I can’t believe it took me this long…

On the 4th of July 2012 riding back from the Waco Zoo with my wife, kids, and friends Sara and Sylis, I made the realization that the main reason I am overweight is I am not eating right. I had forgotten a book to read on the hour and half drive to Waco, so Sara brought a bunch of food books. On the way home I read Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” and came up with the realization that I have an improper relationship with food.

For starters I eat too much processed food and not enough fruits and vegetables. This started in college when I moved away from a house where home cooked food was a daily occurrence. My mother for my life until I left the house had cooked meals for us at least once a day. This kept us from too much over processed food. It was heavy southern cooking, but it was home cooked and many great ingredients were added. Now almost 17 years later I have come to realize that home cooked food is what kept me healthy and very involved in sports. Now I am active, but not as much as I would like to be on a daily basis.

The next important thing I realized was that I eat too much food. I grew up in a house where if a child did not finish a plate my father would finish it for us and eat seconds if he could. I have now realized that I have the same mentality and have to put an end to this cycle before it causes me the health problems that I do not want or need.

I am currently at 240 pounds, according to the scale at the YMCA that I went to this morning to work out. That is the last problem. I have blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes in my family. I am fighting an uphill battle and have decided to wait too long to do something about it.

My Uncle Doug, we call him UB for short from Uncle Buck the movie, made a remarkable change in his health over the last 5-6 years and he talked to me for a while when I was in Mobile last week. It really hit me how far I had let myself go and how my relationship with food had turned to poison. There are few things that are truly important in this life and I have neglected my diet and health for too long. Call me an old fart or what you will, but I have two young sons and hope to have more children in the future and I have not been taking care of myself by doing the important thing of eating better. The exercise is not the problem. We are moving back to Birmingham in 3 weeks and I am going to be biking to work 12.5 miles one way to work until I start coaching. I enjoy running and working out. These have always been relative staples in my life. The key component was my intake of the food. I feel like this is a new beginning and I want to change my lifestyle for the better.

So this is my first entry and I will be writing about life as a husband, parent, teacher, adventurer, eater, and thinker. If any of those things appeal to you please follow along as I write about how life has made an impact on me and how a person can change to make themselves better mentally and physically.

Thanks

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3 Responses to I can’t believe it took me this long…

  1. 3mcubed says:

    Hey buddy, I feel ya. I had the same concerns a while back. Meg and I read similar books and watched some of the food docs for a class she was taking. We made some changes then, eliminating heavy processed cares. Since then we have felt better. Now we are doing a paleo, whole30 thing. It’s not a diet, but exactly what you spoke of in your blog. If you want more info, I’m happy to share the Google doc. Let me know! Good luck and welcome to the journey! It’s super fun, discovering food and all!

  2. Sara Weber says:

    I look forward to reading about the journey and I’ll lend you books anytime to advance the mission!!

  3. Nicole Tai says:

    Eric – great blog, although if I could only take a red pen to it – sorry – the old TA in me talking.

    On the food issue – Being a vegetarian (technically a pescatarian) seems to have kept the over 30 weight gain from haunting me. However, I had just lost all the baby weight due to my mother in law’s cooking (fresh veggies and tofu Chinese cooking) but then I went on a no sugar diet for the month of June and did well for the 1st half of the month, eating dried fruit to curb my chocolate desires. I noticed a weight GAIN in the latter half. I attribute that more to eating more toast and eating less dried fruit snacks If you can believe it. Oh – and the huge Chipotle burritos had NOTHING to do with it. Being out on the road for those two weeks killed my at home eating.

    I am at home again, and think I have nipped the problem in the bud. Chipotle burritos no more. Burrito bowl? Maybe once in a blue moon if I am on the road. I swear – oh – it is past lunchtime and a Chipotle burrito sounds good right about now!

    Here would be my suggestion – now that you are going to own a place (and it requires lots of work and staying structured – the one thing I think both you and I have a problem with maintaining!) – grow your own (chard & kale are yummy and you can harvest them by cutting the leaves and then they just keep on giving), eat lots of fruits and veggies, and limit your breads & meats to once daily (notice I did not say grains). Figure out what your calorie count is for your desired weight – and eat only that count and work out as much as possible – hike, throw the kids in the air, rock them to sleep using your thighs – every calorie expended counts! Once you are down to the weight you want, then you don’t have to change what you eat! How hard is that? (I am being facetious – it is really hard – but the goal is to make the effort to try and do it). Hopefully you can get there! – Nicole

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