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Gregg McBride

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Why When Trying To Fool Others About Our Eating Habits, We're Really Just Fooling Ourselves

Posted: 07/18/2012 11:34 am

These days when I think back to some of the misadventures that I had when I was over 250 pounds overweight, I often chuckle to myself -- while also admiring my stamina for not only getting through that time in my life, but also conquering it by taking off all of those excess pounds. 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. Not only did I prefer to eat in private (thinking I would be adversely judged if anyone saw me actually consuming food out in the "open"), but I also preferred to wear an oversized bathrobe while eating -- a clothing item that didn't require any pain when wearing. (At 450-plus pounds, most of my clothes -- even the balloon-y, oversized ones -- were very uncomfortable when being worn.)

Yet I wasn't merely content to eat in private. I didn't want anyone in public -- even at the fast food joints -- to know I was ordering all that food for myself. Thus, I came up with what I thought was an ingenius 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 whomever 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 (during my most obese period in life).

Back then, I never imagined that I would share this "deep, dark secret" with anyone -- much less write about it publicly on The Huffington Post. But I've learned over the years that sharing tidbits like this not only helps others realize they're not alone in their mental and physical struggles to take off the pounds, 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? Is it anything you feel like sharing? I promise not to judge. Again, our confessions to one another only serve to bond us -- not to mention help us (and others) -- proving that old addage to be true: What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. Or, at the very least, gives us a good chuckle.

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