From spring 2003 to September 2006 I embarked on an effort to get healthy. I chose to explore the amateur bodybuilding realm, taking some supplements, eating the right foods, doing the right exercises. This post is a quick notation of what I've realized to be my biggest weakness: food.
In recognizing that up to 75% of a bodybuilder's success revolves around their diet, I made an effort to follow that principle by altering my eating habits. For the last year of my journey, I behaved quite admirably with my diet. While I LOVED Mcdonald's, pizza, sodas, sweets, etc, my willpower got more of a workout than my body did. After a while it got easier, and I passed by a Mickey D's every day for three months without even stepping inside. I sought out substitutes for the foods I loved, not always finding that which I wanted (a cucumber doesn't make for a candy bar). I literally made myself sick with those protein shakes, and mixed creatine with my liquid breakfast.
I hung up the barbells in September 2005 when my then-girlfriend said I'd become an "asshole" since I started this regimen. Looking back, perhaps she was right. But what she calls "asshole", I call "confidence"; but that's a post for another time.
Upon reflection, I've come to realize that I derive a far greater sense of satisfaction from food than I do from working out. It just so happens that the vast majority of the foods I enjoy most, are horribly bad for me. I don't consider myself a "foodie" by any stretch of the imagination, I just simply enjoy what I enjoy. Recently I've noticed a real joy from eating, the taste and sensations I get from some foods are almost intoxicating. I never got this much joy from a workout...ever. If I have to make a choice between the food or the fitness, in terms of quality of life, the food comes out the champion.
With that said, I am fortunate that for the most part, I am still relatively active and decent looking, and can probably trim up again in a few months if I put my mind and soul into it. There is a bit of a pear shape going on around my midriff, and my pecs aren't as stout as they used to be. My stamina isn't quite up to par, either. I know I pay a price for my joy of food, and one of those prices could very well be a sense of being "weighted down" and not in the good way.
Every so often I get a mild desire to get fit again, but the old fire just isn't there anymore. Two years ago I got satisfaction from seeing the results of my hard work and sacrifice in the mirror. Today that is but a shadow of the satisfaction I get from nomming a pizza or double cheeseburger (or ice cream or shake or candy bar etcetc).
If anyone has any advice to help me overcome this mountain, where I can still enjoy good food AND get trim again (most of it has to come from deep inside me, I know), then I'm alll ears.