I guess all this means I should be looking forward to Sunday, giving up the booze and doing some work on myself. I am. I want to get well. But I’m also scared. Strip away the intellectualisation of this project; all the reasoning, arguments and plans and underneath is a frightened mess. If this doesn’t work, what then? Eat and drink myself into an explosive fartball of excess?

I’ll try and get some sleep now. I’ll go to a nice restaurant tonight and despite what I have said I’ll try and enjoy a good meal. I’ll be with my partner so no embarrassing excess. Then it’s home and tomorrow the real hard work begins. Everyone who embarks on this journey has their own reasons and demons and their own strategies and motivations. But there are many areas of commonality. Reading about how others have tackled this huge step into sobriety will hopefully help me reach that state. Strap in Jim, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Jim x