After years of struggling with my weight and wondering why it was that I could not seem to lose the extra pounds, I discovered the root of my problem: I cannot stop eating. Hello, my name is Collin McLeod and I am a semi-recovering foodaholic. There, I said it. Now before any of you skinny granola bitches go off on how I am in control of the garbage I put into my body, listen. I used to be one of you. I lived your tragic reality. For two miserable years of my life I lived eating “mindfully,” which meant I limited myself to 1500 calories a day, worked off about 600 of them and essentially lived off of lettuce wraps 24/7. Oh, and I avoided bread like it was the goddamn plague. I ignored what the Internet told me mindful eating was and drastically lost about 100 pounds. I looked great but my inner health ended up suffering in the long run. What I assumed mindful eating to be ended up becoming a borderline eating disorder which I am still recovering from.
So how did I get to this point? Let us begin with the year 2001. I was in the first grade minding my own business when two boys approached me and asked me to go to the bathroom with them to lift up my shirt and show them my stuff. Now I know what you are thinking, “damn, he had game back then,” but keep in mind I was six and did not have a huge grasp on my sexuality just yet. Well I did find Lance Bass to be attractive, but that’s beside the point. The moment I lifted my shirt became the moment that I would be branded as “fat ass” through high school, resulting in years of body dysmorphia. But the problem was that I loved to eat. I would cry about the teasing, but continue to stuff my face with high calorie junk. I even got to the point where every Wednesday in high school, I would force my younger brother to walk a mile to the nearest Carl’s Jr., buy me a sinfully decadent, barbeque sauce-slathered Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger with crispy sweet potato fries and a raspberry iced tea to wash it down. As for dessert, I would treat myself to an eight pack of Almond Joy, a box of Reese’s Pieces and a food coma that would guide me through the rest of the evening. Needless to say, I blew up like a balloon.
After years of crying about my weight, I decided it was time for me to pick my ass up and do something about it. Because that is how it works … Right? Well after hours of googling why bread is bad for everyone and how to maximize my workout routine, I figured it would have to do. I started off slow, but about a year into the “journey,” I really thought I was mindfully eating. “Oh I put so much thought into this piece of lettuce!” Standing up from sitting down became a difficult task, I was an asshole to everyone (because hunger) and I even began to eat in my sleep. My own subconscious knew what I was doing was wrong. This story has a happy ending though. Eventually I regained a healthy relationship with food, and I could not be any happier. Sure, I still sleep eat and stress eat and emotionally eat and well … I just really love to eat, okay? But I am happy. Mindful eating does not mean you have to constantly be on top of what you eat, you just need to make sure you are not pigging out every opportunity you get, as fun as that is. So embrace your inner (or outer) chub. You are fabulous the way you are, whether it is with a bowl of kale or a pizza in your hand. The key to mindful eating truly is balance.