These days when I think back to some of the misadventures that I lived through when weighing over 450 pounds, I often chuckle to myself — while also admiring my stamina for not only getting through that time in my life, but also eventually winning my battle of the bulge by taking off over 250 pounds of excess weight.
But during the time I weighed 450-plus pounds, it was a different story entirely. Not only was I trying to hide what I was going through from the rest of the world, I was also trying to hide my exploits (and the fact that I was the reason I was so heavy) from myself.
Case in point? When I would make my daily treks to fast food restaurants to order multiple entrees to then take home for lunch or dinner. I didn’t want anyone in public — even at the fast food joints — to know I was ordering all that food for just myself. Thus, I came up with what I thought was an ingenious plan. I used to scribble everything I wanted onto a piece of paper and, when arriving at the counter to place my order, would read off of it — as if I was ordering for a group of people. Add to that, I would order several more drinks than I needed (and a variety of drinks at that) to further cement my Broadway-caliber performance of “ordering for a small group.”
Even if I utilized a drive-through to place my order, I would have a list in hand and “pretend” to read off it (as if I were a great voiceover actor) — just for the entertainment of whoever was at the other side of the ordering microphone. And when I would finally reach the drive-through window, I would often hand the employee my list and ask them to throw it away — as if “visual proof” was a crescendo (of sorts) to my great performance.
Of course, looking back, I can see that the only person I was “fooling” was myself. I imagine that most employees of the restaurants I frequented couldn’t have cared less about what I was ordering — much less whom it was for. And if they did care, so what? And yet I kept this “lying game” up for years.
Back then, I never imagined that I would share this “deep, dark secret” with anyone — much less write about it publicly on the Central Recovery Press website or share this and another tales in my book Weightless: My Life As A Fat Man And How I Escaped. But I’ve learned that sharing tidbits like the one above not only helps others realize they’re not alone in their mental and physical struggles to take off the pounds (or conquer any addiction), but also to help myself accept my past and stay committed to never returning to that kind of mental game-playing again.
Have you ever played out a similar “game” to fool others and/or yourself? What were the results? Our confessions to one another only serve to bond us — not to mention help us (and others) . . . proving that old adage to be true: What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Or, at the very least, gives us a good chuckle.