In spite of knowing better and having lived in a home where I was fed real meals with meats, vegetables, milk and bread and butter – when I finally lived on my own my main meal almost every day was an entire sausage and pepperoni pizza. A standard 12 inch Tombstone or Roma’s pizza, cooked in the oven for 18 minutes until golden brown on top. Not that I didn’t eat other things, I did. Like bowls of cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, burgers from a burger joint (and later in life steaks from a restaurant) or if I got to Ma’s for dinner or lunch whatever she would happen to be cooking if I liked it. Ask anyone who knows me pretty well – I’m a picky eater. I don’t like sauces and dressings generally and am not a big fan of cooked vegetables.
Despite my careless eating habits and lack of physical exertion, I never really got big or chunky (well there was the first summer at Ma and Pa’s where I put on a belly but it didn’t take) and I could have probably fit into the same pants that I wore when I was 16 at 24.
Then in 2005 I did two things that changed all that
- I quit smoking
- I went back to school for a year
Suddenly I was twenty (20) pounds heavier and my pants and shirts were tight. Worst of all? the start of man boobs, moobies as some like to call them. I haven’t needed a manzier, but I could see they were threatening to become a little more than I was interested in having. Moobies are something I don’t find attractive on men and it would be silly of me to have something that I didn’t like seeing on others you know.
When I was in school (and sometimes on weekends within the last few years) there were days when I’d start the day with coffee a bowl of cereal and a couple hours later have a pizza for lunch, followed sometimes by a pizza for dinner. I’d follow that up with day long World of Warcraft marathons only moving from the computer to grab water or a snack (candy, ice cream, cereal).
One Tombstone pepperoni and sausage pizza has the following Nutritional “value”:
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1635 Calories from Fat 736
Percent Daily Value*
Total Fat 81.7g 126%
Saturated Fat 30.4g 152%
Cholesterol 156mg 52%
Sodium 3944mg 164%
Total Carbohydrates 152.9g 51%
Dietary Fiber 10.6g 42%
Protein 71.8g 42%
Vitamin A 36%
*Based on a 2000 Calorie Diet
Two of those pizzas a day was a lot of bad, especially when you think that I wasn’t doing anything to counter act all the bad that was there.
So in the working world life changed a little bit. I’d start out the day with coffee and cereal, get to the 7-11 by the office grab two cinnamon twists and two bottles of chocolate milk and maybe a candy bar, then eat burger or pizza or fast food of some kind with the boss before heading home where for dinner I’d have a pizza and a bowl of ice cream – and sometimes finish the night with a bowl of cereal. Every day pretty much, unless the housemate was cooking dinner then I’d eat whatever that might be (poor guy’s a great cook, but is limited to cook what I’ll actually eat).
Besides the slowly growing moobies – the waistline kept expanding, the belly seemed to protrude a bit more than I’d like and the cholesterol has been high for probably a decade now. My biological parents were both heavy (Phillip was a football player in high school and Cheryl had my eating habits and aversion to exercise) so deep down in my mind I think I’m destined to be bigger. Suddenly the twenty pounds heavier was 35, 36 and 37…
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes… So what changed. Hell I don’t know…. oh I remember… I was having issues pooping – yes, too much information I know… and the doctor suggested I try to eat more fiber and I actually LIKE my doctor so I started to read about fiber and started to make minor changes in my diet.
Every morning now the bowl of cereal is raisin bran (lots of fiber). Instead of the donuts and chocolate milk from the 7-11 it’s two bottles of orange juice and sunflower seeds and almonds. Tried to get the housemate to include vegetables that I like in meals he cooks (corn, green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower). Sometimes dinner is a bowl of raisin bran and a handful of nuts. And every night I try to eat an apple. That’s a lot of change for me and my diet let me tell you – and I’m not perfect at it and sometimes I’ll still have a burger or yes, a pizza… hush, I said I wasn’t perfect.
So slowly my body started to change, but not fast enough so I spent a little cash on a personal trainer and things got a little faster, but not super speed. Apparently dieting and exercise isn’t instant – who knew? The personal trainer and I are doing a lot of things that will never be useful in the real world – push ups, pull ups, lifting weights, curls, this that – but it’s certainly made my arms and chest a little firmer. I’ve also noticed that my nipples are kind of going off to the side now – which I think is really weird – shouldn’t these things point out front? I’ll have to ask someone who knows more than I know about these kinds of things.
Throw in some cardio classes, keep walking about a mile and a half a day, and up with the fiber and healthier foods and we’ll see what happens to me. It’s not something I had planned on doing and I don’t know how it’ll all work out (the first week back to the gym I hurt my leg and was on crutches for a week – still hurts every now and then too) but it’s probably a step in the right direction.