The scale is not our friend

Jason Weiland
Weight loss is hard!Photo by SHVETS production

I love food. There, I said it. There is no getting past the obvious. You can take one look at me and recognize that I like to eat. My arms and legs are average sizes, but I have a gut. I would estimate my weight to be close to 280 Lbs.

It’s a long time coming. If I look at pictures on Facebook from five years ago, I am fairly thin. I had a bit of a stomach, but I was a normal weight. But since I grew, it increased when the pandemic began, and we couldn’t leave the house.

About a month ago, I looked at myself and said, “It’s time to do something.” There is no getting past it. I am uncomfortable doing simple tasks like tying my shoes, and I can’t stand that my clothes don’t fit.

There is a problem. I like to eat. Rice. Here in the Philippines, everything is with white rice. I like soda. I have to have something sweet every so often, and it’s usually a Coke. And the food here, I could eat all day and be happy. I love all the flavors, and since we work all the time, we mostly order delivery, and anything I want is just a few minutes away.

We try to cook and sometimes we have a Sabaw for breakfast, a brothy soup with vegetables. It’s easy to make, but it depends on whether my wife has morning meetings. She is busy all day, and I tend to the kids. I try to sleep a bit because I work all night. But there are dishes and dirty diapers, and the kids must eat, so I eat whenever I can. We rarely have a sit-down meal anymore.

So, we order from Grab and the local network of home delivery services around us that have provided food since the pandemic. One day, I might eat Jollibee Chicken; another day, I might have Adobo or Sizzling Squid. All with rice. Always rice.

But I’d had enough. So, a month ago, I just started cutting back. Instead of a massive plate of rice, I would either go without or eat a small portion. Instead of two pieces of chicken, I eat one. I try not to eat breakfast. Instead of filling my plate with food, I eat a bit here and there. I eat apples and drink sugar-free cranberry juice. I still drink a little soda, but not much.

And slowly, I am losing my stomach. I am fighting against the antipsychotics that want to make me fat and the years of prescriptions that have destroyed my metabolism. Losing weight is hard and slow, but it is happening.

I don’t feel so bloated all the time. And when I don’t eat until I am stuffed, I don’t feel as though I am full of gas all the time. My stomach hasn’t been so sick. When I opt for an apple instead of a burger, I feel so much better about myself, and my body doesn’t complain.

I’ve lost maybe fifteen pounds. Maybe. I can feel it when I bend over. My stomach isn’t such a bother all the time, and I can almost tie my shoes again.

I have so much more to go, and in the past few days, I’ve eaten a little more than usual. It’s back and forth. I love my food. And I love rice. And soda. But somehow, I’ve been able to cut back, and it’s just enough to help me lose a few pounds.

We are still so busy, but we have been eating more soup. More veggies. There are days when we eat nothing but fried chicken or Chinese takeout, but most of the time, we eat better.

I wish I had time for a proper diet. I wish I had time for a workout regimen. But I’ll settle for apples and riding my bike a few times a week.

I may never be skinny again, but I’d love to at least be comfortable with my body, and that means my gut needs to go away. I’ll look better, feel better, and won’t be so disgusted to see my reflection in the mirror.

Yes, I love food, but I don’t have to let food run my life, and I don’t have to be fat. Even if I don’t have the time to eat well, I can eat well enough to lose a little of this weight.

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Writer and advocate interested in mental health, health, family, culture, creativity, and success.

Los Angeles, CA

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